Trusting Your Instinct: 5 Signals That Common Travel Dangers Might Be Headed Your Way
When you’re traveling abroad, you’re looking forward to having a peaceful vacation where there are no worries and no stress. It’s a time to get away from the usual aspects of your life so that you can de-stress and focus on yourself for a change. But don’t take to travel lightly. Dangerous things can happen when you’re not paying attention, so keep these helpful tips in mind so that you can avoid common travel dangers and stay safe when you’re in an unfamiliar place.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, or volcanic eruptions aren’t something you can exactly plan for, as they can happen at any time. What you can do, is do your research on the area at risk of these events. For example, the Caribbean is prone to hurricanes from June until October, so you could plan on going later or earlier in the year to avoid being caught in one. Also you could travel to the deep southern islands of the Caribbean that are considered to be out of the likely hurricane zone.
If you still choose to head to one of these countries, it’s best that you speak with your airline and do some further research on travel websites like sanetraveller to find out what the evacuation procedures are and other useful travel tips.
Reducing Your Chances of Getting Robbed
There are criminals everywhere, so even if the country you are visiting is beautiful, you’re still may be at risk of being mugged or robbed. Criminals tend to prey on tourists because they’re likely to have more money on their person as they walk around sightseeing and buying souvenirs.
One way to avoid this is to not dress like a tourist. Don’t wear expensive clothing or accessories from expensive brands. Those are tell-tale signs that you’re carrying money around on you. Bring only costume jewelry and accessories on vacation, leave your expensive watches and gold jewelry safe at home. Another thing is to not walk around looking like your lost and clueless. Get good directions from your hotel, cell phone app, or shop owner. Keep your money well concealed, preferably under your clothes or in a money belt.
Stay alert when you find yourself in large crowds, on subways or busy marketplaces or major tourist attractions. This is where pickpockets hang out. Beware of the person who drops something in front of you to distract your attention. Do not go wandering at night in neighborhoods that are unfamiliar to you.
How to Avoid Contracting Illnesses
It’s always a good idea to check the vaccination requirements before traveling to a foreign country and to do this as far in advance as possible. Many countries require a series of vaccinations that need to be given over the course of several weeks. Also, do some research about the area you’ll be staying in to ensure that you’re close to medical treatment if you ever need it. Obviously, wash your hands frequently and try to keep your hands from your face. Pay attention to local news for alerts about local flu outbreaks etc. If you are traveling to a tropical climate, be sure to use insect repellant to avoid serious viruses spread by mosquitoes.
It’s common to go to another country and get the runs or vomiting because of the cuisine or the tap water. Buy bottled water if you have to and avoid salads and shellfish dishes. Try out local cuisine from reputable restaurants and avoid any uncooked food. You want to choose well-cooked hot foods to avoid bacteria or spoilage. Always travel with a stomach-settling oral medication like Pepto Bismol or Imodium chewables to take as soon as you feel an upset stomach coming on.
Violent Demonstrations and Outbreaks
The simplest solution is to avoid vacationing somewhere that has a recent history of political unrest. So if you were planning a trip to Paris or Hong Kong, or China, it will probably be better to do it at another time. The last thing you want is to get trapped somewhere where you can’t feel safe. If there are unexpected demonstrations or violence in a city you are visiting, head for surrounding towns or areas to remove yourself from the danger area. Leave the area of unrest immediately. You should always do advance research to know where your country’s Embassy is located and how to contact them. Pay attention to your country’s travel warnings and take them seriously.
Going on vacation is an exercise in caution, good preparation, and being flexible enough to change your plans when you need to. It’s enough that you want to have fun and get away from work, but being irresponsible can cost you more than just the price of your plane ticket.