Vacations are meant to be carefree. Still, most people are rightfully concerned about how things are going at home while they are away. Just as concerning is the feeling of not being entirely safe at the destination either. Is it possible for travelers to feel protected while also being assured that things at home are fine? Yes! Here our our tips for staying safe when traveling.
Tips for staying safe when traveling
Planning is the key to safety. When that planning is coupled with common sense techniques there is little reason to be worried about security at home or safety when on the road. One of the most basic tips for staying safe before travel is to acquire travel insurance. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if anything goes wrong, you’ll be glad to you paid extra. Travel insurance provides you with protection if you have to cancel your reservations at the last minute or are forced to cut your stay short. Some insurance plans include medical evacuation coverage so you won’t have to foot the bill if you become seriously ill or injured while you’re away. Coverage for lost or stolen items is also available. Some vacation companies, like cruise lines, offer travel insurance as an optional part of packages. However, there are independent companies that sell travel insurance policies. Even your existing car and home insurer may offer useful vacation coverage.
You’ll also feel a great deal safer before and during your vacation if you are up to date on all vaccines and medical check-ups. Make an appointment with your doctor for well before your departure date, and check out whether or not extra vaccines are recommended or required for certain destinations. Americans planning an international vacation can check out the vaccines.gov website to learn more about what’s required. A travel agent can also provide helpful information about vaccination requirements.
Getting vaccinated is just the first step toward maintaining your health on the road. You’ll also want to put together a travel first aid kit. There are first aid kits designed for travelers that probably have most of what you need. These packs are easily customizable if you want to add additional items. If you’d prefer to make your own first aid kit, then start with a small fishing tackle box that’s made of plastic and contains several compartments. A hard, plastic container may sound bulky but you want something that’s not going to allow the contents to get crushed or broken. Stock up the container with bandages, tweezers, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, scissors and basic painkillers. Throw in additional supplies like motion sickness medicine, anti-diarrhea tablets and cold relief capsules according to your own inclination. Having access to these basic necessities when you’re traveling the world can mean a quick solution to a troubling situation.
Before you set out on your adventure you’ll want to make certain that you have all prescription medications with you. It’s generally best to pack them in your purse or carry-on bag rather than putting them in your checked luggage. That way, you’ll always have your prescriptions even if your suitcase gets lost.
It’s also a good idea to review your health insurance before you leave home. Does your coverage include protection if you’re traveling out of the country? If it does, is it adequate for a major medical emergency? Try to think about making these changes a month or two before departure to ensure that they take effect long before you leave. European travelers who are visiting other EEA countries may want to look into the European Health Insurance Card (http://www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk). This free card makes it possible for travelers to get treatment in participating countries for free or at a reduced rate. If you have an emergency on the road, it’s definitely the way to go.
Get familiar with your destination long before you arrive there. Read guide books, visit tourism websites and talk to friends who have been there. It’s helpful to know if certain parts of the city are particularly dangerous or if the park where you’ll be camping is having trouble with bears. Getting informed is the best way to be prepared. You’ll know to avoid certain neighborhoods or know how to discourage wildlife from coming into your campsite.
Having copies of all of your travel documents is also a smart move. Take copies with you, but also take the time to scan them digitally just in case. It’s just as important to leave copies of these important documents with a friend or family member you trust. If you lose all of your documentation, your buddy back home can fax or email copies to you, and that can get you out of a lot of tough situations. Copies of your itinerary, reservations, identification and other documents may be necessary.
You’ll find that you worry less about how things are going at home if you ask someone to come by periodically to check things out. Your friend can take the garbage out to the curb, open or close draperies, pick up the mail or put it on hold, take care of pets or do any of dozens of other little chores to make your house look occupied. This discourages burglars, and you’ll rest easier knowing that someone you trust is keeping an eye on things.
Consider your travel backpack, luggage, and carry-on bags. Make sure to not bring too many pieces as it becomes more to be concerned with, especially in busy locations. How will you carry your essential items, like currency, driver’s license and/or passport? Consider a secure money belt or travel wallet, and be sure to guard it at all times.
Traveling is exciting. While you’re busy taking in the sights it’s easy to get distracted. This makes you more likely to lose things or leave items behind. Whenever you move away from being seated, take a moment to look behind you. Check out your café table or your seat on the bus before you leave. You don’t want to leave anything important behind. Also, don’t let yourself be so distracted that you don’t notice what’s going on around you. Is someone showing unusual interest in you? Don’t make the mistake of being too friendly and trustful. Remember to always lock your hotel door the moment you are inside. Above all, resist the temptation to drink heavily. When your senses are impaired you’re susceptible to mugging, pickpocketing and other crimes.
Staying safe while traveling tips
Staying safe when traveling is possible with common sense and planning. By following these tips you’ll be free to enjoy yourself without having to worry about safety and security when traveling.