New International Travelers: What You Need To Know About Safety
Traveling can be an amazing experience and nothing changes your life and creates life-long experiences quite like traveling around the world. While travel is safer than it has ever been, and never have there been so many great resources to learn about the exact areas and neighborhoods of where you’re traveling right at your fingertips (thank you Internet & Google). However, it’s important to do your homework when it comes to safety.
The more prepared you are, the better the chances that nothing will go wrong or if something does, that it won’t be as bad.
Always Have Copies of Your Documents
Everyone knows they need their passport, visa, and official ID when traveling, but it’s very important to have copies of these documents, as well. There are two main ways of doing this, and we strongly recommend both. The first is to make photocopies of all of these documents which will be carried with you in a fanny pack or safe place (hotel safe, or those copies are on you while the originals are in a room safe). Having copies allows you to seek help at an embassy or with authorities if you are unfortunately robbed and lose those documents.
The other option needs to be done before traveling. Take very clear photos of your documents, and save those pictures in a password account for a program like Google Drive or Dropbox. This gives you the ability to access them from a safe computer and gives you access even in a different country.
Know Local Dangers
There are many popular tourist destinations where there are known issues like pickpockets or muggers. By doing some research you can know what types of danger might be there, as well as areas where these are non-issues. You might be surprised in how many areas where pickpockets or thieves are actually quite contained and there is little danger of theft outside of those areas or outside of a particular time.
Keep an eye on your belongings, and it’s never a bad idea if you’re carrying a wallet to keep a hand on it. Be aware of your surroundings and if you see anything suspicious, keep an eye on it and don’t just assume everything is fine. Being prepared for local issues makes a difference.
Keep Friends & Family Informed
An e-mail or text doesn’t take much time at all to send. Let your family and friends know your itinerary. Especially if you’re doing something spur of the moment. Just letting them know when to expect to hear from you, where you’re headed, when you should be checking in can be crucial information if you’re hurt, lost, or have some other situation where plans go awry.
Having those “bread crumbs” lets people know when something is amiss and can get help to you much faster. These are very small actions that can have major benefits when it comes to traveling safety.
Travel can be an amazing, life-changing experience, and it is a practice that more people really should embrace. The memories last a lifetime and there’s nothing like travel to really grow and develop as an individual. Take these steps, be aware of likely potential issues, and you’ll be prepared to handle anything so you can enjoy the best parts of what traveling has to offer!