Traveling can be a delightful experience and give you a lasting memory. But, many tourists have had some sad tales to tell. When you are getting prepared for a trip, you should also consider your safety. Therefore, you want to get acquainted with the dangers associated with traveling and how you can be safe while traveling. Below are essential safety tips for tourists you should follow to protect you and your valuable items during your journey.
Essential Safety Tips for Tourists
1. Research Ahead
As soon as you make a pick of the destination of your vacation, this is the first step to take. You need to get as much information as you can about your destination before you travel. Try to search and scan for recent news about your destination. You can check for security and safety news if there is any current weather emergency or political unrest.
Also, you want to be considerate of the culture and practices of the locals. Therefore, you should show respect through modest clothing for certain cultures or holy sites. Perhaps, this will help you blend in better.
If you are planning to visit another country, you must check provisions made by your government. Below are examples of agencies provided by the different government to assist their citizens
- Canadian citizens can check with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
- British citizens can go to the Foreign & Commonwealth website.
- American citizens can register with the U.S. State Department.
Moreover, many countries keep their websites to provide essential safety tips and best practices for tourists. Following these suggestions prepares you ahead on what to expect for your holiday.
2. Get All necessary Documents And Records
An unplanned situation might come up during a trip. So, you want to have more than a copy of your travel documents. You can scan and save these documents online and print out hard copies if necessary. Try also to leave a copy of these documents and your credit cards with a family member or friend at home. Always carry vital contact information on you. This should include the name, address, and phone number of where you plan to stay, travel agent, and embassy information.
- Examples of essential documents to have and make copies of are:
- Travel papers like your passport and any other required documents
- An international driving permit.
- Credit cards / ATM cards
- Prescriptions for your medications if you are on any.
- Health insurance
In case of emergency, you want to have numbers for local police or ambulance services or directions to your country’s nearest embassy. You can make an emergency plan ahead in case something goes wrong. As a result, you’ll always know exactly who to call and where to go for help.
3. Safeguard Your Belongings
When traveling, you want to apply measures that will reduce the risk of theft. Ensure you only go with what you truly need on your trip. Leave valuables behind when you travel. However, you mostly will have something on you that you can’t afford to lose. It would be best if you always shut your door and windows. Never leave money or expensive items unattended in plain sight, as this exposes you to theft. Place the Do Not Disturb on your door to give the impression that you’re in your room even when you’re away.
Backpacks are not very secure; therefore, you have to apply extra precautions. You can try keeping backpacks on your lap, between your feet or worn on your chest. Also, you can make use of a backpack as a pillow when on a bus or train.
You can inquire from your accommodation about room safe, lockers, or a locked storage area for your valuables. Where applicable, you can use your locker padlock. Do not allow strangers into your room. Confirm from the front desk before welcoming anyone claiming to be a staff of the hotel. Always try to keep your belongings close to you at all times.
4. Be Health Cautious
Each country is unique; hence, each has its germs and sicknesses you can be exposed to. It is essential to know ahead what you can be exposed to and the precautions you should take. Call your insurance provider. Ask them what you’re covered for in case you get sick abroad. Before accepting medical care, contact your doctor back home for advice or get a second opinion.
Pack additional prescription medications, glasses, or contact lenses that you make use of. Meanwhile, try to carry these and other critical items on you. Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. Also, you can apply alcohol-based sanitizer gel to help you stay germ-free. You can check up the World Health Organization (WHO) website to track international disease outbreaks.
There is a possibility of you getting injured during the trip. It would help if you traveled with a basic first aid kit, which can come in handy.
5. Public WIFI Dangers
Hackers can lay in wait for vulnerable people through public WIFI. So, don’t let the benefit of Internet access distort your judgment. You can lose valuable information like credit card or Social Security numbers. You can secure your internet access through a Virtual private network (VPN) that will allow you to browse while traveling safely.
6. Keep A Low Profile
Tourists are easy targets for criminals. Therefore, you want to present yourself as close to the locals as possible. Pick clothes that blend in with the crowd and won’t attract attention. If possible, get cloths and protective gear that will make it more difficult to steal money and other personal items from you. Besides, keeping a low profile is vital in countries where kidnappings and terrorist attacks are common. Making use of common sense to analyze situations is one of the top essential safety tips for tourists.
You must be careful with your use of social media while traveling. Uploading your trip in real-time can be a road map of movement which someone with ill-intentions can use. Try not to share details about your travel or accommodation plans with people you’ve just met. It would be best if you were very alert when in tourist attractions, marketplaces, and train stations. Also, it would help if you avoid remote areas or alleys where you’ll be alone. If you do need directions, ask help from a police officer or go into a hotel.
7. Update Family And Friends
It is a good idea if you can give updates on your trip to your family members or trusted friend. These can help keep a tab on your whereabouts. If you made the journey with a companion, it might be helpful to set a time to check in with each other. This way, you both can quickly know if something is going wrong.
8. Inform Your Embassy
This is a must for every tourist who is safety cautious. Get in touch with your local embassy as early as possible. As a result, they can keep you regularly updated with the latest safety information. Likewise, if an emergency occurs, the local embassy can reach you quickly to share important information or help with the evacuation.
In conclusion, you have to be prepared in advance for you to enjoy your travel or holiday. Having a basic knowledge and applying essential safety tips for tourists can keep you and your belongings safe. Meanwhile, not taking your safety seriously might leave you in a dangerous situation and spoil your holiday’s fun.
Nanna Daniels is a legal practitioner and writer. His practice as a lawyer and a writer is as diverse as his client base. His client ranges from government bodies to banks, private companies in real estate, energy companies, telecommunications to small businesses, families, and individuals.
He is a passionate and diligent analyst of family, sports and business concepts, providing in-depth knowledge and analysis. He has covered topics ranging from family, parenting to entrepreneurship.