The world has gone crazy for traveling as if wanderlust has suddenly become a pandemic that has changed everything. Go on Instagram and about 81% of images are people traveling and 86% of profiles are people trying to convince the world their exploits are worth following. That is one side of the coin. The other, the more business side, has seen leaders panic, scrambling to adjust to this brave new world as top talent look for places that offer them to work remotely.
Of course, it is not hard to see why this pandemic has become so prolific – it is the most amazing thing anyone can do with their time. The chance to expand your horizons. It gives you the chance to see the world you have a God-given right to explore. It gives you the chance to be left speechless before becoming a storyteller that everyone will stare at in total disbelief. As a quick Google search of ‘travel quotes’ will attest, “To travel is to live”.
But for all the goodness that can be squeezed from the fruit of traveling there is one big, fat, ominous dark cloud that hangs over the whole experience and that is staying safe while abroad. So, without further ado, here are our top tips and tricks to staying as safe as possible while having an absolute ball while hopping across whatever islands you have chosen to hop across.
Make Copies Of Absolutely Everything
The more prepared you are on this front them more ready you will be should anything happen. That means making copies of your passport, your medical insurance certificates, any credit or debit cards you are taking with you, your itinerary, your car hire documents, the names and addresses of any accommodation you have booked and all the phone numbers you could possibly need – emergency contact numbers, friends, family, travel buddies and next of kin. Once you have done this, make sure you use these copies wisely. Keep one set in your luggage, one in your wallet, give one to a friend back home, and another set well away from where you are keeping the originals. It is also a good idea to scan these and then email them to yourself so that there is a copy stored on that unbreakable thing known as The Internet.
Don’t Make Anything But Good Choices
One of the best traveling experiences going is partying abroad. It is getting stuck into the local festivities – the local culture – and enjoying the way they fiesta. That said, you need to be more cautious than ever. What do we mean by this? A lot of things, in all honesty. It means not drawing any kind of negative attention to yourself. Don’t get so drunk that you have no idea whether you are looking at the sun or the moon. Don’t take a taxi by yourself. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know (and don’t leave your drink unattended. Oh, and most of all, don’t mess around with drugs while you are abroad. This isn’t just because you have no idea what is in them or what effect they will have on your health, but because nothing can ruin a month traveling around Peru more than a five-year stint in a Peruvian jail.
Research What The Transport Is Like
Go to Naples, and you’ll realize how testing driving a hire car can be. Head to Maputo, and you’ll learn how hair-raising a minibus ride can be (there seemed to be no rules on which side of the road to drive). Go to India and a train journey can be as terrifying as stepping into a lion’s den. Head to Thailand, and you’ll hear all sorts of warnings about taking a taxi. Sure, you may know Stephen Babcock handles car accident cases – you could even have his number on speed dial – but it is so much better if you are aware of where the dangers are so that you can take an alternative mode of transport. Not every country enforces the same safety ratings as ours, or the same rules and regulations. Remember that.
Don’t Pose As An Easy Target
If you were able to locate an ex-con and ask them what their most trusted tactic was during their time in the game, they would tell you that it was all about going for the easiest victims they could find. Thieves always go for targets that seem out of their depth, the ones that have their head in the clouds and seem a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. That is why you need to portray yourself as someone in the know. Make sure you are paying attention. That means having your head up, your eyes on swivels, keeping a lookout for any suspicious activity, a lock on your backpack and your things well and truly out of hand’s reach. If you look like a tourist then you look like a target. This is especially true in places like Barcelona and Italy where petty crime is always reported as high.
Nothing Please Locals More Than Going Local
The more you make an effort to embrace their way of life the better they will treat you. That is why you should make as much effort as you can when it comes to the locals. Learn a few phrases, ask them how to say certain things, chat with the waitresses, clerks, taxi drivers and shop assistants in their local language and show that you are trying your best to not be a brash tourist that thinks everyone should speak English. It could be that you ask them how they are, or their name, where they are from, have they ever been to America, what their favorite football team is, how many children they have, anything. By making an effort with them they will make an effort with you, and that can go a long way when you are abroad. It could be they invite you over for dinner, give you some advice on where to go and where to avoid, or even give you the name of a hotel that their friend owns – a friend who will give them a discount. Showing respect for people when abroad is a great strategy to embrace.