The state of the world has drastically changed the way people travel and the tourism industry has been impacted deeply. In this new reality, it is of upmost importance to know how to stay safe while traveling. While this aspect has always been important, it has become critical to learn and practice safety and security when traveling, whether it is domestically or internationally. Many of the same travel tips can be applied to both local and international trips, while there is also some advice that is specific to each destination. Traveling to other countries, while extremely rewarding and exciting, has its own set of rules and things to be aware of, as other nations and people have different cultures and customs. Tourists leaving their country should consider some things regarding their journey and the time spent in other countries. Below you can find some of the most important tips on how to stay safe while traveling:
· Travel and Health Insurance – Whether traveling abroad or in your own country, insurance should be among the first thing to consider. It can save both time and money in case something goes wrong, but it can also act as a way to feel more relaxed in order to enjoy your holiday.
· Do Your Research! – It is well worth researching and learning about your destination, especially if it’s a place far away, different from your own area or country. From basic information about travel conditions and needed document, to broader things about the local culture and what to avoid doing while you visit, there are many aspects to consider.
· Respect the Culture and the People – When traveling internationally, it is crucial to respect their culture and customs, as these can differ greatly from your own. It is important to express understanding and compassion, even if you meet completely different customs and behaviors that you are used to.
· Avoid Areas of Conflict and Uncertainty – The world is ever changing and while most destinations are safe to some degree, there are also countries or regions where wars or civil unrest makes things extremely unsafe and uncertain.
· Stay Away from Known Dangerous Areas – Most destinations, city or country, domestic or international, have some places that you should avoid going to, especially after dark. Even the safest and most popular destinations of the world usually include dangerous areas that tourists are advised to avoid.
· Choose Best Reviewed Services – From transportation to accommodation or activities, there are a lot of services that you might use while traveling and it is important to make a well researched choice. One of the best ways to insure a good experience is to find and read the reviews of other travelers and what they thought about certain travel services.
· Stay Away from Famous Scams – Each destination has a list of usual scams involving tourists, from the popular street hagglers and overpriced stuff, to more elaborate and dangerous scams that are a lot harder to spot and avoid.
· Travel in Groups – While it might not be always possible, one of the best ways to stay safe while traveling is to go as a group, as more people you can trust means less danger from outsiders. This does not mean avoiding all contact, as traveling is one of the best ways to make new friends, just do it carefully.
· Keep Your Valuables Hidden – One of the easiest ways to become a target is to show off expensive things or large sums of money when traveling to other destinations. It would be wise to take just what you need with you and leave some money at your hotel for emergency.
· Check In with Family or Friends - When traveling to distant places, it is wise to leave your itinerary and contact information with people you trust. Checking in from to time is also important and if needed, these people can help you if something happens.
· Food and Water Safety – Often overlooked by travelers, especially when traveling to exotic destinations, food and water can prove be extremely different from what you are used to. Always try to eat and drink from reliable and safe sources, as street food is sometimes risky and tap water might not be drinkable in all places.
These are only some of the most obvious and popular travel safety tips, as each time and place requires particular things to consider. The current state of the world is the best example that travel can change dramatically in a matter of days or weeks. The universal pandemic has imposed a drastic change of travel habits and safety regulations. Now, more than ever, it is more important stay safe and protect yourself and others while traveling. Make sure you pack sanitizers and masks to protect yourself. Wash your hands ad frequently as possible. Some countries have travel bans or restrictions and all travelers should stay informed as much as possible.