TRAVEL SAFETY GUIDE
Safe travel is a simple yet often overlooked part of a holiday. Follow our Travel Safety Guide to enjoy your holiday experience while travelling safe.
Find out as much as you can
Find out as much as you can about the country you are visiting. Learning more about the country, laws and it's culture will show you how to get on the locals good side without getting into trouble with the law. Many countries have laws that might be different from your own and while you're in their country, their laws apply to you as well.
There are many resources to do so.
- Many countries have their own tourism websites that offer a lot of information about the country.
- Visit the airport's website, many airport websites contain a decent bit of information about the country.
- Visit your hotel's website as they will also have some information about the country.
- Read through the travel guides and resources that are on our blog in the Food & Travel section.
Always bring two credit cards with you. Call your credit card company before leaving for your holiday and inform them of when you will be leaving, where you're going, and when you'll be back. This helps the credit card company protect you and themselves. Also increase the credit limit of your cards before leaving as you won't know when you'll be in a situation where you'll need extra funds.
It's also a good idea to bring some cash for smaller purchases and tips. If you need more cash you can always make a withdrawal from an ATM.
Don't use an expensive or branded wallet overseas, a signal that you're a good target for pickpockets and robbers. Use a wallet that doesn't show how much you have inside, a money clip for example is not recommended.
Make copies of important documents
Make two copies of documents like your passport, drivers license and airplane tickets. Keep one copy on yourself when you're overseas and give the other copy to a family member who's not going overseas with you.
Your original passport and airplane tickets should be in your hotel safe. Carry your original driving license with you for personal identification purposes if necessary.
Always inform a family member or friend of your travel plans, including where you're staying and how they can reach you while you're overseas.
Emergency contact list
Always have an emergency contact list in your mobile phone and on a piece of paper. It should include:
- Your embassy's contact number and address.
- Your credit card company's contact number.
- Your airline's contact number.
- If you have friends in that country, include their address and contact numbers as well.
Make sure that everyone in your group has this list of numbers.
WHEN YOU'RE OVERSEAS
How to dress and how to behave overseas
Dressing in expensive clothing and jewellery makes you stand out from the crowd in a bad way. Wearing typical tourist clothes, like a tshirt with your country's flag or purchasing items that clearly identify you as a tourist will also draw unwanted attention.
Speaking negatively about people in a language or dialect that you think the locals won't understand isn't a good idea. They might understand you. e.g. Many Thais speak mandarin and I've even met a caucasian woman who could speak bahasa indonesia.
Avoid talking loudly and behaving aggressively. Always be friendly and polite, but don't disclose too much personal information or your travel plans.
When taking a taxi overseas
Always make sure that taxi's have the proper markings. Don't take private taxis.
It can be difficult to pronounce road names in a foreign language correctly. Get a name card from your hotel which should contain a small map and directions to get there and show this to your taxi driver.
If you're taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel, get the taxi driver to come out of the taxi to help you load your luggage. Wouldn't want the taxi driver to drive off with your stuff as soon as you load it.
When you're at your hotel
Hotel safes are there for a reason, don't stuff money in your shoes or other places that might seem like good hiding places.
Always do a thorough check of your room as well as all points of entry whenever you return to your room.
Don't leave valuables lying about when you're not around, keep them in the room's safe.
When you're out and about
If you have to put your stuff down for a moment, always keep an eye on it. I like to keep my foot against the side of my bag if it's on the floor. This way I'll know if someone tries to move it. If you're moving through a crowded place, carry your bag in front of you.
Taking a shortcut through a dark alley is definitely a bad idea. If you feel uncomfortable about anything, listen to your instincts. Always walk purposefully and confidently even if you're lost.
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