Traveling abroad can be a great way to learn about life and discover yourself. Many people end up staying within their comfort zone, which tends to be within the borders of the area that they live in.
When we travel abroad, we have the opportunity to see a whole new land, a new part of the world that is often nothing like the one we know.
Traveling abroad can be an amazing learning experience and an even better opportunity just to get to know ourselves by expanding our horizons.
If you have a trip abroad coming up soon, here are some travel tips to think about so that you can be as safe as possible while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
You should make sure that you have the proper address for the place that you are staying. While the address itself is certainly important, we also recommended that you have the address written in both English and the language of the country where you are staying. This should be not only on your phone but also on a piece of paper somewhere in case your phone loses battery power.
There’s little else that will be as unsettling as not being able to get to your accomodation when you first arrive, having this planned out well can save a lot of stress.
You should also make sure you invest in travel insurance, it’s unlikely that your own insurance will cover you when you are not in your own country. Additionally, any money that you bring with you should be kept in more than one place, so in case your wallet is taken from you, it is not all of your money, and you still have more funds in other locations.
Don’t be alone
If you decide to travel alone in a foreign city or to go with people who prefer to stay in rather than explore, make sure you are careful when you are walking alone.
It is a good idea to look out for another couple or a group of people and walk a little bit behind them so that you do not appear to be completely alone. Otherwise, you easily make yourself a target. Additionally, even if you are not alone, you should avoid dark areas, especially places that are not really tourist-heavy where you might be more susceptible to being mugged.
Please also be aware that the vast majority of travelers never have any problems, following the above steps is a common sense precaution becasue it’s best to to take chances and be extra safe.
Be aware of the culture
If you are going out with friends at night and are taking public transport, you should be aware of how the culture works in the area you are visiting.
If you are wearing something that may be a bit risky for the general public, given the cultural feelings in the area, you should make sure you cover up so as to not offend anyone. When taking the public transit to a friend’s house, you might want to wear something on public transport and then change into your other outfit once you arrive.
One of the Outdoor Revival staff spent some time in Japan recently, he was surprised that Cell phone use on trains and subways was a no no, they had to be off or muted and to stay put away in a pocket or bag. The trains were quiet where people just talked to each other. A little different to here!
You should also avoid wearing lots of jewelry when you are out because this will make you a more desirable target for muggers.
When you are going to use public transportation, make sure you ask questions. It can be difficult to understand just how the public transit system works in a foreign country, especially if there is a language barrier. You might think you are going directly to your destination, but it can have many stops or transfers which can serve to make it more confusing.
Take care of yourself
Once you are out, make sure you don’t get drunk. This can be dangerous for several reasons. You can become a target because it is clear when you are drunk and therefore not very aware of your surroundings. It can also open you up to be more susceptible to a wide array of crimes; people will not only be aware that you are a tourist and therefore unfamiliar with the area, but also that you’re drunk and less able to defend yourself.
You should also be aware that drinks can be stronger in other places, so when you are getting a beer make sure you know what the alcohol content it has. You should also make sure you do not leave your drink unattended at any time. This is always a good suggestion no matter where you are but is particularly important when you are in a foreign city, where you do not know the surroundings nor the people around you.
If you happen to feel as though you are being followed and it makes you uncomfortable, then you should stop on your normal path and look for a secure or public place to ask for some help or retreat into relative safety.
As a tourist, you really should try to avoid bringing any sort of unnecessary attention to yourself. Try not to make it obvious that you are not from around the area because this can easily make you a target.
It’s always a good idea to invest in a good backpack. This may not seem like something that should be on the top of your expenditure list, but it can prove to be a very valuable asset. Often if you get a cheap backpack, it can break when it’s most inconvenient, or it’s harder to carry your stuff around. Additionally, when you are wearing a backpack it’s sometimes good to put it in front of you for added security. This is obviously harder with a big backpack, but you can do it with many of them, particularly day packs.
Traveling in a foreign country is something that can be truly amazing and be a life changing experience. Safety is something that should be planned into your trip, and some of these tips will certainly help ensure that you have the best trip possible while in a foreign country.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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