Not that many people travel to another country. At least not very often, and having your safety in mind is an extremely important thing. You don’t need to worry about the world turning upside down, but it does help to know some travel safety tips to help you have the most fun on your travels.
It’s a great idea to recognize what the authorities in an area look like, and what they don’t look like. It’s pretty easy to find a couple of police and notice their uniforms. If someone starts demanding an ID from you and they aren’t in uniform, then you should be suspicious and go find a real authority figure. You’ll also notice how many of them are in an area. I always feel safer when I know they are around because they are there to help me.
Carry a map and compass
You can normally get a free map in every city you go to. I carry a cheap compass just for help when I’m really lost. It’s okay to be lost and you shouldn’t be scared to realize you’re lost. I don’ recommend walking around with a map out so that everyone can see you’re lost. It’s best to check a map in a more isolated place or a coffee shop so that you can study it and decide on which way you want to go.
Prevention is key
Preventing your bags from being stolen is easier than stopping someone after they have stolen your things. Common sense is your best friend and taking time to keep your things from being easily snatched will do the most good to keep theft from happening.
Have a backup plan
Bad things happen, so have a backup plan in place and you’ll have much fewer problems. Make a copy of your passport and a backup of any electronics you’re taking with you (that includes your cell phone). Having something stolen sucks, but if you can get a new phone and still have 90% of everything on it, then it’s not as bad as it could be.
Ask the right people for directions
I don’t recommend asking anyone on the street for directions. The best people to ask for directions are people who are working. I normally try to find a hotel close by and ask there. If they don’t know, then I go to a shop and ask the person inside. These people live and work in the area and have no reason to send you in the wrong direction.
Don’t put yourself in a bad situation
More common sense to keep you safe. Keep yourself out of bad situations as much as possible by noticing what’s going on. If you’re going to a party, plan your way home before you go to make sure you don’t have any problems. If you’re unsure about a place, then chances are you shouldn’t be there.
Follow your gut
You are on vacation out looking to have fun. If something you’re checking into doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. Don’t let anybody talk you into thinking it’s okay. No one will be looking out for your best interest except you. It is okay to say no and you want to have a good time and saying no to anything that doesn’t sound right will help you to keep having a good time.
Out of sight, out of mind
You don’t want things stolen while you’re walking around. Thieves are looking for items to steal. They aren’t going to try to steal something that they don’t know is there. If you put your cell phone down on the table, people can see it. Put it back into your pocket and you won’t have to worry about anyone trying to take it.
Looking like a tourist
There are some places you will blend in and others where you will stand out no matter what you do. Both can work in your favor. The problem is not in looking like a tourist which you can’t always control. The real problem is looking clueless, scared, and gullible. These are the types of tourists that bad people are looking to take advantage of. You can beat a lot of this with common sense and a little planning before you go on your trip.
This is one of the few times where a little confidence can go a long way. By acting confident, you will not look like a potential victim to people. There are times you shouldn’t be afraid to make eye contact and stare someone down. You should also be ready to make a huge scene and cause lots of noise if you feel like you need to attract attention immediately. Most thieves don’t want attention or to deal with confident people. You can feel more at ease when you’re ready to act confident.
After 8 months on the road, I feel very confident about my skills to travel. You should be able to feel confident too and these travel safety tips can help you. I want you to have a great trip and making just a few plans in advance can help insure a great time on every vacation.