Heading out of the country? Keep these travel safety tips in mind.
If you’re about to head out of the continental U.S. for the first time ever, congratulations! There are few things more exhilarating, educational, and life-affirming than a trip outside the borders of the known and familiar. There’s an enormous world out there waiting to be explored, and no matter what adventures you encounter on your journey, you’ll probably come home a little wiser and more humble than you were when you left.
But to get the most out of your experience, you’ll need to keep safety in mind. When you’re outside of your element, it’s easy for small things to go wrong, and small things can quickly spiral into big things. A few simple travel safety tips can help you stay in one piece and avoid bad memories.
Safety Tips For First Time Travelers
1.Before you go, make photocopies of your driver’s license, your credit cards, and the first page of your passport, and leave these with a friend or family member. If these items are lost or stolen, you’ll be able to resolve issues quickly if you have all the necessary numbers on hand.
2.Be careful with currency. It’s easy to start treating foreign money like play money, since odd bill sizes and colors don’t bear familiar associations. But it’s still money. Don’t carry around large sums of cash and don’t count money in public. Consider using a money pouch that can be hidden under your shirt or around your waist.
3.Follow your instincts, especially at night. If you aren’t comfortable walking down a certain street, swimming on a dangerous-looking unpopulated beach, eating a suspicious-smelling item from a food cart, or befriending someone you don’t trust, don’t make yourself do it for the sake of adventure, cultural flexibility, or anything else. Stay open minded, but not when it comes to your personal safety.
4.Don’t run out of any necessary prescription medications. Make sure you have all you need before you go.
5.If you’ll be heading into the wilderness or back country, especially for days at a time, tell the local authority or park service who you are and exactly how long you’ll be gone.
6.Stay attuned to potential scams. Tourists are a vulnerable population in general because they’re rarely familiar with local customs, average costs, the local law enforcement system, or the language. Don’t be paranoid, but let your vulnerability keep you alert.
If you’re an experienced global traveler, do you have any tips to offer? Let us know where you’ve been, and what you did to stay safe overseas. Bon voyage!