Whether you’re well-travelled or embarking on a new adventure, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for international travel. This means taking the right precautions when travelling.
From researching your destination in advance, to being digitally savvy and trusting your instincts to sharing limited information online. Here’s seven important travel tips to consider before jetting away.
1. Research your Destination
Travel is far more volatile than it used to be, with everything from demonstrations to travel strikes disrupting best laid plans. Before you even get to your packing checklist, it’s important to undertake due diligence and research your destination first.
Whatever country you’re based in, look to your local foreign office for advice. This should provide up-to-the-minute news, outlining any potential risks involved in global travel. Needless to say, if you’re travelling to a high-risk destination, it’s important to remain extra vigilant and ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance in place.
2. Share your Status
Particularly if you’re backpacking, it can be hard to know how to stay safe when travelling alone. One way to achieve this is to share your travel itinerary with close friends and family in advance. This can be as simple as the hotels you’re staying in with associated dates, and your flight details. You don’t need to email or call every day, if your whereabouts are known. That said, it is always good practice to check-in regularly with relatives, especially if you’re going on far-flung exploration or adventures. The ‘Find my Friends’ App might be a useful one to download.
3. But, Be Mindful Of What You Share
Conversely, you also need to be mindful of what you share at the same time. If you’re a single traveller, you’ll want to be extra cautious about sharing your whereabouts on social media. Making your home or hotel addresses public is a definite no-no.
Learning to trust your instincts is one of the travel essentials for staying alert. If you encounter people who are questioning your plans, keep responses vague and don’t invite them into your social platforms. As a final thought, never admit that it’s your first time visiting a country, as it can make you appear more vulnerable.
4. Know the Local Travel Scams
Most countries have their own ‘local’ scams that are useful to know before visiting. This insight can be a valuable safety precaution when travelling, Such as knowing the old trick of the taxi meter not working (popular in South America), or being distracted while being pickpocketed at the same time (common in Europe). Wise up to them and avoid being a victim.
5. Level Up with an RFID Blocking Card
Cybersecurity now poses one of the greatest risks to travellers, affecting those on business and leisure travel. Not only is this criminal act on the rise, but it can be particularly debilitating for travellers leaving them out of pocket while abroad.
You’d be well placed to invest in a RFID blocking card, as one of the top travel gadgets on the market. Simply place the card in your wallet or purse and it protects your cards from digital pickpockets. That’s one less thing to worry about.
6. Keep Bags Secure
It pays to be a little paranoid when you’re travelling abroad. Keep your bags close to you at all times, never leaving them unaccompanied for a moment. If you’re dining in the city, look for bag clips and hooks under tables for safekeeping. If a rucksack is your travel gear of choice, opt for one with a zipper facing your back for keeping important items secure and close to your person.
7. Have A Back-Up Friend
In the event that you find yourself in an unwanted situation, it’s helpful to have a go-to contact to reach out to. This might be a colleague or work associate, or member of your family. Typically, they will be aware of your travels and based back at home. If you need money wired to your account in an emergency, or if you need to provide personal documents, the ‘back-up friend’ is a useful contact to have.