The intensity of domestic and international travel has picked up in major ways over the last year. Despite the barriers imposed by the spread of the pandemic, people are starting to travel a lot again. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel numbers will get back to the pre-pandemic levels this year. Almost 90% of Americans have already made up their mind to take a vacation in the next year or so. College students are also among the most avid and keen travelers.
However, increased travel also means increased travel safety risks. If you are planning to travel, you must take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Any kind of travel can be fraught with risks if you are too careless about the safety measure.
Review the top travel safety rules to ensure and enjoy a safe trip:
Keep documents safe
When you travel to a new destination or a foreign country, you must take additional precautions with your travel documents. Make copies of your passport, visa, and any other important documents that will make it easier for others to identify you in case of an emergency.
In some countries, you must have some of your documents translated into the local language. You must use reliable and trustworthy multilingual translation services to ensure proper quality of translation. Find out the list of required documents, and make sure you keep both original and translated copies handy.
Don’t carry too much cash on you
It is always a bad idea to carry excessive cash on you. Just have enough for a taxi or a snack in case you travel to a country where electronic payments are problematic. In most countries, it is not an issue any longer.
Banks do not charge exorbitant commissions on transactions either. What’s more, if you exchange money using cash, you are most likely to get ripped off. It is also a good strategy to pay most of your expenses online. Sometimes, the security of your cards can also be compromised.
Do your due diligence in advance
Make the time to read lots of customer reviews about your destination. Find out everything there is to know about the place. There is no country or city in the world that is 100% safe. There are dangerous or less safe areas wherever you go. Find out what these are and avoid them at all costs. It is generally a bad idea to be in unfamiliar neighborhoods at night.
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Keep your emergency contacts in the loop
Always keep 2 or 3 people in the loop about your travel itinerary and destinations. Let them know about any unplanned changes in your schedule. This can be of critical importance in case of an emergency. It is also a good idea to have a good sense of how local emergency services work.
You should find out their contact information and keep it handy all the time. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. It is a good habit to know where exits are if you are in a building. If there is a grave, life-threatening emergency, running for safety must be your first priority. If exits are blocked, you should hide to get out of sight of aggressors. You should fight only if that is your last and only resort.
Be aware of local customs and cultural nuances
Learn about local customs and traditions. This will help you avoid faux pas at best and unnecessary conflicts at worst. You should know all the do’s and don’ts to behave in a way that is respectful and considerate.
What is normal behavior in one culture can be considered a non-starter in another culture. It is perfectly acceptable to talk loudly in some southern countries, but totally unacceptable if you travel to Scandinavian countries, for instance. The same is true for the rules of behavior in public places and in private homes.
Health and travel insurance
Consider having good insurance a must. They are not very expensive, so don’t try to make any savings on them. Just make sure you buy your policy from a reliable and trustworthy insurance company. Read the terms carefully and make sure you follow the rules and procedures you have agreed to. If you violate these, your claim might be denied.
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Do not use random taxis or stranger services
Avoid using random taxi services because you can get ripped off. What’s more, it can be too dangerous to ride with a stranger. Use only licensed taxi services that are properly marked. It is equally dangerous and risky to use any services offered by strangers at airports and other public places, especially in large cities.
Beware of pickpockets
Pickpocketing is fairly common in large cities, airports, metro stations, and other public places. Make sure you are aware of the most dangerous locations and be constantly aware of your belongings. Police are not equally effective in all countries, so you should rely on your precautionary measures more. Just be prudent and never take things for granted.
Avoid drinking tap water
Avoid using tap water. It is not safe in most countries around the world. Potable water is usually accessible in bottles, so don’t save on bottled water because unsafe water might pose a serious risk to your health. Water-borne diseases are notorious for the variety of diseases they can spread. Some are minor, but there are others that can pose life-threatening risks and hazards.
If you plan to rent a car, make sure your driving license is valid in the country of your destination. You should familiarize yourself with local traffic rules. In some countries, traffic police are notorious for corruption, so you might get easily pulled over to get a bribe out of you. Under such circumstances, it is always a better idea to use public transport.
Travel Safety – Key Takeaways
Traveling must be a fun experience. It should also be a safe one. But safety is not something you can take for granted. You should really invest a lot of time and energy in taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of your trip.
There is a lot of experience and learning available out there. Find out what you should and should not do before and during your travel to enjoy a fun and rewarding experience.