Navigation Menu

Most people follow the Banana Pancake Trail when setting off on their adventures. In other words, they follow the same routes millions of travelers have already experienced. They are playing it safe even if they don’t know it.

Surviving when you’re traveling in rougher countries isn’t the same. You need to approach things differently if you want to stay out of trouble. Let’s look at a few examples to ensure you’ll always be prepared.

5 Ways To Survive When Traveling In Rougher Countries

Watch Out For Dangerous Animals

Have you ever thought about adopting a cat? I doubt it’s the same kind you’ll come across when you visit India. Villagers still have to keep a watchful eye on tigers every day to guarantee their safety.

Imagine how crazy they’ll think you are if you start exploring the wilderness in remote areas. There are dangerous animals in most countries you’ll travel around. So it’s crucial you study up on them before leaving.

The area’s rich wildlife includes tigers, black bears and elephants.

Try To Eat In Popular Restaurants

What would you do if you saw a food vendor letting a dog lick the plates clean? You probably wouldn’t catch them in the act, but in certain places it happens. It’s an easy way to end up in excruciating pain.

Avoid getting sick when eating in restaurants by studying the locals. If somewhere is popular you can almost guarantee it’s safe. Spending a few days curled up in bed is something you must avoid.


Staying Well Away From Politics

Locals might try to drag you into discussions about politics. If you read the news at home I’m sure you’ll know what is going on in their country. Keep it to yourself to avoid any trouble.

You never really know who you’re speaking to even if they appear friendly. Things could turn ugly if you say the wrong thing. You should also refrain from talking about the political situation in your home country.

And you shouldn’t post anything controversial on social media while you’re there. Government bodies watch your online behavior, and travelers have been jailed before for something as simple as a tweet.


Don’t Carry Too Much Equipment

Take your laptop, smartphone, camera, iPad, Kindle, and other gadgets to places like Australia. In poorer countries, it’s much easier leaving most of your equipment at home where it’s safe.

Not only will you have to carry everything around, but you’ll need to keep an eye on it at all times. Check iPhone 6 prices before you go. You can use it to do almost anything and it’s small enough to fit in your pocket.

Obvious Scams Are Easy To Spot

The majority of people in the developing world will make a fraction of the money you earn. You can’t blame them for coming up with scams. It might be the only way they can afford a few luxuries every month.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to spot the scams. If it’s too good to be true it usually is. Walk away the minute you suspect something is wrong. It will be hard to find anyone willing to help you out if you don’t.

You Need To Prepare For The Worst

I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but you need to prepare for the worst.

A clueless traveler will get into trouble easily in many countries. If you’re prepared you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.



Powerfly Solar Powered Backpack

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter


GRAYL Water Purifier Bottle


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.


  1. Avoiding politics and respecting all religions goes a long way in making friends world wide. High on this list should be modesty too, both with affluence and the amount of skin you show.
    It’s important to define what is a dangerous animal. Mosquitoes kill 1 million people a year and snake bites kill 90,000 people a year. 55,000 to 22,000 people in India die from rabies yearly, usually by infected dogs. There certainly are dangerous animals out there you need to look out for.

    • I absolutely agree with your point about modesty – not only one of the best ways to blend in and not draw attention to yourself in a foreign country, but I think out of respect for the community you’re visiting too.

      Also a good point on defining a dangerous animal. To your same point, sharks kill so rarely compared to the stats you’ve given for Mosquitoes, snakes and wild dogs. So I think the important message is to research the region you’ll be visiting and make sure you’re aware of potential hazards to protect yourself accordingly.

      Safe travels!

  2. Such great tips. At first, I am thinking, right, dangerous animals. That’s a bit far-fetched. Then I started to think, hang on……… Many a time I have worn bear bells and rung them while hiking through parts of Japan.

    My point is, even in places you may not even think there are dangerous animals, there are!

    Plus I do think it is important to stay away from politics no matter where you are!!

    • Thanks Sara – yes, it probably does sound a little alarmist, but fact is that there are dangerous animals in every country, whether that’s something as simple as mosquitoes like Jen mentioned above.

      So most important thing is to research and make sure you know how to act responsibly in the presence of wildlife. And of course, mouth zipped on politics :D

      Safe travels!

  3. Good points especially about traveling light for so many reasons. I hate worrying about my tech and work to take only what I need. Always happy to get tips like this and travel better.

    • Glad the post was helpful for you Elaine. Yes, I agree re my tech, I try to keep it as light as possible when I’m traveling. Only the essentials :)

  4. Great advice about not chit chatting about politics. And definitely not posting negative things on social media about a country you are visiting. I’ve seen many expats make that mistake, especially in open Facebook groups. People tend to forget how many people may actually see the postings.

    • Absolutely – you hear about so many people getting into trouble that way, but government agencies are looking and listening everywhere nowadays. And sometimes you might just be unlucky enough that they want to make an example. So best to keep it zipped!

  5. What you mentioned about dogs licking plates clean has shocked me… I just hope it isn’t true!!! Staying away from politics and not posting anything controversial online are wise tips.And yes show of many gadgets can attract unnecessary attention.

    • You would be surprised!!! That was more of a phrase to demonstrate the importance of hygiene as opposed to having actually seen it happen … but some countries have big problems with stray dog populations, and then street food comes into play. So it’s best to stay cautious.

      And absolutely on staying away from controversial topics. Everyone is listening and watching what you post these days!

  6. That’s interesting I actually hadn’t thought of researching the wild animals before visiting a country! How terrifying to accidentally come across a tiger! It’s tough to leave all your gadgets at home when traveling, especially as a blogger. I just got an anti-theft backpack for my birthday which I’m planning to take to Spain next month, I’m hoping that I can keep all my stuff safe in there without the worry of getting robbed!

    • Every country, even in the developed world has wildlife which you should be cautious of, so it’s good to get into the habit of researching before a trip to know where to go and how to behave, for instance Australia has snakes, parts of the US have bears etc. All very safe though if you follow instructions and government advice from the local area.

      Hope you have an amazing time in Spain! Spain is a fabulous country, though in busy cities pickpocketing is a problem, so an anti theft backpack is a great idea :)

      Have a fabulous trip!

  7. These are really great tips, especially for someone visiting a rougher country for the first time. We always bring a life straw with us anytime we travel anywhere that you “shouldn’t drink the water” because that’s something you definitely don’t want to be stuck without. Definitely eat where the locals eat too. They know what’s up.

    • Thanks Paige :) Life Straw is fabulous isn’t it – really helps out when you’re hiking or in a developing nation which doesn’t have the greatest track record for clean water. Health and safety should always be our first priority :)

  8. Great tips! As an American, I’ve been taken down the politics rabbit hole one too many time during my travels. I’ve literally come up with “talking points” to evade the subject…

    • Thanks Jessica! Very good strategy having talking points to divert the conversation – my husband is American and a lot of the time he just says he’s Canadian lol

  9. It is always challenging when you choose to travel on trails that are less trodden.One needs to be careful and probably take the guidance of experts before venturing into unknown territory. This was recently highlighted to me in a tragic manner when I read about a 21-year boy dying while doing the Chadar trek in India which is across a frozen lake.

    • It’s definitely challenging, but the biggest challenges reap the greatest rewards right! It’s very safe to travel in less visited countries, and there are incredible experience waiting for those willing to trek off the beaten path, but it does require a greater level of planning, research, and you have to be able to be aware of your surroundings while on the ground.

      Yikes, so sorry to hear about the boy who lost his life in India. Truly a tragic event :( RIP.

  10. You remind me of the first time I visited Hong Kong. As I traipsed around, I saw many of the fooderies dumping their plates into pots of hot filthy water and then putting them sideways to drain. Yeah, that left me dying (almost literally) to try their wares. Or, when I visited Vienna (another bad idea) and was greeted with armed soldiers guarding the Jewish quarter. Letting me know exactly how welcoming this ex-Nazi bastion still welcomes folks like me.

    • Sorry to hear you had troubles in Hong Kong and Vienna. Was your trip to Vienna a while ago? We visited last year and didn’t notice any Nazi influence or attitude left, really enjoyed our time in the city. I’m sorry to hear you had to experience that :(

  11. Did you use the solar power backpack? If yes, was it reliable and for what gadgets did you use it?

    • Hi Natasha, I haven’t personally used the solar powered backpack but one of my friends has it and swears by it. I really need to get one myself actually! It will charge any usb rechargeable devices, and in terms of being reliable it has a 10,000mAh battery, as well as the solar charging panel to keep the battery topped off. So you shouldn’t have any problems running out of charge.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Great tips. Staying away from politics, scams, animals, eating at good restaurants, carry lightweight, etc, are worth trying to survive in developing counties.

    • Glad you found the post helpful George. Safe travels!

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *