Now that public health concerns are trending in the right direction, plenty of people are ready to get back out and travel the world this summer. It may seem like it’s been a long while since the last time you were able to visit a distant city or meet up with friends, but the safety concerns that come along with travelling are still the same. To keep you and your group safe, you’ll have to take the necessary precautions and be on the lookout for potential problems.
As you prepare for your trip, study up on some common travel safety issues and ways to prevent or resolve them. Here’s a quick list of basic travel safety tips to keep in mind as you plan your next trip!
Prepare for Emergencies
If you’re on the road or in an unfamiliar area, it’s easy to feel disoriented when an emergency happens. Whether someone in your group gets hurt, falls sick, or has some other unexpected problem, you’ll need to know how to take care of them and get connected to the appropriate resources.
Before you leave for your trip, research emergency services in the city you’re visiting. Write down numbers for the local police, hospitals, and ambulance services. You should also keep the contact information for your hotel or rental host handy in the event that you have issues with your housing. Preparing for emergencies certainly isn’t the most fun part of planning a vacation, but it’s best to have solutions ready in the unlikely event that you need them.
Check Travel Advisories
Before you leave for your destination, check out the U.S. State Department’s website for travel advisories. If you’re visiting another country, it’s wise to stay on top of recent events that might affect your travel plans. These updates can inform you of issues like crime, civil unrest, health concerns, natural disasters, and recent kidnappings that could threaten travellers’ safety.
Keep Your Valuables Secure
If you decide to bring expensive items on your trip, take extra precautions to keep them safe and prevent theft. You can lock them away in a safe in your hotel room when you don’t need them, but if you brought usable items like camera gear, you likely want to bring them along with you as you move around the city.
To minimize the chance of having items lost or stolen, choose a travel bag that has secure zippers and locks. There are even slash-proof bags on the market that prevent anyone from cutting the straps or pockets on your bag as you walk.
Stay with Your Group
Another important tip for staying safe while travelling is to stay with your group. If you’re vacationing with friends and family, try to avoid going off on your own. In highly-travelled cities, it’s easy to spot and take advantage of tourists. You have a lower chance of experiencing theft, assault, or other altercations if you stay with at least one other person at all times.
Women are particularly at risk of assault and harassment when they travel alone. Make sure that you keep a friend or relative with you if you’re walking around a new area, using rideshare services, or visiting attractions.
Update Family & Friends
Finally, it’s important that you keep family and friends back home updated on your trip’s progress. While it’s nice to share photos and stories of your daily activities, it’s also important to let them know where you are and how things are going in the event that something happens and you are unable to contact help. Your friends and family may be able to help you if they know where you were last or where you were planning to go next.
That said, be wary of posting your adventures on social media while you’re away. Your first priority should be your personal safety as you travel, but posting your absence on social media can encourage burglars to take advantage of your empty home. Be careful with what you share and when–you don’t want to come home and discover that your belongings have been stolen!
If you follow all of these travel safety tips, you’ll have an easy trip with no issues. Remember to take the necessary precautions, make smart choices, and protect yourself so you can focus on what’s most important–having fun!