Travel- because the world awaits you. Travel- to experience the world anew. Travel because you will come to know real magic.
Travel is truly an adventure- and you learn much when you are on the road. What marks the experienced traveler from the greenhorns? It is about the safety precautions that tell of the veterans.
Although travelling should be an unforgettable experience regardless, you need to ensure it’s for the right reasons. Too often are travelers left compromised after not taking some essential safety precautions, effectively bringing their trip to a halt if they’re not careful. Don’t let it be you.
There are some tried and tested tips that will not only keep you safe and sound on your travels but also ensure you make the max of your trip.
Do what you are sure you can
If you’re wanting to partake in a certain activity but don’t know if it’s safe or not, it may be worth skipping it – you’re better safe than sorry, especially when you have a trip ahead of you. For example, while white-water rafting and mountain climbing are common with travelers looking for a thrill, but should you wind up in the wrong hands, the consequences could be considerably awful.
There’s always news of travelers ending up badly hurt or otherwise after trying something that evidently was not safe. If you’re having doubts about following through with a certain activity, choose to not do it at all. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Choose your adventures carefully, is the safe mantra.
Avoid any scams
Another common problem encountered by many travelers is scamming. Whether it be in marketplaces, taxis or money exchanges, too often are tourists left short changed after failing to recognize a scam. If you are caught up in one, be sure to do something about it – don’t get pressured into losing your money.
One effective way to avoid said scams is by haggling. It’s an established tradition for travelers to haggle, what with so many locals taking advantage by hiking prices. If you’re faced with the same issue, don’t be scared to negotiate – vendors often expect it, so you won’t be the first one they’ve bargained with. There is no shame in haggling- have a go at it… rest assured that you will gloat with the satisfaction of your negotiations.
Stay away from unsafe areas
There are plenty of places in the world you should be avoiding at all costs. Be sure to enquire just where these locations are – sometimes places even as desirable and touristy as Thailand and the Philippines hide some dangerous, risky areas. It is important to research before you define your route.
However, some travellers do try and court danger across the world – perhaps it is safer not to follow suit. For example, places such as North Korea, despite welcoming visitors (under strict guidelines), would perhaps be best avoided for the potential of danger. On the other hand, places such as Columbia and Cuba have overcome their turbulent history and reputations for crime and violence to become tourism hotspots – do your research.
Know what is and isn’t covered
You’ll absolutely need to take out some travel insurance before you fly away. Healthcare costs abroad are often extortionate and easily avoidable should you be covered. However, it’s equally as important to understand just what is and isn’t accepted by insurance firms as a claim.
Things such as bungee jumping and surfing are often covered by many insurers, so rest assured you have nothing to worry about here. CTI highlights that some common travel activities such as scuba diving and white-water rafting are slightly more dubious, whereas cliff jumping is hardly ever covered at all.
Beware of opportunistic or suspicious locals
While trust is important, you should beware of being too trusting towards all locals- no matter how nice they seem. We’ve already mentioned the haggling needed after potential scams, but it could potentially be even worse. With things such as bag-snatching on the rise in tourism hotspots, you need to keep an eye out for potential opportunists. If you feel uneasy or at risk, it is better to get out of harm’s way.
Do you have your own tips to stay safe whilst travelling? Let us know in the comments below.