Safety when traveling should be of utmost importance to all travelers—especially those of you who may be embarking on your first trip or study abroad in the near future. These basic safety tips will help ensure that you have the best time possible while traveling:
- Know your stuff—read up on where you’ll be traveling to. It is wise to familiarize yourself with the better and not so great areas of town, customs, festivals, food facts, and more. This way, you are less likely to catch yourself in a cultural “oops”—an embarrassment and sometimes big trouble.
- Write it down—arm yourself with a journal or notebook specifically for writing down addresses of where you’ll be staying, phone numbers, emails, restaurants, etc. It is important to physically write these things somewhere instead of just storing them in a phone or tablet—although having this information in two places is never a bad idea, either.
- Be aware of your surroundings—my high school health teacher always used to bark this at us during our self defense unit freshman year…and while I found it annoying and unnecessary then, it is so important! Always, always, always be aware of your surroundings. Often times, your intuition is a great sense of danger. This is key in keeping yourself safe on traffic jammed streets, in airports or train stations, and especially when traveling alone. Even if you’re trying to simply relax or read or write while waiting for your train, it’s important to make a habit of keeping your eyes and ears open, always.
- Invest in RFID blocking sleeves—radio-frequency identification is used in credit cards, passports, licenses, and so much more! By protecting all of your RFID products with a simple, cheap, RFID protective sleeve or case you are protecting yourself against possible identity theft and heaps of trouble! Airports, train stations and big cities are full of people with illegal RFID scanners trying to snatch people’s information. Just to be safe, guard yourself with this simple protection and breathe a little easier.
- Be confident—often times, tourists are pegged as easy targets for pick pocketing and other not so great crimes because they appear nervous or anxious. Walk confidently, even if you may be lost. Keep a very close watch on your bags ( cross body bags are a great way to keep your things close to you ), especially on public transportation. Another key thing: have other people’s backs! If you see someone suspiciously following someone else, maybe mention something to law enforcement; if you see someone pick pocket someone else, definitely mention something to law enforcement or security! It may seem a little scary, but by telling a higher power, you can assist with the situation but not get directly involved.
There you have it–some basic travel tips to get you started on your journey. The world is a big place, travellers—get out there, don’t always assume the worst of people, be safe, and have the best time!