Whether you travel often or you’re getting ready for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, it’s important to think about safety as part of your travel preparations and understand the realities of travel and know some basic travel safety tips to help you stay aware. That way you can be prepared in the unlikely event that they happen to you. These travel safety tips should help you both identify travel problems and allow you to avoid them, or at least lessen their impact.
- Share your travel information. Before you leave, share your itinerary with someone you trust. Put the location your electronic devices so as to be easier to be tracked,Include the address and phone number of your accommodations and transportation information, like flight numbers.
- Research ground transportation. Research taxi and ridesharing companies that are available and reputable in the area. Do they take credit cards or only cash? Is there a number you can call if you have a bad experience? If you plan on taking public transportation, look for a mobile app that has real-time updates for the transportation system at your destination. This can help you avoid waiting for a bus in an isolated area.
- Familiarize yourself with the destination. Use tools like Google Maps to scout out the area around your destination. Is there a hospital or police station located near where you’re staying? Check to see if there are local bus stops in the area or a shopping center where you can easily find a cab. If you plan on going out in the evenings, plan your return trip in advance.
- Get Travel Insurance .There’s a common saying among the travel community, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” A big part of travel is the surprises you find along the way, unfortunately they’re not always good or cheap ones. From accidents that leave you with giant medical bills, to situations that leave you with legal expenses or unexpected delays, travel insurance can be a life saver. It’s always best to do your research to find out what policies cover so that you can find the policy for you.
- Use reputable transportation companies -Research which taxi companies are reputable before you arrive in a place, and use only those. If you’re ride-sharing using an app like Uber or Lyft, double check your driver’s vehicle information and verify their name before you get in the car with them. We highly recommend Coral Sea Expeditions.
- Pack a First Aid Kit -Travel puts you in all sorts of strange and new situations, so it’s little wonder that the odd injury or illness finds its way to you. If it’s something serious you should seek medical treatment, but having a first aid kit with you allows you to take care of the smaller stuff. It only needs to be a basic first aid kit, one that is capable of helping with stomach or digestion problems, cuts, sprains, or insect bites. It may take up a little bit of room in your luggage, but you’ll be glad you have it in the long run.
- Trust Your Instincts-The biggest and best bit of advice for traveling safely is also the simplest – trust your instincts. If something feels off, unsafe, or wrong, trust your gut and find an alternative. Often our subconscious picks up on things that we aren’t consciously aware of, and that’s where our “gut feelings” come from. Listen to those feelings. They will help you stay safe.
- Think about Plan B. It’s not plausible to make a back-up plan for every situation, but thinking through the following scenarios might prevent you from winding up in a tough spot.
- Are you familiar with your surroundings? Take note of local landmarks, like drugstores or restaurants, that can help you feel more oriented. If something happens, you’ll know where to turn for help.
- If you get lost, do you have the address of your lodging written down or memorized in the local language?
- If you are separated from the group, is there a designated place where they would go to look for you?
- If your phone dies, do you have a portable backup charger and a few phone numbers memorized? If you’re traveling out of the US, have you activated international service?
- If you’re planning on driving, do you have access to a map if your GPS doesn’t work?
- Do you know where the nearest hospital or police station is and how to contact them?
Now that you’re armed with these simple travel tips for traveling, it’s time to get out and explore the world!
Happy and safe travels, everyone!