Even if you’re not an experienced world traveler, there are so many stories you can read about two-faced travel guides, deceitful taxi drivers, identity thefts, scams and various insincere offers of help, that you might be tempted never to hit the road again. Moreover, with so many people posting their personal information online, the risks are increasing constantly, even more when you travel.
However, in the spirit of true freedom of movement and expression, nothing should stop you if you have a wandering soul, but you do need to get very well informed about potential dangers when travelling and ways of staying safe.
Do your research before you leave
It’s wise to find the time and put in the extra effort to do your own research of your destination before you set off. Start with the hotel reviews, check out the area on Google maps and what the neighborhood is like, specifically if there are any liquor shops, gun shops or strip clubs. If so, you might want to look further.
If you’re travelling internationally, get informed about the current safety concerns of your destination country. Also, check out the typical travel scams and cons because wherever you go, there will always be someone who is ready to trick tourists for profit. Some are quite obvious but there are much more skilful and professional con-artists as well so getting forewarned means you’ll be forearmed as well and that can help you defend yourself and save your hard-earned cash.
Have a safety plan
Having a plan of action in advance is half the safety prep done. It’s smart to inform a close friend or family member where you’re going and make sure you check in occasionally with them so they know you’re safe. If possible, travel in groups, especially at night, but if you’re a solo adventurer, be smart about your movement and take all the necessary precautions to stay safe.
For instance, if the worst happens – your bag and wallet get stolen, you max out your credit card or you get sick or injured so you need to go to the hospital, you’ll need a backup plan. For all your documents and credit cards, store front-and-back copies in your Google Docs or Dropbox together with your bank phone number. Also, have a backup cash stash – at least $50 dollars hidden in some deep secret pocket in your luggage with another backup credit card.
It’s not uncommon to hear about people having accidents during their travels, and it’s not just extreme-sports-loving thrill-seekers who are at risk. Sometimes unexpected things can happen while you’re simply crossing a street in an unknown city, driving to a remote village, or cycling in the mountains.
Staying safe while you travel is a priority, but it shouldn’t stop you from having fun. Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, it’s smart to consider hiring San Jose Personal Injury Lawyers in case you end up injured. In such a case, you’ll be able to focus on your recovery and healing while they ensure you get your fair compensation. Accidents happen daily on trips whether you’re in the US or abroad, but not all accidents warrant filing a lawsuit or a claim with an insurance company. You could try winning a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney who might advise you on your rights and take the required actions to protect your claim to compensation.
Get a safety app and some safety gear
There are several safety apps available to help travellers stay safer on their trips. They typically include safety tips and ways of contacting local police and sometimes even a panic button feature. In addition to this, you might opt for carrying a travel mace or pepper spray but bear in mind you can’t take it on the plane. Either pack it in your checked luggage or buy it on the spot.
Be careful when using free public Wi-Fi
Everyone’s delighted when there’s free public Wi-Fi but this is exactly what enables thieves to hack into the personal info stored on your phone or laptop so you should avoid it but rather opt for a portable router to set up your hotspot. You’ll only need a local SIM data card which can be purchased at any electronics shop or airport stand.
Another way you can stay safe while using public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN. This is a virtual private network that encrypts your data and hides your IP address by bouncing your device’s location to somewhere else. You can also use it to access websites that are blocked in the country you’re currently in. For example, this great guide from VPN compass shows how you can unblock Pokerstars while outside of the US. So, a VPN is useful for multiple different reasons and is well worth the investment if you’ll be overseas for a while.
Leave your valuables at the hotel
When you travel, try to travel lightly and with as least amount of valuable things as you can. So many people today travel with all sorts of gadgets but the price of replacing them if anything happens is a sure indicator of how valuable these items are. Knowing how advanced new smartphones are today, it may be the only thing you will need.
Whenever you can, leave your valuables at the hotel safe but if you do need to take them, have a day bag that can carry them all – your passport, phone, medication, credit cards or any other valuable item. But, never put these things in your general backpack or checked luggage– always keep your day bag with you otherwise you may never see it again.
Staying safe on your trips is possible, you only need to follow these tips and get well prepared!