There are only a handful of things more exciting than traveling internationally. That’s because when you travel abroad, you get to experience all the beautiful cultures firsthand and see life from the local’s perspective. This is what makes the journey to another country so exciting for many. Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of traveling abroad, fearing that it could be dangerous leaving their respective native country. For the vast majority, however, traveling internationally is a lot safer than most people think. Nevertheless, there are still precautions and tips for staying safe while abroad that every traveler – even children — should know about to ensure that their trip isn’t cut short by chaos.
International Traveling: Tips for Staying Safe While Abroad
With that being said, here are five safety tips to help international travelers enjoy their time away from home.
Research Your Destination Ahead of Time:
Perhaps the best way to conduct research on a particular country you plan on visiting is by using the internet. That way, you can find important information on political news and have prior knowledge about the country before getting on the plane. Another thing you can try is visiting travel advisory sites from credible sources – like the U.S., U.K., and the Australian government, and make note of any issues you might encounter throughout your trip. During this time, it’s also best to find out about places you should avoid altogether. These places might include certain cities, districts, neighborhoods, and stores.
Password Protect Your Handheld Devices:
Phones, in particular, store a lot of sensitive information – like emails, credit card information (if you use certain apps to transfer money) and even hotel reservation system. However, a survey discovered that 28 percent of phone users did not use a lock screen on their handheld device. Although it’s the simplest way to protect your information, it’s also one of the most neglected ways. To matters worse, only an estimated 26 percent have tracking devices set up on their phones and tablets in case it gets stolen.
So, not only should you set up a password to unlock your personal device, but you should also make sure it’s strong enough to protect all your sensitive information. It also helps to change it regularly – especially when traveling abroad. Additionally, enable location tracking and use certain apps that can wipe your information clean in case your phone is taken.
Leave Your Jewelry at Home:
Although it might be tempting to wear your favorite piece of jewelry throughout your trip to take pictures with, don’t. If you travel around dressed in expensive jewelry – especially in a country that has an unstable economy – you’re essentially making a public announcement to all potential thieves that you are an easy target to steal from. Instead, keep it simple and plan your clothing attire for the place you’re visiting. In Australia, for example, most residents wear denim cut-offs, white tees, and sunglasses. On the other hand, residents in countries like Canada, wear the exact opposite around this time of year.
As a final point, be sure to hide any items you aren’t using – like cameras and phones – that could also make you stand out in a crowd.
Guard Your Room:
Have you ever booked a room without checking the hotel’s safety protocols? If not, don’t feel bad – especially since most guests don’t. If you decide to stay in a hotel, then make sure you request for a room that isn’t on the ground level. Also, check and see how far the nearest elevator and stairs are located from your door. That’s because thieves are more likely to choose these rooms to break into since they provide easy access to all your personal items.
Fortunately, a rubber door wedge can help add extra security when you’re asleep. So if someone has a key or a lock pick, the wedge will hold the door shut long enough for you to contact the authorities or call for help.
What should you do if you don’t have a rubber wedge?
Improvise. In other words, instead of using a rubber wedge to put behind the door, place a chair under the doorknob. In some cases, this actually works better than a rubber wedge. Another tactic you could try is putting a “Do Not Disturb” on the door when you leave; that way, people will think you’re actually in your room. Whatever method you choose always remember to keep your valuables out of plain sight and find hidden compartments to place them in.
Don’t Carry Your Belongings All at Once:
When you’re out exploring the world around you and taking pictures to post on your social media account, you might feel the urge to keep your identification, cash, and bank cards all in the same place – in your wallet, or handbag. But this is never a good idea. Instead, keep your money, credit cards, identification cards, and important records you don’t plan on using locked away somewhere safe – especially if you’re traveling for medical treatment. A process that involves prospective patients packing their bags and heading out in hopes of getting better. So, before you go out, separate the items you must carry the ones you won’t need and place them in different areas. That way, if something goes missing, you don’t risk losing everything in the process.
In the end, if you abide by these guidelines, you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience when traveling abroad. Identity theft takes a long time to recover from and has a negative effect on your finances that you don’t want – especially if the attack happened overseas.