Personal Safety While Traveling

Travel safety takes planning, common sense, knowledge and luck. Traveling can be exciting and rewarding. Being safe when you travel can be relatively easy as long as you know how to avoid certain situations, use common sense and take measures to plan ahead. As far as luck goes, providing a lucky charm is up to you.

Personal Safety While Traveling (1)

Knowing where you are and where you are going is important. But knowing some points along the way is just as helpful. Make sure that you plan for the unexpected delay. If you know that you are traveling from London to Barcelona, knowing your lay over points and where to find food and lodging in the local area, can be helpful, in case of a flight cancellation. The same idea applies if you are driving or taking a train somewhere. Always have a backup plan that includes the points between.

If you are traveling overseas, you should be acquainted with how and where to locate help along your travel route. This should include food, lodging, authorities, your country’s embassy and medical care that can offer something better than an office first aid kit. Having the numbers for these places before you depart is a wise thing. Keeping a small journal or notebook with all this information handy could save you time and money. Just be sure to safeguard this and all of your personal information well. Always keep your visa safe.

Don’t dress in a manner that might draw attention. Dressing too well, wearing expensive jewelry or acting like an excited or confused tourist can tip off scammers and thieves that you will likely be an easy target. The fact that you will be moving on in a short period of time, means that the chances that they will get caught after the crime decreases.

Having your phone with you and keeping it charged can help you greatly, should you need to summon help. Most phones sold today have GPS technology. GPS technology and its triangulation capabilities give the authorities the ability to triangulate your location. So even if you are unsure of your location, there is still a chance that you can be found. Do not rely on this but it’s good to know. You should always be aware of your location. Check with your government’s state department for travel advisories when traveling abroad. They often list warnings and alerts on their websites that can help you travel wisely.

Personal Safety While Traveling (2)

There always seems to be those who wish to help you out. Some are quite well meaning but some are not. One of the popular scams often seen in bus stations, train depots and airports, is the ‘May I help you?’ rip off. If a criminal sees you drawing attention and looking like a tourist, they may offer to help you carry your baggage. Once they have it, it is game over. They can run with it, offer to sell it back to you or just keep you following them until they lead you to a place they feel comfortable in but you won’t. Try to stay in well-lit, populated, public areas as much as possible.

Travel as light as possible and always safeguard your luggage and goods. Traveling light keeps one hand free and allows you to move faster. You wouldn’t let a stranger carry your wallet or purse; don’t let someone carry your luggage. This is just one example; there are hundreds of other ways that thieves can pull a fast one. Be on the lookout but don’t look nervous, this can be a sign that you are feeling vulnerable. Act like you are strong, in charge and can take care of yourself. In fact, you can take care of yourself, with a little common sense.


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