How to Stay Safe While on Holiday
Vacationing is exciting. Visiting different places and seeing exotic locales is a thrill that many people save for years to be able to experience. However, in any new place you visit, there are always dangers lurking around every corner. Being able to spot those dangers and avoid them is the best way to ensure your vacation is a fun and fulfilling one. Here are ten tips to keep you safe on your next getaway.
Know Where To Go (And Where NOT To)
There’s probably an area of your hometown that you avoid because it’s “not the safest neighborhood.” Most cities have areas like this. They’re run down, rampant with crime, and nowhere for a vacationer to be visiting. Before you board that plane, research the city or country you’re going to so that you can know where not to visit while away.
Let Others Know Your Plans
The best protection is others knowing where you are. Leave your friends or a loved one a copy of your travelling itinerary, where you plan to visit, and other information on the pre-planned portion of your trip. It’s also a good idea to check in with them fairly regularly, either by text or email. Just make sure to establish a safe word in your communications so they don’t fall victim to a scammer!
Take A Photo Of Your Passport
As well as your driver’s license and other important documents. Bring printouts with you and leave them in your hotel. Also make digital copies available to yourself outside of your cell phone, either in a cloud-based storage or by emailing them to yourself. If you lose your passport, these photos will make it easier to work with an embassy to have your passport replaced.
Keep Your Hotel Room Safe
Most hotels are fairly safe, with employees who will report suspicious persons around. However, utilize the safety measures your room itself has to offer. Use the lock and dead-bolt when you’re in your room, and keep the windows shut when going out. Also, if your hotel offers an in-room safe, use it to store the valuables you won’t be taking that day.
Practice Situational Awareness
Bad things often happen to us when we let our guard down. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t let your valuables out of your sight, and be sure to keep your luggage with you at all times. It’s not only that something can be easily taken from you, but also that something can be slipped onto you.
Avoid Large Amounts Of Cash
Cash makes transactions easy, but it also makes you a target. Use credit cards as often as possible; just be sure to alert your bank or issuing entity that you are travelling so they don’t lock the cards for fraudulent activity. If you need to travel with cash, take small amounts with you each day, and avoid flashing wads of cash in crowded areas.
Many thieves in foreign countries can easily spot tourists, so try not to look like a tourist. Plan your route before you leave your hotel each day to avoid using maps or having to ask for directions. Try not to carry bulky backpacks and avoid wearing clothing that differs wildly from your destination. Also, men should carry their wallets in their front pocket to be less of a target for pickpockets, and women should carry purses with long steps to wear across their chests to deter purse snatchers.
Use Licensed Public Transportation
Many countries boast amazing public transportation services like buses and trains, and these make moving about foregin cities much easier. However, crowded trains or buses late at night can be sketchy, so know the best times to take the transport, as well as the best stations to embark and disembark.
If you need to take a cab, make sure it’s licensed. If you’re hailing a cab and a car pulls up with a rusted through fender and no official paperwork from the issuing government, take the bus instead.
Utilize Tour Groups
If you’re travelling by yourself and feel uncomfortable going about the city alone, find and join a tour group. This will allow you to explore the city among the safety of others. The guides running these tours are also knowledgeable about their cities, so you can even ask them for tips or other places to visit during your stay.
Learn The Common Scams
The best way to not get scammed is to know how the scammers work. From high-end knock-offs in New York to the shoe-shine scammers in New Orleans, knowing the scams that tricksters run in the area you’re in will help you to avoid them.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many variables to travelling, it would be difficult to name all of the ways you could face danger on a vacation. But the information in the S.A.F.E. Saves Lives training course will arm you with the knowledge and skills to allow you to avoid those potential threats. S.A.F.E. also offers a variety of personal safety gadgets to fend off possible attackers. So while traveller’s insurance is the investment you make in your transportation and your belongings, S.A.F.E. Saves Lives is the investment you make in your well being.