Travelling is great, isn’t it? We love nothing more than visiting a new destination and exploring and eating our way around it. Taking around 12 trips per year, we have over the 12 years we have been travelling together certainly racked up the countries we’ve visited. It is vital that we stay safe when travelling. Even though we travel as a couple, that does not mean we are safer than solo travellers. And we also certainly don’t buy into the whole women shouldn’t travel alone rubbish.
Being sensible and using your common sense is the key regardless of who you are, where you travel or who you travel with. Some countries are less safe than others, that’s a fact. Therefore, you need to weigh up how you feel about visiting. However, even some of the ‘safest’ cities in the world still have dodgy areas that shouldn’t be visited after dark.
We have also over the years taken a number of road trips including The Great Ocean Road in Australia, the Pacific Coast Highway in California, Highway 1 in Iceland and of course here at home in the UK. The first time we hired a car abroad, I was worried. Different countries have different rules of the road. What if we had an accident? What if we injured ourselves and we couldn’t continue our holiday? Or worse still hurt someone else?
We always ensure we have an adequate level of insurance should the worst happen. However, should the unthinkable happen it’s also important to ensure you have legal representation in mind, a firm such as DPP Solicitors will be able to assist should you be the victim of personal injury or even commit a crime yourself. Obviously, this is the worst case scenario, but being prepared is a must.
Do your research
Research is vital, especially when it comes to what the local cultures, rules and laws are. Also, learn what may be deemed offensive in the place you are visiting to ensure that you do not (accidentally) provoke someone. Also, read up on scams that are prevalent in the area you are visiting so you can spot the warning signs straight away if one is tried on you.
Only take what you need
Make a list of the essentials and stick to it – the less you take, the less you have that can be stolen. Also, do you really need to travel with expensive jewellery and gadgets? If so, don’t forget to utilise your hotel room safe (if it has one). Don’t carry a large amount of cash, or at least don’t flash it about in public. I always use a cross body bag to reduce the likelihood of a bag snatch.
The photocopier is your friend
Take a few copies of all key travel documents including your passport together with any credit/debit/prepaid cards (front and back) that you are travelling with. Keep one set in your luggage, one in your hotel room safe (again if it has one) and one on you (if possible). Then if anything gets stolen you can take the copies to the local embassy – it could speed up the process of replacement. Also, leave copies of your itinerary with friends/family back home so they know where you should be and when.
Keep your wits about you
It’s easy to become engrossed when sightseeing but it’s more important to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour around you, especially if a group of strangers try and talk to you – an old pickpocketing trick! A great way to say safe when travelling is to plan your route before you take it, where possible and carry a paper map with you, should you get lost. Using an app on your phone may attract the attention of someone looking to snatch it. If you are subject to a criminal act, report it immediately.
Try to blend in
Try to blend in as much as possible, tourists are more likely to be targeted than locals. It’s always a good idea, when possible, to learn a few basic words of the local language. This may help if asked a question or if you have to ask a question.
Do you have any helpful tips to add to the list?
Of course, as travellers, we want to experience the local culture of our destination. However, it is paramount that we stay safe when travelling. Therefore, we hope that our list has helped you prepare for your next adventure. Safe travels!
- Collaborative Post