2 May 2019
Traveling can be exciting and fun but also risky at some times. Whether you’re traveling to another country, overseas or within your country, we have put together the following ten safety tips to ensure you have both an exhilarating and safe journey.
1. Be careful when choosing your ground transportation.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), car crashes are the leading cause of death for US citizens overseas.
Therefore, whether traveling to another state, country or abroad, it’s important to choose a vehicle that is well maintained and has working seat belts. Before choosing a certain car hire company, research their safety records and if possible, avoid less-safe vehicles such as mopeds and rickshaws.
2. Check in with your State Department
Many don’t know that their State Department has updated safety information for almost every country or state in the world. Therefore, before venturing into your journey, ensure you search their website to get trustworthy information about the place you are visiting. Research everything, including the vaccinations you need to have, the local laws, and travel warnings (including security and crime warnings). The website also has a State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) page, for travelers to register their travel plans. Once you register and experience an emergency in your destination (whether it’s civil unrest or natural disaster), the department will be able to contact you and assist you where possible.
3. Review the emergency exits in the hotel you’ll be staying
Let’s be honest – when you reach your hotel room, you tend to be more focused on finding out the available amenities than checking the map of the hotel. But before you settled in your hotel, it’s recommended that you take a quick look at the available escape routes for an emergency. This will be very helpful in the event an emergency occurs at odd hours like in the middle of the night.
4. Leave an emergency contact and itinerary
While on your vacation, unplugging can be great, but it’s good not to go completely under the radar, especially if you are traveling alone. If possible, leave your itinerary with your family friend or trusted friend back at home which indicates the cities you’ll be traveling, your schedule for each day and when you’re planning to return. As you enjoy your vacation, try to check in with them every day of your vacation. That way, if something bad happens, they will know and alert the authorities on your behalf.
5. Scan your passport
Before you leave for the trip, it’s also a smart idea to scan your passport. save it on your mobile phone and e-mail it to yourself.
That way, if you lose your passport while on your trip, it will be easy to replace it. Plus, if you need it while out but you have left it in your hotel safe, you’ll be able to access all your details.
6. Confirm every visitor with the hotel reception or customer care desk
You’re relaxing or sleeping in your room and you hear a knock at the door from a person claiming to be a housekeeper or from maintenance. Before you open the door, call the customer support desk of your hotel to confirm if they are aware of it. Criminals such as thieves tend to pose as workers of the hotel in order to gain access to hotel rooms.
7. Don’t flash your valuables including cash
While on your trip, it’s good to keep your valuables separate. You can, for example, separate your spending money from the rest and keep it hidden in your safe. That way, you’ll not be showing off a big chunk of money every time you’re paying for something.
Although it’s vital to carry your smartphone out there for looking up directions or taking photos, it’s good to be careful of your neighborhood – thieves are known to love grabbing cell phones from passengers on buses or trains and disappear.
8. Steer clear of domestic and wild animals
Cute stray cats and dogs roaming the city streets may make for good opportunities for photos but ensure you get too close. Animals carry all kinds of diseases like rabies that can ruin your wonderful trip.
9. Carry an emergency kit in your car
Whether driving your own car or a hired one abroad, ensure you carry a fully stocked emergency kit in the car for emergencies. This includes reflective warning signs, backup battery, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, snow shovel, blankets, and non-perishable food.
We hope these helpful tips give you confidence when traveling abroad. Also, be sure to get inspiration by reading some other great travel blogs such as The Discoverer and the Passion Roamer, they’re both full of great articles.