Travel: How To Stay Safe When Travelling
There are many reasons why you might want to travel half way across the world.
Holidays, weddings, visiting family for example. Travel also broadens the mind, so it's easy to see why people see it as a call to adventure, and can even become obsessed with travelling and widening their horizons.
Travel can be a great deal of fun, especially if it's a voyage of self discovery or heading abroad with a good friend. Additionally, travel can also be challenging, which means that those who enjoy overcoming hurdles and squeezing the most out of each day may truly be in their element.
However, despite the amazing adventures ahead, it is important to learn how to maintain your safety and wellbeing when away from home, regardless of whether you’re traveling for work, pleasure, or simply to challenge yourself. Thankfully, it’s not rocket science, but you will need to adhere to a few sets of important and common rules that can help you.
Take a read of my tips which will help your next trip become even more enjoyable and safer
Stay In Contact
Stay in contact with your loved ones, or with your tour guides/ holiday reps. Have you tried the Postcard App? It allows you to create personal message using your own photography, or write letters, or contribute to a social media or messaging chat group that allows you seamless communication whenever you find cell phone service. It’s important to keep people up to date on your movements, no matter how solo or ‘into the wild’ you may be traveling.
After all, while you may not love traveling as part of a group, dropping off the grid helps no one, and you could end up putting yourself in danger. Additionally, make sure that your paperwork, holiday insurance and a backup means of communication are all up to date. You never know when you may rely on it.
You don't have to suffer from a medical condition to require daily medication. Managing an insect bite, sunburn, an allergic reaction, or even the usual medical care you need daily can become a little harder while traveling, no matter how used to this you are at home.
One of the best measures is to try and organise your medicines within a secure and dedicated bag within a bag, something you cannot easily misplace. Ensure it’s backed up with an extra allotment of medicine, or that you keep another pouch separate in a ziplock in your coat. Sometimes, even a GPS tracker and a corresponding app on your phone can help you locate this should it go missing. And again, adequate coverage is important to ensure that if you are in real need, you can gain the medical assistance you require promptly.
Deeply researching the environment you find yourself in is incredibly important when heading to unfamiliar areas. It could be for example that there is an upcoming festival in a certain area, meaning that tourists from all across the world will be visiting. For example, the spring carnival in Venice is known for drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Of course, it’s scenarios such as these that can attract thieves and those who wish to seek out the vulnerable. It’s important to research the areas you will be visiting. You may wish to distance yourself from the internet whilst on holiday, but using Tripadvisor or another service might help you avoid a bad stomach for example from a restaurant you may not have known had a bad reputation. Your travel wellbeing and experience can also be aided by discovering things you really shouldn’t miss, so make sure you ask the right people, make use of tourist information and weigh up your options. For example, the best way to see Venice is certainly with a gondola ride, but using a private service may help you gain a more relaxing experience.
Off The Beaten Path
Thrill seekers may feel tempted to head somewhere new or to go off the beaten path. This can be especially true when surrounded by tourists, or if you're part of a large group. You might want to get your own view of a country, or to simply explore at your own pace.
Of course, this is not always wise, especially depending on your experience of travel planning and how much you know about the location. Take the 2014 FIFA world cup as a perfect example. Hosted in Brazil, thousands upon thousands of football supporters headed to Rio De Janeiro to visit one of the main stadiums. Of course, the heavy amounts of wealth disparity in Brazil caused the city to be in the midst of a great divide, and for such a massively international event with plenty of money being spent, billboards and dividing measures, as well as security, were put in place in order to protect tourists.
However, the nearby favelas with their incredibly high rates of poverty and crime were there, and opportunistic tourists with little sense and plenty of bravado thought it worthwhile to explore the outskirts of the city. Security was tight, but controlling such a mass of people often proved difficult. Many muggings and assaults were of course reported, a perfect storm of the societal divide and the ignorance of many tourists coming together for a difficult end. This example serves as an important measure to recognise that not every country is the same, and you cannot expect it to conform to your standards. Staying aware of any local situation is important, particularly if you hope to travel out of your comfort zones.
Hopefully this advice will help you stay safe during your next adventure. Do let me know of any useful tips you have learnt when travelling