Traveling can be an extremely rewarding experience full of new friends, new adventures and the all-important opportunity to find out more about who you are or who you want to be. Many people find taking some time out to travel changed their view on life and ultimately who they are.
Despite the incredible feeling of freedom travelling can provide many experienced travellers will tell you that it comes with its own challenges and difficulties. We’ve put together twelve tips on how to stay safe when you travel so you can get on with enjoying the experience.
1. Plan your journey
Knowing how much a taxi ride should cost before getting in is a good idea for solo and group travellers. Ask the driver the price before you get in the cab and have a rough idea at least of how long the trip will take and any landmarks you might be passing by. If you have an up to date guide then this information should be in there. If not then ask other travellers and people local to the area.
2. Learn about the culture
One way to not stick out when travelling is to learn about the culture you are visiting. Get to know the customs and a bit of the language. This is not only polite but will help towards not looking like a tourist.
3. Dress appropriately
What you wear can be an advert of how much money you have. Wearing designer clothes, flashy watches and jewellery may get you a lot of unwanted attention. If you want to blend in then toning down your attire should help.
4. Don’t flash the cash
Equally flashing gadgets such as an iPhone, iPad, Laptop, expensive camera etc. may get you noticed more than you would like. In some areas these things are common place but in others they mean money so being discrete is definitely advised.
5. Carry cash
It may seem a little unexpected but carrying a small amount of cash can help get you out of awkward situations. If you feel uncomfortable then why not jump into a cab, shop or restaurant. A little cash will get you a coffee while things calm down outside.
6. Be ready to communicate
There are a number of ways you can communicate on the go these days. Whether it is texts, calls, email or instant message it is advised to keep a mobile phone or call card on you where ever you go. Keep this in a separate place to any other valuables and somewhere you can get too easily.
7. Make sure someone knows where you are
Keeping up to date with family and friends is a great way not only for you to feel safer but for the people who care about you to feel you’re safe also. Most hostels these days can provide access to the internet or guide you to a local internet café. With the popularity of social media there isn’t much excuse to not keep people informed.
8. Don’t tell too much
One of the great things about travelling solo is being free from you’re at home life. Though meeting people is part of the experience be careful how much information you provide before getting to know them fully. If you feel like someone is trying to find out too many important details about you then steer the conversation onto another subject.
9. Get to know people
As mentioned earlier meeting people is all part of the experience of travelling. Hearing people’s stories and talking about your own experiences is a great way to make new friends and learn more about the areas you are in or you might want to visit. It is also a good chance to plan trips with other people and have a bit of company when in some of the more dangerous areas.
10. Copy documents
Losing your passport or travel documents is no laughing matter when abroad. It can mean hours of your time are taken up calling the people who need to know or waiting around to receive the relevant forms. Of course it is a stressful situation that can happen to anyone. One of the best ways to cut the level of stress involved is to keep a copy of your important documents somewhere safe away from the originals. This could be in a locker if you are staying in one place or in a separate bag or pocket for those of you on the move.
11. Arrange your money
For anyone wishing to travel abroad one of the must haves is a bank card with access to money. It doesn’t have to be a fortune but having that little bit extra put aside for emergencies can help get you out of trouble. Also keep your bank card away from your cash or other cards. This means if you somehow lose your wallet then you will still have a way of getting by.
12. Know where you live
It may sound obvious but not keeping the address and contact details of the hostel you are staying in is quite common. These details are very important as your hostel is not only a safe place for you to sleep but also is a source of local knowledge. If you get lost your hostel staff may be able to guide you back.
Of course the most important thing is to enjoy it and get the most out of your experience. Make sure you create memories that will stay with you for a life time. If you are planning to go travelling you may want to know how to save money as you do so. If so this article may interest you.