Traveling abroad is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people, that’s why it needs to be prepared more carefully. A street crime or a quarrel with the locals just because a misunderstanding can greatly ruin your vacation experience. Overseas traveling is much more complicated than domestic one, as there are differences in many aspects between our native country and the destination country, such as culture, language, prices, foods, crime rate, etc.
No matter how advanced is the economy, and how low is the crime rate of the destination country, it won’t completely guarantee our safety, thus we still need to be careful, especially for those who come here for the first time. Below are some safety tips for traveling abroad that hopefully will be useful as a precaution.
Some Safety Guides for Traveling Abroad:
Learn about the crime rate. In every country, no matter how prosperous it is, there must be an area that has a higher crime rate than the others. Search for an information about where are the areas that have a high crime rate, and then cross check it with where you planned to stay, and with the tourist spots that you’d like to visit.
Pub, bar, and nightclub. Note that in many European countries, crime and violence don’t happen for an economic reason, but because people are under the influence of alcohol. So, be careful when you’re near the areas that sold liquor or booze, as a drunk person is very hard to be reasoning with.
Emergency number. Always keep the important number of local public services, such as police, hospital, and garage. Also, keep the number of your embassy. If you plan to stay longer, you might want to get acquaintance with some embassy people. Besides as a precaution, you can also get one or two safety tips from them.
Buy travel insurance. Travel insurance can protect you from a wide array of unfortunate events, such as medical emergencies, accidents, lost baggage, and delayed trips or canceled flights. See to it that you purchase a policy that is appropriate for the kind of trip that you will be having. For example, if you are not planning on staying long in your destination, a short-term health insurance makes sense.
Learn about local cultures. Each country has its own unique culture. If you’re not aware of this, one wrong gesture can create conflict with the locals. For example, a thumb up usually means “okay” in many countries, but in Sardinia and Greece, it can be interpreted as “screw you!” Before you’re traveling abroad, you can ask about the country to someone who’ve been there before. Or you can do this upon your arrival, by asking taxi driver, hotel staff, etc.
Dress Up. Sleeveless top and hot pants are a common dress for many Western countries, especially in summer, but in some Asian countries, they can be considered as not polite, or even inappropriate. If you aren’t sure of what to wear, just dress up casually. Also, do not show off your jewelry and accessories.
Do not act like a tourist. Tourists always stand out in the crowd simply because they do not belong. Taking out the map and holding it in broad daylight, stare in awe at the attractions, look around like a lost and confused person, and hang the camera around the neck are some of the obvious tourist behaviors. Remember, many criminals consider tourist as an “easy prey”. Blend in!
Don’t be too polite. It’s okay to smile and say hello, but don’t do it excessively. One country and the others have their own standard of politeness. If you’re a woman, what you think as a friendly gesture can be interpreted as an “invitation” by men!
Travel in a group, if possible. Also, you need to tell people at home of your schedule, just in case if anything happens and you can’t contact anyone.
Split documents, cash, and credit card. Don’t keep them all in the same place. In any case, you get mugged, you need to still have some money in hand. Be very careful as identity theft and phishing are a common crime in many countries. Also, keep a digital copy of your documents, especially ID and passport. Store them at your email, so you can access it anytime anywhere.
Avoid shady hotels. The reputable hotel doesn’t always expensive. Choose the one that near tourist attractions, as it’s usually a safe neighborhood.
Most important among other safety tips for traveling abroad, don’t let your guard down just because you’re on vacation!