Amid the frenzy that seems to accompany getting ready for a trip, general safety oftentimes gets overlooked. Perhaps you’ve never traveled abroad or are unsure of the precautions you should take. No need to worry — here are the basics for making sure that your trip goes off without a hitch.
Blend In. William Nader, avid traveler to Puerto Rico, France and Spain, recommends researching your destination and its culture before you leave home. Wearing clothing from your own culture, such as tennis shoes or carrying a large backpack, will only make you an easier target to spot. By embracing your travel abroad and trying to learn the laws and customs of the country you are visiting, you can ensure your trip will only run that much more smoothly.
Watch Your Wallet. When traveling, it is essential to always be aware of your money and to avoid keeping your wallet or purse in a place where a pickpocket could easily swipe it. Make sure you’re aware of how much money you have on you, and don’t carry around a lot of access cash. The front pocket of your jeans or a satchel that you can wear under your clothing would be ideal.
Protection in Pairs. When in a new place, it’s important to be attentive to your surroundings and never let your guard down, Nader says. When traveling at night, make sure you are with at least one other person — especially if you’re not already in a group. It may be cliché, but there is something to be said about safety in numbers.
Hotel Hazards. When staying in a hotel, always keep your door locked, especially at night. Never ride in an elevator by yourself, and always be cautious if anyone suspicious is on board or if you feel uneasy. Don’t leave valuables openly displayed in your hotel room when you leave either, and always let someone know when you are going to be returning if you are going out at night.
On the Road. It is beneficial to familiarize yourself with your travel route before you leave. When using public transportation, be aware of the passengers around you, as systematic robberies are common. If you are on a long train or bus ride, sleep in shifts if traveling with a group to ensure that your possessions are constantly being accounted for.