Travel may be an exhilarating and educational experience. It’s easy to become swept up in the excitement of adventure. However, do not overlook travel security and safety issues when abroad.
Follow these seven travel safety tips to make sure you have a trip you’ll never forget for the right reasons.
1. Perform research
When you arrive, familiarize yourself with your destination thoroughly. Consult visitor reviews and locals for information on the safest neighborhoods, places to stay, and crime statistics. Consult the State Department’s website for country-specific information and sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Another critical travel security precaution is knowing who to contact in the event of an emergency. Locate the nearest embassy or consulate, police station, and other local emergency departments.
2. Avoid drawing attention to yourself.
Individuals who appear to be from another place are more vulnerable to crime, so attempt to blend in as much as possible. Choose unobtrusive attire that will not draw notice. Keep your eyes open for maps and be careful when you need directions.
It’s also a good idea to buy protective clothing and equipment that will make it more difficult for pickpockets to get your money and other valuables.
3. Make copies of important documents.
You never know when you’re going to require a duplicate of your passport, driver’s license, or other forms of identification. Scan these papers and preserve them online, as well as print multiple hard copies. This way, you won’t have to scramble to gather the necessary papers if you need to return home.
4. Stay in touch with your friends and family.
Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s an overnight trip or a month-long overseas trip, it’s always a good idea to notify friends and relatives back home. Send a copy of your itinerary to a few trusted individuals who can keep an eye on your whereabouts before you depart. Maintain contact with your contacts on a frequent basis to ensure they know you’re where you’re supposed to be.
5. Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi.
Allow the ease of Internet access to cloud your judgment. When you use public Wi-Fi, hackers attempting to steal important information such as credit cards or Social Security numbers can gain access to your data. If you need wireless Internet service, set up a virtual private network (VPN) so that you can use the Internet safely while you’re away from home.
6. Make sure your hotel room is secure.
Even if your hotel employs robust security systems, there are precautions you may take to ensure the safety of your room. Secure the entrance with a deadbolt and keep the windows closed. You can purchase a jammer, which is a little gadget that fits beneath the door and provides an additional layer of protection.
Even if you’re not in your room, give the idea that you are by posting the Do Not Disturb sign on the outside of your door and closing the blinds or windows.
Allow no strangers, even if they claim to be hotel employees, into your room.You can always phone the front desk to confirm that someone has been summoned to your room by hotel employees.
7. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Take care not to let your guard down when capturing the right image for your social media sites. Always keep a watch on your personal possessions and use caution when speaking with strangers. The possibility of meeting new people and learning about their cultures is a large part of the delight of traveling. Even so, if you see someone acting suspiciously near you or if you start to feel uneasy, leave the area as soon as you can.
While following these measures might help ensure your safety while traveling, no matter how many precautions you take, the unexpected can always happen. Maintain peace of mind wherever you travel with Nationwide travel insurance.