Along with health, safety is the biggest issue that relates to traveling abroad.
I’ve traveled to about 1/3 of the countries in world, and being safe is something that I always take extra precautions for. I’ve gained substantial knowledge and learned the common sense skills for making sure I’m safe in any country.
The last thing that you want to happen to you is getting mugged, robbed, or thrown in a dangerous situation. But as you’re learn in this blog post, there are several things that you can do to put yourself in the best position before your trip starts.
One of the first precautions that you can take is getting travel insurance or a European Health Card which will protect your health on your trip. With health insurance, I was reimbursed when my fight was cancelled to Kathmandu because of the 7.9 Earthquake in Nepal last April. Trust me, it’s worth it.
So now, I’ll present you with 5 Tips on How to Stay Safe Before Traveling.
1. Research the country before you go:
This should always be the first thing that you do before any trip. Use Google as your best friend. Read Wikipedia articles about your destination. Watch YouTube videos. Read Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, and any other resources that you find online about your destination. This is the best way to get in the loop of the current situation.
2. Talk to your friends who’ve been there
Do you have any friends who’ve recently been to the place you’re going? Ask them about it!
The best way to find out if you know people who have been to a destination is to go on Facebook’s search “Friends who have been to __(city)__.” And then, Facebook’s magical algorithm will show you everyone you know who has been there.
How amazing is that? I do this all the time and it works great. You should try it!
3. Reach out to bloggers who wrote about the destination
While you’re doing research online, try to find blog posts from people (like myself) who have been to the place and written about it. Bloggers are very personable and they are easy to contact. After all, the whole point of blogging is to be an influence and inspire others, so it’s their job to help out!
I get emails everyday from people asking me travel advice and I’m always happy to help them out. And whenever I reach out to other bloggers for advice, they are always so kind! For example, I just got back from a trip to Egypt and before my trip, I reached out to my travel blogger friend Justin from True Nomads who lives there and he gave me the run down.
4. Get yourself the proper gear
Having proper gear will leave you less vulnerable to getting your stuff stolen, and will give you less attention from strangers on the road.
First, get a nice backpack that is not too flashy (I use an Osprey 40liter backpack). Get small locks with a 3-letter combination and always keep them locked when your bag is not in your possession. I also recommend getting a small flexible safe that you can tie to your hostel bed, where you can store all of your valuables. Another thing is to bring plain clothes, so you don’t stand out like a sore thumb. This is very important for safety.
5. Use your common sense
Last but not least comes down to simply using your brain. And shockingly enough, not everyone has common sense like you’d think… The more experiences you encounter, the more common sense you’ll get.
Having common sense is not going down a dark alley at night by yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Luxembourg or Uruguay or Australia – just don’t put yourself in that situation.
Always judge people (and taxi drivers) before you meet them. If someone seems sketchy, then say “no thanks” and walk away. The more you open yourself up to these kinds of people, the more they are going to want from you.
Always write down your hotel address and have it handy. This way, you won’t have to ask strangers or fumble around your stuff to find it out.
Make copies of your passport and credit cards, in case you lose them or they get stolen.
All of these things, among many more, are ways that you can prepare yourself before you start traveling to assure a safer trip.
If you have any questions, then don’t hesitate to contact me! Happy travels!