Staying safe overseas is a big concern for those who travel — perhaps a bigger concern than ever before. Our current global climate is one where terrorism has taken hold, governments issue overblown safety advice, and the media fuels paranoia about whether traveling is safe (it is).
But it’s not travel that’s dangerous — it’s LIFE. Statistically, you’re more likely to be crushed to death by a vending machine at home than caught up in a terrorist attack abroad.
The biggest secret to staying safe abroad has, and always will be, traveling with street smarts and common sense. To brush up on your street smarts, the following are some straightforward, basic tips for travel safety. Often, the most simple advice is the advice we need the most.
Travel Safety: Why Common Sense is The Best Way to Stay Safe Abroad
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Don’t Get Excessively Drunk
Having a social drink is the norm in most parts of the world, although getting drunk abroad has the potential to be a recipe for disaster. You’re in a foreign country and potentially unfamiliar with its language, customs and laws. You may be with people you may have met briefly, and you likely have no idea where you’re staying.
Know your limits and drink within reason. If you’re heading out, travel with a business card of your hotel and hand it to the taxi driver at the end of the night.
Don’t Leave Anything Unattended in Public
Always ask someone to watch your belongings for you. I have a sneaking suspicion that half of the time, travelers who fall victim to petty theft have painted the target on their own backs.
Always have at least one body part connected to your belongings by looping a bag strap around an arm or leg, or fasten your bag to something around you. If an object is loose, it’s a target for theft. Even a minor inconvenience can effectively deter thieves. You don’t have to make your bag impenetrable, just less appealing than the next person’s bag.
Travel With Protection
Of course, there are always environmental factors beyond our control, and sometimes, some people are going to wind up in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s why travelers with common sense are always protected.
A medical emergency can happen anywhere. Having travel protection with medical transport membership programs such as MedjetAssist is essential for your wallet and your health. If you are hospitalized in a country overseas, MedjetAssist can arrange medical transport to get you to the hospital of your choice back home.
More Common Sense Tips
Above all, use your common sense and listen to your gut instincts. Don’t walk alone into dark alleys at night. Don’t pull huge wads of cash out in public and avoid leaving anything valuable in your back pockets. Download city or street maps before any outdoor excursions.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone you trust and try to blend into your surroundings as much as possible. Learn some basics of the local language and learn to recognize the uniforms of police officials.
Common sense and street smarts are ultimately the biggest keys to staying safe abroad.
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