NEWSFLASH! There’s no such thing as a crime-free place in this world. No matter if you’re a newbie traveler venturing out for the first time or a wanderlusting veteran who’ve seen and done it all, the woes of safety while traveling worries everyone equally. While you’re high on experiencing the rush of exciting cultures, interesting people and blood-pumping adventures someone around a dark corner is gearing up to rain on your parade. As travel connoisseurs, we’d hate for someone like that to ruin your otherwise amazeballs experience! So, rather than just warning you about the dangers of the world that our elders have been preaching to us, since ever, we decided to do you one better. We have brought the motherlode of travel safety with these 36 tips that’ll keep you en-garde at all times and some shady miscreants at bay!
- Be smart and get yourself insured! Travel insurance is the most certain way of making your travels in an unknown nation safe and secure, come what may. As a team fulfilling thousands of travels dreams for the last 10 years, we swear by Travel Insurance when it comes to international adventures.
- Do not flash your valuables in the public. Pack in those heavy diamond rings and gold necklaces and give them junk jewelry a go! That expensive $1000 DSLR around your neck might just make you a target. Better keep it safe in the backpack and bring it out when you find something capture worthy.
- The first step to safety while traveling is getting the proper, doctor recommended vaccinations for yourself.
- Don’t put yourself on the radar of thugs. Try not to stand out in how you’re dressing and avoid donning things that scream ‘Tourists’. Dress inconspicuously and try mixing in with the locals.
- Learn the basics of the local language. It is not only effective in being wary of your surroundings but mouthing a few local words will even throw off some shady onlookers. They won’t make the mistake of thinking of you as someone new at this.
- Make friends with the local people. Not only is it a quintessential part of experiencing a new culture, your local contacts, and their wise suggestions can help you steer clear off dangers.
- Travel light on public transport. Gather your essentials in one backpack and shed off that extra weight. It can get hard to keep a track of all your things on an overcrowded bus or train!
- Keep your passport and cards close to your body. Tape them on to your torso if you feel the need even, there couldn’t be any safer place for them, really!
- Be in the know about the safe and unsafe places. It is always better to get an idea about the safe places and unsafe nooks and corners of the place you’re traveling in, because as the age old saying goes, precaution is always better than cure! Talk to the guys at the reception of your hotels/hostels, download all the local info and recommended places to visit and you’ll be well on your way!
- Don’t fall into any tourist-trap and beware of scams. There are various types of scams all around the world specifically targeted at tourists. Be in the know about them and fend them off.
- Keep an eye on your stuff! Let’s face it, expensive anti-theft travel gears are not always a possibility for those traveling on a budget. So, keep your eyes peeled and never get distracted, especially when in transit.
- Party hard, but in a group. Parties might be a great place to meet new people but those people don’t always turn out to be great. Go out with those new buds you’ve made on your gap year or your gang of BFFs whom you’re traveling with, you are each other’s safety net!
- Keep your drinks safe. Accepting drinks from strangers in a nightclub is a big no-no in the travel safety rule book. Order your own drink and see them made before you and avoid anything being slipped into it.
- Avoid getting sloshed at a party. Numbing your nerves too much is not a great way of being aware of your immediate surroundings. Drink responsibly, it is not your last night out. Even your party gang won’t like babysitting a passed out drunk.
- Don’t try to be the hero. If you’ve been asked to keep your hands up by your mugger, just keep ‘em up! Nothing’s more valuable than your life, leave alone some cash and whatnot!
- Keep a list of emergency numbers handy. We always ask our volunteers and travelers to keep their embassy numbers and GDA’s 24x7 hotline numbers on their persons, always! We are always there to assist you in any kind of emergencies you may face abroad.
- Get to know your fellow traveler. It’s always good to make new friends along the way and expanding your travel group. But it is far greater to learn more about them and be sure of their intentions.
- Personal safety apps are a must, especially for women travelers. Follow me features, SOS alerts and safety countdowns are going to be your ‘Watchers on the wall’ (pardon the GoT fans in us!).
- Don’t be a novice when choosing cabs over public transportation. Always opt for Radio Taxis and share your ride details with someone you trust.
- Gather your info on ground transports. The locals are the best people to learn from about the best and safest mode of ground transports for travelers.
- Being healthy is part of you being safe abroad. Eat well, drink clean bottled water and maintain personal hygiene to keep sickness at bay while trotting the world.
- Review the escape routes in your hotels/hostels. Keeping your escape routes mapped in your mind can be helpful for you as well as others in times of distress.
- Hitchhiking is a big NO when it comes to travel safety. There are certainly some good samaritans who’ll help you reach your destination, but there are also a few creepsters who might pay no mind to your journey plans.
- Keep your night travels at a minimum if you are traveling alone. Overnighting in a bus or a car might have its advantages, but we always suggest you assess the risks well before jumping into it.
- Avoid cash, try cards. Choose a solid travel card or use the Credit/Debit cards that you’ve already got to your name. If anything goes south, you can simply block your cards. But do keep some cash in lower denominations also for ease.
- Don’t access ATMs in secluded places. Mugging is the order of the day in many countries and it’s on you as a traveler to avoid any situations that might lead to that somehow.
- Stay in touch with someone back at home. Make it a daily habit of sharing your whereabouts and your updated travel plans with a loved one back at home.
- Living on the edge doesn’t always have to be risky. Be self-responsible and check out the safety measures of any and every adventure activity that you take up during the course of your travels.
- Trust your instincts. When you’re out there by yourself or even with a group, it is better to pay heed to that feeling in the back of your mind about a person or a place, rather than ignoring it completely.
- Wipe that lost look on your face, even if you are lost! Middle of the road, map in hand and a big frown on your face might just make you a target. Instead, make your way to a nearby shop and get your directions sorted there.
- Avoid sharing taxis with strangers. That airport taxi may be expensive but sharing it with a stranger is not the way to go about it.
- A dummy wallet with some junks in it is a great protection plan against pickpockets.
- Discretion advised when reading your maps. Don’t make your destination and your route obvious to the onlookers and bypassers.
- The back pockets of your jeans or trousers are no place to keep your stuff while being out there on the road. Concentrate on the front pockets.
- It is a must to download all you need to know about the local rules and laws and abide by them when traveling in a foreign country.
- Motion alarms are great things to secure the door of your hotel/hostel room.
Traveling is one of the purest forms of self-discovery that there is and we only mean you well when we say practicing a bit of caution can keep from learning a lot of undesired lessons when traveling abroad. Do make good use of these 36 points of wisdom and collect awesome memories all around the world with us.
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