International travel brings a lot of freedom and discovery with it. Exploring a new location, soaking up all the sights and sounds, trying local cuisine – it’s all very exciting.
As the possibility of going abroad is starting to be back on the table, we’ve set out a quick refresher of what you can do to improve your personal safety when travelling.
Staying safe doesn’t mean toning down the activities you may have planned. It’s all about enhancing your knowledge of the local area and being prepared before you go.
Research your destination
The best thing you can arm yourself with before you go is knowledge. Look into the place you’ll be travelling to and find out what you can. If there are any risky areas or place where you need to keep your wits about you, make a note of them. Sometimes you’ll need to travel through these places, but being aware makes you less of a target.
Check the accommodation you’ve booked
When looking for somewhere to stay abroad, all the deals and offers on accommodation can be enticing. Pictures can look almost too good to be true at times. Before booking, check review sites to ensure the hotel, hostel or Airbnb is legitimate. If they have a reception number, calling can also prove to reassure that your accommodation exists.
Make sure you’ve had the necessary vaccines
Some places in the world require you to have vaccinations against viruses and other nasty things before you travel. You can find the required immunisations for your destination online so you can be safe when travelling. Getting sick abroad can be particularly tricky and costly.
Use different forms of currency
Having your travel money in a few different forms can be handy in a variety of situations. No one wants to be carrying large sums of money in cash, but having some notes and coins means you can still pay if there’s no card payment option. Prepaid debit cards designed for travel mean you can keep the bulk of your travel money in the bank until you need it, either making a withdrawal or paying by card.
Have travel insurance
No matter how prepared you may be, things can still go wrong. Lots of stuff is out of your control, such as your luggage getting lost or someone pinching your things while at an attraction. That’s why travel insurance exists – it can help set things right if things go wrong. As safe as you may be abroad, travel insurance adds an extra layer of protection.
By including these five points in your pre-travel plans, you will be safer abroad and be better prepared to deal with the unexpected. Remember to enjoy yourself as much as possible and remain open to new things – just stay aware of your surroundings and don’t behave like an oblivious tourist.