SAFETY TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS
One of the most common questions we are being asked ever since we started travelling more often is about how to be safe while travelling, especially when your destination is in a foreign country and you might get out of your comfort zone. So, we decided to write a blog post about it, giving you our advice based on our travel experience so far. Here we go:
First things first! Prior to your departure, always remember to do a bit of a research concerning the place you’re about to visit, as there might be some special actions you are required to take before getting there, like being vaccinated, which is the case in some African, Asian and Central/South American countries. Apart from that, make sure to prepare all of the official papers you are going to need, in order to travel. Call the embassy of the country you are visiting or your travel agent and ask them if you need a passport and/or a VISA for your journey and stay.
Make sure to do a bit of reasearch about simpler things as well, such as safe places to eat, or safe neighbourhoods to stay at etc. Maybe the most important thing about research is doing it as early as possible!
A special part of your research has to do with saving emergency phone numbers in your phone, just in case. Write down your country’s embassy phone number, as well as the local numbers for police, ambulance and fire department. Of course you'll need to have your phone charged, so this leads us to more words of wisdom : having your phone charged doesn't only allow you to take more photos or play games when you are in transit, but also helps you to stay safe.
Once you’re done with your research, make sure you have everything secured. And we do mean everything! If you haven’t bought travel insurance, then that’s probably the best time to do so! Your airline company might offer that option for a little more money, for example in case your flight is delayed. Not only airline companies but also most (if not all) insurance companies offer decent travel insurance packages, so you might need to do some further research on that issue as well. Now, most travel insurances also cover medical expenses but if yours doesn’t, consider a)buying another one or b) buying a health insurance package. If you travel as a EU citizen, remember to get yourself a EU Health Insurance Card. You can have it for free and it’s valid for 6 months, for trips you take in the EU and some other non-EU countries, such as Switzerland and Norway. Last but not least, if you plan to rent a vehicle for your journey, remember to buy an insurance package for it as well, just in case it gets damaged or stolen. It will save you from a lot of further expenses and trouble.
First aid kit
Let’s go back to basics and remind you the good old First Aid Kit! Pack a small purse and stuff it with some painkillers, antibiotics, allergy pills, bandages, some scissors and anything else you think might be a life savior during your journey. Remember to check your airline company’s policy about hand luggage, as you might not be allowed to have such things in your carry on, at least not without claiming you do. Probably you think that only adventure travelers need this kind of things, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s just say that you don’t need to be an adventurer to get poisoned by something you eat or by drinking tap water from a place, where you are not supposed to!
So, you have just arrived at *add fancy destination name* and it’s high time you applied everything you learnt from you research! You can now start enjoying everything you had been dreaming about, during the past months/weeks/days and we all know that it feels A M A Z I N G!!! Just, keep in mind that being carefree doesn’t mean being careless as well. If you’ve read of infamous neighborhoods, try to either avoid them or ask your tour guide or a local friend to tell you about them or even accompany you. If you travel solo, try to be social and open minded but don’t share much about yourself, if your instinct tells you not to do. Pretend you are travelling with a friend, if necessary, and avoid giving details about the exact location of your ho(s)tel or Airbnb apartment.
Stay in touch
We know that sometimes, all you need is to just be away from everyone and everything during a journey, and just spend some time by yourself. However, staying in touch with your loved ones back home isn’t a bad idea. Try to text them at least once every two days, so that they know you are okay. Even if you’ve kept your journey’s destination a secret, choose at least one person you trust to reveal it at, just in case something happens to you (touch wood). If you usually post pictures on social media while you travel, your friends and family might find it suspicious if you don’t upload something for more than 2-3 days, so try to follow a regular pace of online activity, for their peace of mind.
Trust your instinct
That's maybe the most important and useful advice we can give you! If that voice inside your head or heart tells you to stay away from something or someone, then don't ignore it! Make sure not to be turned into a paranoic, anti-social weirdo who misses pricelss experiences for nothing, but just don't push yourself too much if you've got bad feelings about a situation. We don't remember where or when, but we've read that instinct is like our own way to "predict" the future and avoid unpleasant or even dangerous situations, and we couldn't agree more. So, trust your instinct, listen to what your body and mind tell you, respect yourself and go have fun in the beautiful place you chose to travel at!