For many people, getting the chance to travel abroad can be a dream come true. However, it can turn into a nightmare if you lose your valuables or get robbed. Most of the time this does not happen, but travelers should still be aware of the dangers they face. Here are seven tips to help you travel abroad safely.
1. Carry your valuables and money in different locations. At home, you probably have all your cash and credit cards stuffed into one wallet. When you’re traveling abroad, this is an easy way to get everything stolen at once. It’s best to keep your passport and extra credit cards is a locked hotel safe. When this isn’t possible, you should keep your them in different pockets and locations on you body.
2. Be smart about how you carry your money. Never put your wallet in your back pocket because this is an easy target for thieves. Front pockets are better but still not ideal because you want to store your money where people no one can reach it. A jacket with a pocket on the inside is a good idea, as is a money belt. Money belts are generally worn under the shirt and contain multiple pockets. You can also store extra money in your shoe.
3. Choose your clothing carefully. Expensive clothing and jewelry should be left at home. Casual clothes are generally best, and they will not bring unwanted attention to you. If you’re headed for a warm climate, make you sure you pack light clothing.
4. Make copies of your important documents. It’s best to have both a paper copy and a digital copy that you e-mail yourself. Your passport is the number one thing to copy, but visas, driver’s licenses, itineraries, and plane tickets are also important. If you can, give a copy of these documents to a friend or family member.
5. Know as much as you can about the country before you leave. Consular Information Sheets are a good place to start. These sheets will tell you about the entry requirements, health conditions, and currency. Follow the media to find out if there are any specific dangers you should be aware of. Travel books are also a valuable source of information about local customs and culture. Learning about the local people is important in order to avoid offending anyone.
6. If you need any medicines during your trip, keep them in the original prescription bottles. This will make things go more smoothly during customs checks. Countries may also have different laws about what medications are legal, so make sure you check with the embassy before you leave home. If a medication contains narcotics, it’s wise to have a letter from your physician stating why you need it.
7. Stay alert. Traveling can be tiring, but you need to stay vigilant for suspicious people. Some people who seem overly friendly or helpful may be trying to con you. Lookout for people who bump into you in a crowd as well because this is a way pickpockets steal wallets.
As long as you follow these tips and practice common sense, your trip should be a safe one. Remember that thousands of people travel to foreign countries each year, and the vast majority of them have a great time.