Top 5 Tips For Safe Travelling
Image: Kevin Hale
Every year millions of people travel around the globe safely regardless of their age, location, or gender. However, everyone has heard horror stories of people having their belongings stolen, being assaulted, and running in with corrupt police and immoral business owners. Common sense will keep most people safe, but there are some simple steps everyone should take when travelling.
Yes, it’s boring. And yes, you may get home and realize you never really needed it on your adventure, but you have to remember that buying insurance is buying peace of mind, and that can’t be undervalued. If you’re travelling with a laptop or smartphone – so many people are these days – it is definitely worth buying specialist electronic goods insurance rather than relying on these gadgets being covered by another policy. It can be bought relatively cheaply and is a must have along with medical insurance. If you are booking through a travel company and they offer you insurance, it may be worth opting out as it can easily be organised online at a cheaper price.
4. Dress down
If you are travelling, especially to romantic locations, you want to look your best. Dressing well doesn’t cause major problems in most places as almost every culture is used to seeing wealthy individuals – some exceptions would include places where kidnapping is rife – but this does not mean that wearing expensive jewellery is a good idea when travelling. You’ve probably heard the story of the woman in South Africa who lost her wedding ring (and finger) to a pair of pliers while on honeymoon. If you plan on staying exclusively in safe havens and cultivated gardens, then by all means wear something from Watches of Switzerland, but otherwise, just use something practical.
Image: David Dennis
3. But not too much…
Image: Alex Proimos
Getting dress right is such an important part of travel if you want to engage with the locals. If you wander through some parts of the southern United States wearing ripped jeans, a beard, and long-greasy hair, you could bring hippie-hating trouble your way. Similarly, if you wear combat trousers to some south Asian countries, you could confuse the locals who may not understand why you are wearing military fatigues. Dressing in a smart but non-flashy fashion can put off a lot of potential criminals who might wish to either find a rich person or a person unlikely to be missed.
2. Leave a paper trail
It sounds dull, and unadventurous, but sending a simple email to a family member at home, letting them know where you are and where you plan to go is just common sense, especially when travelling alone. Also, it is worth taking photocopies of your passport, driving licence, and any insurance information and storing them amongst your belongings. They could end up being the only way for you to prove who you are. Also, note down the addresses of local embassies/consulates you might need to visit in an emergency.
1. Drink responsibly
Image: Rodrigo Menezes
So many of the problems that occur when people travel – especially students – happen when too much alcohol has been consumed and either belongings are lost or local populations are aggravated by the behaviour of the drunken individual. People get lost, or take lifts from people they shouldn’t, or even end up getting tattoos that say ‘free spirit’ in Chinese – a terrible tragedy. To make a pact with yourself to be responsible with alcohol is the No 1 tip for travelling. You’ll increase your safety levels at the same time as saving money!