Safety Tips for Budget Travelers in Foreign Countries
There are many things to keep in mind when traveling, whether you are a budget traveler or not. You obviously want to keep what money you have for your trip rather than lose it or have it stolen. You also want to keep yourself and traveling companions safe from harm. Here are some tips to follow to ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable in a foreign country:
1. Have a valid passport and all visas required for your trip. Make two copies of your passport. Keep one in a separate part of your travel luggage and the other leave with someone at home.
2. Be aware of any travel warnings for the country you are visiting. Find out about security and safety conditions in your destination.
3. Secure travel insurance!
4. Ensure you have been vaccinated against any infectious diseases prominent in the area you will be traveling to.
5. To make sure you can be contacted in case of an emergency, make a copy of your itinerary and leave it with someone at home.
6. Travel light and don’t pack valuables that you wouldn’t want to lose. Leave your jewelry at home but take an extra pair of glasses if you can’t live without them.
7. Remember you are a foreigner when you travel. You are a guest in their country and therefore should abide by their laws, and to a certain extent, their customs. For example, if you are a female traveling in an Islamic state, be considerate of your dress.
8. Try not to bring too much attention to yourself when traveling. Don’t go out looking like a tourist with a flashy camera and expensive clothes. Try to blend into the scenery.
9. Travel in a group where possible and in well known areas. There will be times you want to get off the tourist track, so make sure you always have a traveling companion with you.
10. Only carry small amounts of cash on you. Your credit card and travelers checks will pay for most things.
11. Watch out for pickpockets! Wear a money belt and keep your purse/wallet in the front of your body. Report any loss or theft immediately to the local authorities.
12. Don’t leave your luggage unattended. Apart from having it stolen or items from it taken, you could also become an unsuspecting drug courier.
13. If traveling with a partner, pack half your clothes in their luggage and vice versa. This way if one of you loses your luggage, you will still have some clothes.
14. Lock your luggage and label everything.
15. Lock your hotel room. Keep money and valuables with you, not left unattended in your room.
16. When using public transport be aware of possible theft. If you are traveling overnight, secure your luggage and sleep on top of it if possible. It is not uncommon for tourists to be drugged while on trains and buses so don’t accept gifts of food or drink from strangers on public transport.
If at any time you feel unsafe, whether it is on the streets or in your accommodation, get out. Follow your instincts. Stay safe when you travel by being aware of the dangers and obeying the laws of the country you are visiting.
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