Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a globe-trotting novice, exploring new territory can be exciting, but it also comes with its risks. From organising travel insurance, to getting vaccinations, to learning local customs, there are many things you can do to protect yourself while on the road. So, before you grab your passport and embark on a new adventure, here’s some useful tips for staying safe.
Before you leave home
First and foremost, take the time to research your destination before you leave home. Brush up on your knowledge of local culture, customs, crime rates, weather conditions, etiquette, and any known health risks in the area. You may even want to learn a few phrases of the local language before you go. When mapping out your route, it’s wise to find out which parts of the country are considered safe and which areas you may be better off avoiding altogether.
Vaccines and medication
It’s important to bear in mind that if you’re travelling to locations where infectious diseases are widespread, there are certain safety measures you will need to take to protect yourself. For example, malaria is a risk in over 100 countries, and if you are travelling to one of these regions, you may need to start protecting yourself in advance with Malarone tablets. You may also require travel vaccinations. To ensure you have the right vaccinations for your destination, make sure you consult a healthcare professional at least six weeks before you travel.
It’s also a good idea to carry a first aid kit. Plasters, bandages, sun screen, antiseptic, personal medication, pain killers, insect repellent, rehydration sachets and anti-diarrhoea tablets are just some of the travel essentials you may want to add to your checklist.
Whether it’s a short hiking holiday in Spain, or a year-long round-the-world jaunt, travel insurance is one area where you can’t afford to skimp. Healthcare can be expensive in some countries, and if you find yourself injured or ill while abroad, medical bills can quickly mount up.
When taking out travel insurance, make sure your policy covers your specific destination, as well as any specific activities you intend on doing. For example, if you’re planning on scuba diving, driving a scooter, or snowboarding, it’s likely that you will need to take out an additional insurance policy.
Be clever with your cash
An unwritten rule among the travelling community is to never keep all your sources of cash in one place. If your wallet or bag is stolen, and it contains all of your money, you may find yourself on the first flight home. Instead, separate your money sources between your luggage, clothes and wallet. You should also consider making copies of your important travel documents and emailing them to yourself. This way, you have the peace of mind in knowing that even if your luggage goes astray, your valuables will be safe at hand.
Another important consideration for sightseers is to try and prevent unwanted attention. Tourists and travellers are often prime targets for criminals, so make sure you are always aware of what is going on around you. Of course, having fun should be your main priority, but be careful not to let your guard down too much, especially if you are travelling alone. Also, take care not to flaunt your possessions. Having your smartphone, SLR camera or expensive watch on show all the time will make you a target for thieves.
By using common sense and following these few simple tips, you can minimise the risks and look forward to a safe and fun travelling experience.