Traveling is a wonderful experience, allowing you to get a taste of other places and cultures. But being in an unfamiliar place can seem scary and dangerous. Just follow these seven safety tips to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
1. Do A LOT of research
Before you book any hotels or plan excursions, so plenty of background research on the establishment. Book places that already have a lot of positive reviews.
2. Share your itinerary with someone back home
Prior to departure, give someone you trust a detailed itinerary of your trip. Check in with them every once in a while by sending a quick e-mail to let them know you are safe and still traveling according to your plan. It’s also very important when travelling out of the country to notify the state department where you will be going, and check in with the local embassy when you arrive.
3. Separate Your Money
Never keep your cash and credit cards in the same place. Store credit cards in a separate pocket or wallet from where you keep your spending money. Carry some cash with you, and leave the rest in a secure place in your luggage or a safe. Keep some cash in your wallet, and leave some in a zippered pocket in your luggage or another safe location.
4. Contact your bank
Speaking of credit cards, make sure to let your bank know you’re leaving the country before you get on the plane. Call your credit card company and let them know where you are going and for how long, so that they don’t place a freeze on your account when they see out of the country charges.
5. Scan your passport and important items
Before leaving home, scan a digital copy of your passport and any other important items. Email a copy of the scans to yourself so that you can access them anywhere. Print out a copy, and carry it with you in country rather than your actual passport, if you have a safe place to lock up the passport.
6. Note emergency numbers
When traveling, keep a list of local emergency numbers and addresses on you. This should include police, ambulance, your embassy, a safe cab company and hotel contact information.
7. Know where you are going, and avoid shortcuts
Have a map or GPS app available, and figure out where you are going before heading out into a strange city. Do research on areas to avoid for safety reasons, and always maintain awareness of your surroundings. Always take known transportation; never accept rides from strangers. Whatever you do, do not be out alone after dark in an unfamiliar area!