Traveling is all about making great memories. However, nothing can ruin those memories quite as severely as getting into trouble during your trip.
While traveling — especially abroad — can be very thrilling and adventurous, it can also be dangerous in one way or another, no matter where you go. From unexpected health issues to getting scammed, there are many things that could potentially sour your long-awaited vacation.
Fortunately, there are quite a few precautions you can take to make sure you take nothing but great memories away from your vacation. In this article, we’ll share 7 essential tips that will help you stay safe during your travels.
1. Don’t Attract Unnecessary Attention
The saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” may be cliché, but it’s still as true as ever. And it doesn’t only apply to Rome! Whether you are traveling to a foreign country or domestically, the first safety precaution to take is to make sure you blend in with the locals.
Tourists often become victims of scams and other unfortunate incidents because they often look and act like tourists. As such, you should try to avoid doing that. Depending on your destination, this may include ditching the flashy clothes and jewelry or simply adopting a nonchalant attitude to blend in with the locals.
In other words, standing in the middle of a street with a big camera to take a picture of a famous landmark might not be the best course of action. Instead, try to observe how the locals act and mimic their behavior.
2. Keep Your Valuables Safe
We’re not saying that if you go outside of your hotel in a foreign country you will automatically become a victim of robbery. However, it may also not be a good idea to keep your valuables on you at all times.
After all, anything can happen — including you simply losing them. That’s why you should keep all your valuables safe. These include cash, personal documents, and expensive devices, among other things.
The best place to leave them would be your hotel room — preferably, inside the hotel room safe.
In fact, having access to a safe should be one of your key prerequisites when choosing accommodation. From Los Angeles hotels to Scottsdale hotels, hotels in New York City, Prague, or Manila, be sure to check whether there is a safe available for you to store your valuables before you make a booking.
3. Practice Personal Hygiene
Safety while traveling is not only about your personal belongings — it’s also about your health. And if the COVID-19 pandemic taught the travelers anything, it’s that keeping a few face masks on you along with a bottle of hand sanitizer is never a bad idea.
Avoid partaking in food or beverages of questionable origin and be sure to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Depending on who you ask, getting a flu or a stomach bug while on vacation would be more devastating than getting robbed.
Fortunately, you can avoid that by practicing simple personal hygiene!
4. Drink Responsibly
Let’s be clear: you should always drink responsibly, not just when you’re traveling.
However, it’s especially easy to get carried away with the cocktails on the beach or the local wine in a picturesque tavern. We’re not saying that you should deny yourself the fun — but you should do it responsibly.
Whenever you go out for drinks while traveling, be sure to eat well and drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Also, keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times and don’t get involved in questionable activities.
5. Ask the Locals for Advice
Nobody knows the place you’re headed to better than the locals, so feel free to ask them for advice on how to stay safe during your trip. The best idea is to do it in advance so that you can learn all about the specifics of what life is like in your destination.
Websites such as Reddit or Quora could be a great place to start. You can use them to learn about the common scams in the place you’re going to, what neighborhoods and areas you should avoid, and what the local customs and laws are.
Alternatively, if you haven’t had the chance to do your research in advance, you can always consult with the locals upon arrival. Your best bet would be to ask the staff of your hotel, who are usually open and transparent with their guests.
6. Keep Your Friends & Family in the Loop
Whenever you go away for a trip or a vacation, there should always be someone who is up to date with your itinerary and plans. This could be someone from your family or a friend.
The point is, it is important to keep someone in the loop about the places you’re going to visit or the things you’re going to do. Even more importantly, you should stay in touch with them throughout your trip and let them know if you get in any trouble.
7. Master Situational Awareness
The seventh and final tip we’d like to share with you is something that requires a little bit of practice but will ultimately help you avoid getting into any trouble whatsoever during your travels.
We’re talking about situational awareness — which is more formal term for simply keeping your guard up at all times and being aware of your surroundings.
Now, this may sound like something very obvious and simple, but you’d be surprised to find out how easy it is to get distracted while sightseeing and not notice in a timely manner that your wallet had gone missing.
Ultimately, situational awareness comes down to paying attention to the people around you and keeping your distance if any of them seem suspicious. While meeting new people from a different culture is always very exciting, you never know whether their intentions towards you are pure — especially if you clearly come off as a tourist.
That’s why you should master your sense of situational awareness and apply it together with the other tips we’ve shared.
As long as you do your best to blend in with the locals, keep your belongings and health in check, know all about the place you’re headed to, and generally stay responsible, you’ll be able to avoid getting into any and only make the most amazing travel memories instead!