Safe Travel in an Unsafe World ✈

Experiencing the world is one of the top goals on the bucket list of many people. The chance to explore different countries, taste different cuisines and exchange ideas with different people is high in the minds of anyone trying to maximize their time on the planet.

If you spend too much time paying attention to the news these days, you may get the uncomfortable idea that the world today is just too dangerous to explore. The temptation to hunker down and stay close to home may outweigh your desire to expand your horizons.

Don’t make that mistake. The world, in one form or another, has always been dangerous and unsafe. In spite of the risks, many people have overcome their deepest fears and tackled the world head-on. So, before you let your passport expire and decide to view the world from the safe confines of your screen, consider some ways you can safely see the world up close.

1. Do Your Homework Before You Go Anywhere

A little sense and scrutiny may direct you to avoid world hotspots this year. Things may calm down the year after next, and you can revisit your dream destination then. Dig deeper than just the dynamics of a particular country. Investigate the towns you will visit and learn about the safe travel areas and where the seedy parts of town are so you can avoid unnecessary risk.

Useful link: Canada Travel Advice and Advisories

2. Do Whatever You Can to Avoid Making Yourself an Attractive Victim

As much as is realistically possible, leave your valuables at home. If you must take jewelry, wear it at all times. Important documents, such as passports, birth certificates and credit cards are best worn in a pouch close to your body or locked in the hotel safe. Other valuable items, such as electronic devices and your necessary medications should be carried in an easy to carry handbag and should never leave your side.

3. Don’t Be Too Eager To Trust Everyone You Meet

While one of the joys of travel is meeting new and interesting people, don’t be too eager to befriend and trust everyone you meet. Some of the friendliest people you may meet in your travels are the ones most likely to be con artists and petty thieves. Be exact vigilant as you evaluate the various people you meet along the way.

8. Exert More Caution When it Comes to Alcohol Consumption

It can be tempting to throw caution to the wind while travelling and fully engage in the thrill to eat, drink and be merry. Exert more caution when it comes to your alcohol consumption than you would at home. Alcohol dulls your senses and can make you more susceptible to questionable activities and unsafe practices than you might be sober. Remember, a tipsy traveller can be a vulnerable target for thieves, pickpockets or worse.

5. Try Not to Stand Out Too Much as a Tourist

Cameras, backpacks and flashy clothing are sure signs of a tourist. Every savvy criminal suspects a tourist of being unfamiliar with their surroundings. Exude confidence and a sense of purpose as much as possible. Do your research ahead of time and try to match your everyday wardrobe to the public at large.

6. Stay In Touch With People Back Home

Safe travel involves staying in touch with the people back home. Give someone your agenda before you leave home and check in regularly so they know you are where you should be at all times. You never want to have several days go by where no one knows your whereabouts.

7. Keep Copies of Travel Documents

Keep copies of all your travel documents as well as an extra stash of money in a safe place such as the hotel safe or with your travelling companions. It will be much easier to recreate your identity if you can prove you are who you say you are to authorities.

8. Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a good use of money for travellers. It could be all the difference between a successful recovery and an outright disaster should you encounter any of a dozen possible mishaps in your travels. Anything from flight delays to the extreme situation of your untimely death are levels of coverage you can reasonably expect to finance with good travel insurance.

Travel is fun, enlightening and personally rewarding. It will be much more so if you follow some of the safety best practices that knowledgeable travellers consider second nature. ■

Thank you for reading ‘Safe Travel in an Unsafe World’
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