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If you have decided to embark on your next solo travel adventure, the chances are that you are feeling those pangs of panic set in. You may have traveled before and you might have enjoyed immersing yourself in new cultures, trying new cuisine and marveling at new vistas, but staying safe has always been a concern of yours. While you can be as vigilant as possible, it can be hard to stay one hundred percent safe at all times.
Being safe means protecting your money, keeping your gadgetry away from prying hands and ensuring that your personal safety is not compromised. Having a wanderlust itch that needs scratching may mean that you hot foot it to destinations that are not renowned for the safety of travelers. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go, but it does mean that you need to be more conscious of your own security. Read on to discover how you can stay safe while traveling.
If you are heading to a country that doesn’t have English as an official language, it’s important that you learn some of the languages before you set foot on a plane. Having the basic greetings under your belt alongside some phrases that you might need in an emergency situation could help you feel more confident about communicating with locals overseas. Learning the language of a country that you are traveling to also helps locals to warm to you more. They will see that you have made the effort to immerse yourself on a more meaningful level rather than simply shouting at them in English. Be a responsible traveler and learn how to ask for a doctor or for help. Hopefully, you won’t ever need to use it, but it’s great to know.
There are plenty of destinations that are ready for tourists. Countries like China, for example, have wonders of the world that people from all over the globe flock to. This means that, while there are plenty of exceptional official tours to the Great Wall of China available from Beijing, there will also be plenty of scam artists advertising poorly designed tours. This could mean that you end up on a substandard coach tour. The vehicles used are substandard and you may even find yourself with a dodgy driver resulting in an accident. This may mean that you need to utilize your insurance and seek the services of bus accident attorneys. If you are going for an organized tour, check out any company that you are looking to do business online and pay a little extra for a tour with a great reputation.
You could always opt for a self-planned excursion. While there won’t be safety in numbers with an official guide, you can still navigate your way safely across a foreign land. Stick to official transport and never get into an unregistered taxi. Keep your wits about you, have your smartphone charged up, and you should stay safe.
While you may have a hostel room with a lockable safe, many people still prefer to keep their personal belongings with them at all times. This is a sound strategy. Make use of discrete money belts that you can keep hidden under your clothes. You can keep your passport, documentation and cash in there.
When you come to pack for your trip overseas, stick to a front-loading backpack rather than a hard backed wheelie suitcase. These aren’t practical and you will need to put them into the hold of any flight. This can increase the chances of your luggage getting lost, and it wastes time when you land at your destination. Keeping your belongings with you at all times, using appropriate locks and keeping your gadgetry to hand should help you to stay safe.
Forget about going down unofficial routes to withdraw cash. While you might get a better exchange rate, you also run the risk of your card being cloned or skimmed meaning that your personal and confidential details and financial information could end up in the hands of fraudsters. You don’t want your trip to be ruined because all of a sudden you find that your account has been wiped out.
If you are part of an organized tour, or even if you are a solo traveler staying in hostels, try and stay close with a group when out at night. Even the safest tourist destinations can take on a different vibe when night falls. If you head to a nightclub, keep an eye on your drink, don’t get too tipsy and be responsible. Yes, you can have a good time, but you need to stay in control. Don’t head home alone and always stick with somebody else so you are never alone in a strange place. Keep your drinks to bottles and never leave it unattended for your own personal safety.
While you like to think of yourself as a kind-hearted and caring individual, if you see something untoward going on, don’t be like a bull in a china shop and rush into a dangerous situation. Call law enforcement and go and get help. You don’t have to try and play the hero in an effort to halt a bad situation. And if you find yourself on the receiving end of a dangerous encounter, do what the perpetrator asks. If they want your camera, give it to them. You are better being alive and without some photos rather than not here at all. If you find yourself in real danger, forget screaming. Shout ‘Fire!’ It always gets people’s attention.
Traveling alone needn’t be scary. It should be one of the most life-affirming experiences you ever get the chance to undertake. Plan your next trip to scratch that wanderlust itch and enjoy hot-footing it across the world. Follow this guide and make sure that you stay safe on your next travel adventure.