How to Stay Safe & Healthy When Abroad

We live in an immense world that is filled with beauty and natural wonders. Are you an explorer, an adventurer and a traveller at heart? What is more enthralling than travelling and seeing the world? After all, you open your eyes and your mind, experience the richness of diverse cultures and taste exquisite global cuisine. For sure, you may need a few travel tips to maintain your personal safety and health. If you are scared to embark on a journey, then be assured that this article will help you overcome this fear by sharing a few tips and tricks to help you stay safe and secure.

  1. Pickpockets & Theft

Venturing to a far off Asian land that is often branded as a hot bed for terrorism yet is filled with raw, pristine beauty? Guess what? That’s just the news channels trying to build viewership with unnecessary hype. The probability of you being pick-pocketed is much higher than losing your life in what may be termed as a terrorist attack. Remember those fanny packs that were the rage a few years ago? They are extremely practical as they hang around your waist and warrant your attention if someone tries to open it. Avoid placing your wallet and important documents in your bag pack and back pocket. Keep a copy of your passport if you must but leave the original in the safety vault in your hotel room. If you want to check your phone whilst out and about, do so next to a building. That will deter foot traffic and make you a less likely target.

  1. Document Copies

Speaking of important documents that are vital to your ability to move around freely within a certain region or state, keep copies with you. Another critical tip is that maybe you can consider leaving a copy of your passport, your visa and your travel itinerary with a trusted friend or close relative. That way, someone will always know where you are and how to contact you if need be. Believe us, you do not wish to risk losing your original passport and not having any copies around. It will create an insane hassle for you. As advised earlier, leave it in your hotel room locked up safely. It should not be easily found by anyone.

  1. Don’t’ Look Like a Tourist

Sunhat, glasses and a fanny pack your travel uniform? Please change it up! Dressing like a tourist is as good as asking for attention – the wrong kind! If you are travelling to an African country, adopt their local wear. Hit the shops on the streets, browse the marketplace and see what bright colours catch your eye. The goal here is to blend in. Think of it this way: you are seeking a truly authentic experience as you immerse yourself in every aspect of the local culture. Sharpen your linguistic skills and learn a few basic words of the domestic language. Knowing simple phrases such as Hello, goodbye and how are you will win you over with the locals as they will appreciate your efforts. Remember smaller communities tend to protect their own and have a strong bond. If there is an incident where one misbehaves with you yet gets away, you will be able to present your case better by knowing a few terms and demonstrating that you are not some snobby tourist- yet a well-travelled individual who respects their laws, culture and regulations.

  1. Tell your Embassy

Do yourself a favour and let your embassy in your host country know that you have arrived and where you are staying. Life is unpredictable, and anything can happen. It will be better if someone in your embassy is aware of your whereabouts in case any thing needs to be done or if any actions have to be taken. Leave your local contact number, hotel address and email address behind with them.

  1. Advance Planning

Hey, we are all up for spontaneous trips that are unplanned and going with the flow etc. However, depending on your choice of destination: you may want to do a few steps that go beyond booking and purchasing your travel tickets. Try to book at least two or three different accommodation spots beforehand so you have no issue when you start your journey and will avoid sleeping on the streets – where danger does truly lurk sometimes.

  1. Get Vaccinated

Before rushing off to the airport for your much-deserved holiday, pay a visit to your doctor and get a general physical exam done. You just want to make sure that everything is in order and you are good to go. You do not want to learn that you may be getting the flu or the chicken pox whilst you are on the road. Not only will that kill your entire trip but will also shoot up your medical bills- which brings us to the next point- get travel insurance as well as an international health insurance policy. You are travelling, you will be eating street food and could fall sick. It is a natural part of travelling.

  1. Avoid Strangers

Meeting new people, learning their life stories and getting to know them is part of the travelling adventure. However, avoid opening up to total strangers until you know a few details about them and truly feel you can be honest. Despite having said that, do not share personal details such as where you are staying, your home address, your personal email address nor your mobile number. Do not accept food or drink from someone you do not know either. If you are in your hotel lobby and enjoying a cup of coffee and notice someone fishy in there, do alert your hotel security services immediately.

  1. No credit card

Allow us to complete that sentence: no credit card usage at public internet cafes! Cyber theft is now a common crime. You never know if there is keylogger software installed by these masterminds on the public terminal you are utilizing to check your email. Always keep a lookout and never make online purchases at such localities. Also, pay for the usage of the computer with cash.

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