If you’re planning your first big trip out of the country, safety should be a top priority. Visiting new and unfamiliar places is fun and enriching, but travelers often face unexpected problems when they go abroad for the first time. You’ll have to change up some of your typical travel habits and focus on making smart, strategic choices that will protect you and your belongings so you can have a worry-free vacation.
As you plan excursions and pack for your trip, keep the following safety tips in mind to ensure a fun and safe vacation. With proper preparation and mindful choices, you’ll have a successful first time abroad and fall in love with traveling the globe!
- Choose a Durable Bag
Pickpocketing and theft are big concerns in a lot of popular tourist destinations. You can minimize the risk of losing your items by storing them in a secure bag and keeping them close to you as you move around the city. While you may not have had problems with your current backpack or purse on other trips, tourists regularly report that pickpockets will steal bags or cut straps from their shoulders to get their items. To prevent this, you can purchase a bag made out of slash-proof material and keep it near you at all times.
- Separate Your Money
While you can try to prevent theft by securing your items in durable bags, there is still the possibility that you will lose something important–like your money–throughout your travels. If you keep all of your money in one place, you risk the chance of losing everything you brought all at once. Instead, you should separate your money and carry portions at a time. For instance, you can carry a small amount of cash with you for the day’s purchases, leave some in your suitcase, and keep your cards in different pockets.
- Keep Backups of Your Documents
Similarly, you may want to keep backup copies of important documents in the event that you lose the originals or need convenient access. You can scan your passport and driver’s license to have digital copies of both forms of identification, which may come in handy in the event of an emergency. You may also want to keep records of any medical issues or allergies on hand in case you need medical attention and a language barrier prevents you from sharing these facts with local doctors.
- Make a List of Emergency Numbers
Emergency preparations are rarely included in vacation plans, but it can be overwhelming to handle unexpected events in unfamiliar places without proper planning. Before you arrive at your destination, look up and record emergency numbers for local police, healthcare services, and hotel options in the event that you need them.
- Pick Reliable Transportation Options
As you’re exploring new areas, it’s important that you find reliable and safe transportation methods. While familiar rideshare services like Uber are available in many different countries, their drivers may not be trained or monitored in the same ways that other transportation workers are. This lack of safety protocols can add unnecessary risk to your trip. Look for reputable public transit options and car services that can take you to and from your hotel to minimize risk and help you get around without issue.
- Update Friends & Family
Finally, it’s important that you share your plans and itinerary with your friends and family back home. This way, your loved ones will know where you are if you lose contact. In the event of an emergency, they can give authorities approximate locations based on your planned schedule to ensure that you get help.
Keep these travel safety tips in mind as you prepare for your big trip. If you anticipate problems and prepare for the worst, you can enjoy your vacation’s highlights and be confident that you can handle any trials that come your way!