The travel industry is a highly competitive one and with a multitude of travel agents offering numerous affordable specials and discounts, it has now become even more accessible than ever before.
However, many budding tourists fail to adequately research some of the potential risks associated with visiting foreign destinations. Often a fleeting moment of complacency can turn the adventure of a lifetime into a real-life nightmare.
Some important safety tips for those that have been bitten by the travel bug, include:
Make electronic copies of important documentation
Before you leave the house ensure that you have scanned copies of all important documentation, particularly your passport. Keep these copies on you at all times, and save them on a laptop at home so that someone can email them to you in the event of an emergency. The last thing anyone needs is to get stranded in a foreign country without their passport.
Do the research
Budding travellers need to research as much information as possible about their intended destination, including: the best places to eat, sleep, and shop. You should also prepare a detailed itinerary that includes travel plans and accommodation. Try to keep this as private as possible, only keeping close friends and family in the loop so that they know where you will be and how to reach you. Get travel insurance so that in the unlikely event that you get injured while in a foreign country, you’ll be able to get effective assistance without having to break the bank. Finally, visit your doctor and make sure that you get vaccinated for your destination if required.
Once you’ve touched down at your destination, learn to be extremely cautious with your personal valuables, documents and belongings. Tourists are usually easy targets for criminals as they tend to stand out from the locals and carry more items on them. Keep your wallet where you can see and feel it at all times – don’t make the mistake of putting it in your back pocket as this makes you an easy target for pick-pockets. Don’t keep all your money, credit cards, or travellers cheques together as this can lead to a catastrophic situation if it all goes missing.
If you’re going to be traveling with a large amount of cash, consider keeping a small ‘dummy’ wallet with just a small portion of your money so that if your items are stolen, you haven’t lost it all.
One of the best ways to make your way around safely is to ask someone reputablewhere the safest areas are, such as hotel managers or airport information desks. Try your hardest to stick to these areas, especially at night. Use public transportation and officially marked taxis to get around safely and minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime. Remember that scammers may try to lure you into their vehicles by posing as taxi drivers.
Taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes
Eat local food, but be wary of how it’s prepared. Street vendors offer a unique and affordable window into foreign cuisine, but if you’re not careful you might find yourself with more than just a full stomach. Again, try asking a reputable local where the best eats are and give your taste buds their own adventure. Just be sure to have a balance and treat your body well or you might end up spending your trip in bed.
Ensure that you have an unforgettable holiday for all the right reasons by following these travel tips that will be sure to adequately prepare you for your trip of a lifetime. Remember to keep an open mind and make memories by immersing yourself in the different cultures that our fascinating world has to offer.