When people prepare for a holiday in their own country, they need to think about transport, documentation, and packing. Their vacation will probably involve them speaking their own language, using their own currency, and being in familiar territory.
When it’s a trip abroad, however, it can be more daunting. There may be more things to pack and think about and potentially more risks. Perhaps you are preparing to travel overseas, and want to make sure you are kept safe. We’ll now discuss some of the hazards you might encounter and provide some helpful tips.
The Various Safety Hazards You Should Prepare For When Traveling Overseas
Issues On The Roads
If you plan to drive abroad, it’s important that you fully learn and understand the road rules. Perhaps you will be driving on the opposite side, and sitting in a different front seat. Another example is that the rights of way differ between England and France. As with roads anywhere, there will always be an element of risk. If you think of different types of car accidents, they will often include drunk driving or distracted motorists, or speeding and aggressive drivers. These incidents often end up affecting multiple vehicles.
Should you plan on using a hire car or bike, there could be issues should it become damaged. For this reason, it’s important to take out travel insurance before you go abroad.
It’s obviously safer to travel as a group in Europe than it is to go backpacking alone in Vietnam. Check the internet for any weather warnings such as fires, monsoons, or tsunamis.
Also research the economic and political status of the destination, to make sure you don’t end up in the middle of an uprising or coup.
Once again you should check this out beforehand. Beware of ‘no go’ areas with high unemployment, drugs, gangs, and criminal activity. On arrival, ask your host for local guidance as well.
It’s generally safer to stay in established hotels than in hostels with broken locks and poor security. Be sure that you won’t need to be walking late at night in isolated areas. Getting drunk could make you more at risk of getting lost, robbed, or locked out of your accommodation.
If a stranger asks you to carry something for them at the customs, refuse to do so. Never let anyone you don’t know carry your cases either.
Don’t use a taxi or unmarked car that is parked nearby. The safest option would be to ask your hotel to call a local taxi company for you.
Looking Like A Tourist
Try and avoid this ‘easy target’ image. Don’t flash your money, jewelry, and electrical goods when you walk around. If you stand in the main square staring at your map, a criminal could exploit the situation. Never confirm to a stranger that this is your first visit, or say where you are staying.
Keep your money and important documents in a money belt, and never in a back pocket.
Unsafe Food And Drink
It’s common for people to have upset stomachs when traveling in some countries. A glance at open markets with flies circling over meat can be hugely disconcerting! Try and eat at popular places, especially where the locals go.
You will need to have checked in advance whether the tap water is drinkable. If not, bring your own filtered water bottle.
If you have public profiles on social media, never post your holiday snaps while you’re still abroad. They could be an open invitation for burglars to break into your home and steal.
Whilst on holiday, be careful where you stand taking pictures. Windy cliff edges can be risky (think of the times people say to someone, ‘Back a bit!’), as can wild animals.
Keep your possessions safely locked at your accommodation. Many hotels have somewhere secure for your more important items. If you have taken out travel insurance in advance this should cover you, should your baggage get lost or stolen.
Keep copies of your credit cards, driving license, passport, and visa should they go missing. Store photos of them on your phone as well. Some travelers carry false wallets with them. They should hold enough cash to look authentic and may protect you from losing your real one. Should the unthinkable happen, however, shout for help but never resist the thief’s demands.
As we have learned, it’s important to research everything before you go. Also, speak to anyone you know who’s already been there. Let people at home know your itinerary and contact details. Never travel alone if possible, and carry a whistle to use as an alarm.