Safety Circumstances to Be Aware of as a Common Traveler

Danger while traveling isn’t just limited to places in political turmoil overseas. Crooks abound in the United States, as well, and the prevalence of guns in the U.S. can make traveling domestically as anxious as traveling in less-than-safe places overseas.


Steps You Can Take to Maximize Your Safety


1. Never Travel With Cash.


They might be old-fashioned, but traveler’s checks are among the best methods to pay for things while traveling, particularly overseas. They have become quaint, however, and some places will no longer accept them. There is a modern equivalent, however: the prepaid credit card. Many companies that offer prepaid credit cards also offer replacement for lost or stolen cards in the same way that travelers check companies replace lost or stolen checks. You might have to pay extra fees, but the safety of not having cash is worth it. Thieves cannot use your traveler’s checks or prepaid cards because they can’t replicate your signature and don’t know your PIN.


2. Stay on the Beaten Path.


While it might seem romantic or adventurous to visit a “cafe of locals” in the Casbah, hike on unexplored trails in the wilderness, or even go to unsafe neighborhoods in search of “that amazing restaurant,” it’s generally far safer to stick to well-traveled paths and places. Uninjured and alive is better than risking everything for the “lure of adventure.”


3. Be Sure All of Your Travel Documents Are in Order.


Being blunt, you don’t want to wind up in jail in a foreign country because your travel documents aren’t in order. Also, following the laws of the countries you visit is just respectful, and the officials of those countries will likely be much friendlier to you if you follow the law than if you don’t.


4. Let Someone Know Where You’re Going and When You Plan to Be Back in Touch.


Let’s say that you’re planning an excursion to the marketplace in a certain location overseas. You let someone back home know that you’re going to be at the marketplace for three hours and that you’ll be back at your hotel at a certain time when you will contact them to let them know you’re all right. If you have this agreement, then if you don’t get back in touch at the agreed-upon time, the person with whom you said you would be back in contact could call someone in authority about you being overdue.


5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings.


Even if you don’t stay on the beaten path, you can still take steps to remain relatively safe. Hone your attention to detail about where you are. If something feels, off, then it automatically is until something shows that it’s not. Going back to the example of “that amazing restaurant,” if you approach it, and you get a bad feeling about it that you can’t explain, then it’s far safer not to go inside. Paying attention requires effort, but if you’re attentive, then you will avoid many dangers.


6. Learn at Least “The Standard Phrases” in Any Relevant Language.


If you go to Germany, learn conversational German. This applies equally to any country. Not only does it show respect, but it also indicates a desire to be part of the culture of that country, and many inhabitants of that country will appreciate your efforts even if you butcher the grammar and the accent. Also, being able to have at least rudimentary conversations with the people of the countries you visit will help keep you safer than otherwise because they can tell you if something is amiss.