Travel is never completely risk-free, even to popular tourist spots with great reputations. Therefore, it is always wise to be street smart and monitor what your body tells you.
Plan ahead and protect yourself with a robust travel risk management strategy to guarantee a hassle-free journey. Here are some helpful hints:
1. Know Where You’re Going
Travel is always risky, especially solo travel, but you can do your part to minimize risks. With crowds thinned out and pandemic lockdowns easing off this fall, make sure that you take steps for both health and safety – such as getting vaccinated against pandemic viruses, wearing protective masks on plane rides and packing hand sanitizer.
Before you travel, do your research on the area you will visit by reviewing crime stats, traveler reviews and talking with those who have already visited. Share your itinerary with someone back home and check in once each day so they know you made it safely.
Be wary of local scams such as Argentina’s “ketchup on backpack” trick or Thailand’s coronavirus-prevention police; each country presents its own set of safety concerns; therefore it’s essential that when selecting accommodations and food and beverage sources you take proper measures to stay safe.
2. Know Who You’re With
Reconnecting with friends or family who you haven’t seen since the pandemic? It is important to follow basic travel safety rules. These include washing hands regularly, social distancing when possible and avoiding physical contact such as hugging and kissing people older than you, which could cause infection; instead opt for air hugs or elbow bumps as greetings instead.
Pickpockets may target travelers on public transportation; therefore it’s advisable to choose a seat away from strangers. Also remember only carrying small amounts of cash as keeping it stored away will leave less vulnerability for pickpocketing attacks.
Step two for travel safety should include informing someone where you’re going and checking in at the end of each day with them – this can ensure assistance if anything should go amiss while away from home.
3. Know Your Luggage
Travel can be hard on luggage, and although delays, lost or stolen bags are rare occurrences they can ruin your entire trip. Therefore it’s vital that you devise plans to ensure it arrives intact at its destination.
Labelling suitcases and backpacks with your name, address and contact number is an effective way to prevent thefts from gaining access. A lock can further help deter thieves.
Rather than checking fragile items as checked baggage, consider keeping them in your carry-on so they are less likely to get damaged during flight.
Personalizing your luggage with vibrant or colorful straps will ensure it stands out at baggage claim, while many travelers attach GPS luggage trackers as a great way to monitor its location and stay aware of where your belongings are at all times.
4. Know What to Do in an Emergency
As each emergency situation is different, knowing what to do generally in an emergency will help keep you safe. Listen to local authorities for safety instructions – they may advise staying put (sheltering in place) or evacuate. Make sure you stay connected via television, radio and social media for updates on local authorities’ instructions.
Plan how and where you’ll contact loved ones should the phones be down and establish a meeting spot before disaster strikes. Remember to include elderly or vulnerable family members when creating your evacuation plan.
Mind-training exercises and meditation can help keep you calm during a crisis. Panicking may be normal, but by remaining under your own control and maintaining speedy, intelligent responses to emergencies you’ll be more prepared to act promptly and intelligently – as well as avoid overproduction of cortisol which makes planning actions difficult.
5. Know the Local Language
Although it is possible to navigate some countries without speaking the local language, most experienced travellers agree that learning it makes for a much richer travel experience. Not only will you be able to navigate everyday activities like purchasing food or taking transportation more smoothly and receiving assistance from locals more readily than if you spoke no local tongue at all!
Speaking the local language also sends the message that you care enough to adapt to local customs, making you less of an entitled tourist and decreasing their opportunities to take advantage of you or lead you astray when communicating through English. An app that reads phrases aloud could help with practicing pronunciation beforehand.