10 Travel Safety Tips to Help You Stay Safe Abroad (Updated 2023)

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A solo hiker climbing the hills on scenic New Zealand on a beautiful day
Posted: 12/15/23 | December fifteenth, 2023

Staying protected on the street is a high concern for….nicely, everybody. No one needs to get scammed, damage, or sick on the street. No one needs to get robbed.

And, when you find yourself going someplace you could have by no means been earlier than, it’s regular be cautious. You don’t know what to anticipate or methods to play it protected. There’s numerous unknowns.

While each nation on this planet is completely different, there’s some commonplace practices and customary guidelines you should utilize to remain protected while you journey. Some of those guidelines are widespread sense, some have been sadly realized from first hand expertise!

Here are my 10 security ideas to make sure all the things goes easily while you journey:

 

1. Learn about widespread scams

While scams are uncommon, they’re on the market, ready for unwitting vacationers to stumble into them. Most will solely price you a couple of dollars and a little bit of embarrassment, however others can fleece you. Be positive to learn up in your vacation spot to see if there are any widespread scams to pay attention to.

On my first journey to Thailand I used to be scammed a number of instances on my first day. It was just some bucks, fortuitously, however it was nonetheless awkward and unsightly. Since that journey, I’ve all the time made positive to be vigilant and analysis scams earlier than I journey.

Common journey scams embody taxis not utilizing their meter as a result of it’s “broken,” individuals making an attempt to rope you into signing a petition (after which demanding a donation), or individuals promoting pretend (or overpriced) tickets to points of interest.

Review this record of widespread scams earlier than you go so that you just’re prepared for no matter is thrown your method.

2. Buy journey insurance coverage

One of the very first issues I do as soon as I guide a visit is purchase journey insurance coverage. I do know, it’s not a enjoyable a part of journey planning and it’s a boring factor to learn (and write) about. But shopping for insurance coverage early ensures I’m lined in case I must cancel my journey, if my flight is canceled or delayed, and rather more.

For simply over a greenback per day you get peace of thoughts, realizing that, ought to one thing go fallacious, you gained’t need to cope with it (or pay for it) alone.

I by no means go away residence with out journey insurance coverage. You shouldn’t both.

If you’re on a finances, SafetyWing is my go-to firm for reasonably priced plans.

If you’re actually involved and need somebody to name in an emergency, take a look at Medjet.

Medjet has a safety response membership, MedjetHorizon, with 24/7 safety groups prepared to assist (and extract you if vital). It may also get you moved residence should you’re hospitalized. Most journey insurance policy simply transfer you to the closest hospital, however Medjet will get you to your most well-liked facility in your house nation, no questions requested.

If you need to study extra, you’ll be able to learn my full evaluation of Medjet right here.

You can get a Medjet quote right here (there are tremendous reasonably priced short-term and annual memberships).

For extra info on journey insurance coverage, right here’s a listing of all my beneficial journey insurance coverage firms.

3. Know what your insurance coverage will and won’t do

Before you permit residence, learn over your insurance coverage coverage once more. Every firm is completely different, so it’s good to know precisely what’s and isn’t lined.

For instance, many vacationers assume that in the event that they break their leg overseas, their insurance coverage firm’s medical evacuation advantages will get them residence. That’s not all the time the case. Chances are, they may solely get you to the “nearest acceptable facility” and just remember to’re handled there. You’ll then be by yourself to get residence.

For safety threats and pure disasters, insurance coverage firms typically require what’s referred to as a “hard trigger” earlier than they’ll or will help you. That means the federal government should declare an emergency or evacuation order. If that doesn’t occur, you’ll be anticipated to get residence your self, even when the scenario is dire (and even when it prices 1000’s of {dollars}).

That’s why I all the time recommend Medjet to vacationers who need to ensure they get residence it doesn’t matter what. It’s the final word in safety and disaster response. There’s a 24/7 disaster line that may reply to a wider vary of security threats with out the necessity for a tough set off.

4. Save your emergency contacts

Once you could have journey insurance coverage, save the contact quantity in your telephone. Save the emergency contact e-mail in your inbox too. That method, you could find it shortly you probably have a query or want help.

If you assume you may not have Wi-Fi or mobile phone service throughout your journey, write the quantity down in your telephone on a notes app simply to be protected. You may also need to hold a bodily copy of each in your pockets too, simply in case one thing occurs to your telephone.

Be positive to additionally e-mail your self copies of all of your necessary paperwork, similar to your passport and license, in case you lose your pockets. Having printed copies of them isn’t a foul concept both.

5. Prepare a Google Map

Once you’ve booked your lodging, put it aside on Google Maps. That method, you could find your lodging must you get misplaced and want to point out the handle to a driver. You would possibly need to additionally take a bodily enterprise card out of your lodging when you arrive (it’s going to have the handle and get in touch with data on it, which could turn out to be useful).

Additionally, save different necessary locations in your Google Map, similar to the closest hospital, pharmacy, grocery retailer, and embassy/consulate. If you are feeling comfy doing so with a trusted individual at residence, you may also share your location via Google Maps. For many individuals, particularly solo vacationers, this supplies peace of thoughts, realizing that somebody on this planet is aware of their whereabouts.

6. Download the Safe Traveler App

Once you’ve determined the place to go (and should you’re from the US), join the S.T.E.P. program. It alerts native embassies that you just’re within the space in case a scenario arises. Next, obtain the State Department’s Safe Traveler app. You simply punch within the locations you need to go to, and it’ll ship push alerts to your smartphone relating to any necessary safety considerations. That method, you’ll be forewarned ought to something occur that you ought to be conscious of.

7. Follow embassies on Twitter

If you utilize Twitter, comply with your nation’s embassy within the vacation spot nation. It won’t solely point out necessary native occasions and holidays however, ought to a scenario come up, additionally publish updates and knowledge there. Make positive you flip your notifications on so that you don’t miss something necessary.

Following native information firms on twitter can also be a good suggestion, particularly if there’s a native english-speaking web site that has a Twitter account. That method, you positively gained’t miss any necessary happenings.

8. Separate your money and playing cards

When touring, don’t hold all of your money and playing cards in a single place. Keep some in your pockets, some in your day bag, and a few in your lodging. That method, should you lose your pockets or in case your bag is stolen you continue to have money and playing cards to fall again on.

It’s not unusual for banks to cancel or put a maintain on a bank card whilst you’re overseas both, so convey multiple simply to be protected.

9. Ask locals for recommendation

When you test right into a resort or Airbnb, ask if they’ve any security recommendation to share. Are there neighborhoods value avoiding? Are there any scams they assume you would possibly encounter? Maybe some areas are protected through the day however not at evening. Ask for enter from locals; they’re in one of the best place to assist.

That mentioned, it by no means hurts to get a second opinion. Some locals would possibly take into account an space unsafe, whereas others don’t. Be positive to buy round for recommendation so you’ll be able to keep away from any biases. Travel is subjective, in any case, so the extra opinions you may get, the higher.

10. Don’t share an excessive amount of info

If you’re posting on social media, don’t publish in actual time. Wait a pair hours after which publish. That method, would-be criminals can’t use that info to get your location and rob you or stalk you (that is particularly necessary for solo feminine vacationers).

Moreover, don’t give away an excessive amount of data to random strangers. Avoid sharing your resort title, and, if attainable, avoiding telling individuals it’s your first time visiting the town/nation as they could use that as an invite to try to rip you off.

***

It could seem to be the world is a harmful place, with hassle lurking round each nook, however that’s solely as a result of concern sells. I’ve been touring for over 15 years, and 99% of the time, issues go easily.

But for the remaining 1% of experiences, it’s greatest to be ready. By arming your self with data earlier than you go and guaranteeing you could have complete insurance coverage and security protection, you’ll have the ability to journey with confidence, realizing that you just’re prepared for regardless of the street throws your method.

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find an affordable flight by utilizing Skyscanner. It’s my favourite search engine as a result of it searches web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can guide your hostel with Hostelworld. If you need to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use Booking.com because it persistently returns the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and resorts.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. My favourite firms that supply one of the best service and worth are:

Want to Travel for Free?
Travel bank cards let you earn factors that may be redeemed without cost flights and lodging — all with none further spending. Check out my information to selecting the correct card and my present favorites to get began and see the most recent greatest offers.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip?
Get Your Guide is a large on-line market the place you could find cool strolling excursions, enjoyable excursions, skip-the-line tickets, personal guides, and extra.

Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my useful resource web page for one of the best firms to make use of while you journey. I record all those I exploit once I journey. They are one of the best in school and you’ll’t go fallacious utilizing them in your journey.

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