One of the biggest concerns that I am met with when I start talking about a new trip is that of safety. Loved ones, family and friends all get concerned with how safe a city is, what I am doing to ensure safety and how I will stay safe when traveling abroad. Sure, there are situations that can arise that are unavoidable, but with some simple techniques and tips, most can be avoided.
Most frequent travelers will tell you that they feel more likely to get mugged or to have something happen to them while they are at home than when they are on the road. In fact, a popular travel blogger has been to 60+ countries around the world and she has only ever been mugged in a suburb of Boston, her home town.
Safety is a concern. Use these tips for travel to keep you safe on your trip.
Do your research.
In many cities and countries around the world, not all taxis are safe and secure ways of transportation. In some places, scam artists and criminals will go to lengths to make their cars look like legit taxis and then will take full advantage of any travelers that are unlucky enough to get in their cars.
Many travel forums like Lonely Planet are great places to find these tips and guides to finding safe, legitimate transportation methods. For example, I arrived in Manila in the Phillippines really early in the morning and did my research about getting a taxi into the city before arriving. Luckiy, I did because a police officer tried to urge me into a “friend’s” unmarked black car instead of to the legitimate taxi stand out of sight.
Keep your valuables on you while traveling from place to place.
Keep anything of value with you, on your person and in your sight at all times. That means don’t check it on the airplane, don’t put in the luggage hold on a bus or boat, and don’t leave them in a luggage check somewhere. If you keep things with you, people will be less able to swipe them easily from your bags.
Only take what you need.
This goes for your trip in general, leave your expensive engagement ring at home. And this goes for day to day exploring. Leave your passport (unless you’re in a country that requires you to have your passport on you at all times), and other valuables that aren’t necessary to have on you. Don’t bring oodles of cash around with you. Get a lock system that you trust and that can not be broken into in the hotel/hostel and your belongings will be safely awaiting your return.
Get travel insurance.
Something that immediately needs to be budgeted for for every trip you plan is travel insurance. Do your research and find one that covers everything from lost luggage to injuries sustained during an activity in your destination country to emergency evacuation during a natural disaster. If any of these things occur, you will be stressed out as it is, and worrying about financials would only make the experience unbearable. Find an insurance that not only has great coverage but also has great customer service because having the coverage is only as good as the ability to contact the company to get the coverage when needed.