Staying safe when you’re away from home can take a lot of planning; you’re in a new place that you don’t know much about, there’s often a language barrier keeping you from communicating properly, and there’s a chance you’re going to miss the plan home! Maybe you’re a nervous traveller but you’re determined to not let that stop you, or you’ve simply never tried it out before; there shouldn’t ever be personal physical worries that stop you from seeing the sights you want to!
So whether you’re travelling alone or in a group, or you’re travelling to the Far East or as Far West as you can go, there’s some good safety tips to keep in mind. If you’re planning a trip away when you next get a week off work, this is the list for you! Here’s some of the best things to remember when you’re touching down in another country.
Treat the Area Like Home
And with that, make sure you’re not doing anything you wouldn’t do when out and about in your own town and neighborhood! If you’re behaving normally, you’re respectful of your surroundings, and you’re not going to get in trouble with anyone patrolling the streets. Not only can this make the place feel more like home, and you feel more normal when you’re in it, it means you’re not immediately sticking out like a sore thumb!
Don’t let yourself be afraid of any areas; if you have a liking for the market on Sundays back home, make sure you’re attending ones that take place abroad. Even if there’s huge crowds around, this is a place to make sure you’re getting a taste of home in a habitat you know you can rock! Haggle to your heart’s content, there always seems to be a general language trend when it comes to market stalls.
Blend in as Much as You Can
Acting like a tourist. It’s something we’re all afraid of doing when we’re abroad, lest we look out of place or make ourselves more of a target to less than stellar street activities. However, how else are you meant to act when you’re a tourist? There’s some things you should try to steer clear of when you’re out on the streets…
This relates to the point above, but deserves a paragraph of its own. Blending in often comes naturally, and the more you go out and about in the country, the more you’re going to feel like you know it. Make sure you’re doing everything the locals are doing; eat at the same restaurants or food stalls, shop in the same places, be respectful when they are. Not only does this make you blend in more, but it also means you won’t be falling into any tourist traps simply looking to suck up your money.
Try to dress in the same styles and colours as the people around you as well. When you look like the crowd, you’re more likely to fit into it with no problem. It also means you’re not standing out unnecessarily by dressing in fluorescent schemes, just like a tourist would. And remember, you don’t want to accidentally offend anyone when it come to being accepted by a population. Behaving in similar manners is the best way to avoid this.
Have a Base to Come Back to
Wherever you choose to bed down is going to have a huge effect on how safe you feel and whether you’re trusting enough to leave your bags. If you can’t afford any of the hotels with a clean and shiny reputation, you’ve either moved to considering hostels for young tourists like yourself or you’re thinking of calling the trip off until some deals roll around. And sure, that might be a good idea, but it isn’t the only one you have at your disposal!
If you’ve got some money stashed away for a rainy day, now’s the time to use it! If you find a HDB flat for rent, make sure you’re looking to get the deal on your plate. If you have a home base away from home that isn’t a hotel, you’re going to feel a lot more secure in the territory, and it can even work out cheaper if you’re going for a while. So maybe you’re on a business trip, or you’re simply exploring every nook and cranny you come across; trying to get a foot on the property ladder of the country of your choice is a great idea.
Leave Valuables Behind
When you’re going out during the day, make sure everything you need to stay safe and legal in the country are safely packed back at the hotel or stashed away in a safe/locker. You don’t want to be flaunting a passport or your VISA around in your bag; these can very easily be grabbed and lost forever to you. Similarly, when it comes to using a camera, try to cover up the labels or name of the brand, as the names alone can make you more of a target.
If you feel safer carry personal effects on you at all times, make sure they’re covered up and actually attached to your person. Maybe under a belt underneath a shirt, or even in a leg pocket that’s not near your torso; it’s not exactly fashionable, but it’s a lot more discreet and you’re going to have a lot less trouble with anyone taking notice of something swinging nearer your ankles.
Walk with Confidence
When you’re confident, very few people question you. And when you’re confident, you look like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going. So one of the best things you can do is stride your way along the paths and sidewalks, even when you don’t know where you are!
Staying safe when you’re travelling doesn’t have to be difficult. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and what might go on before you go, and then behave in the way the locals do.
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