Whether it is your first or fifteenth time traveling out of the country, it can be a nerve-racking experience if you aren’t fully prepared. To make international travel easier and more enjoyable, here are a few safety tips to put into practice – but remember these tips can be just as helpful when traveling in-state as well!
With Covid 19 still affecting many countries around the world, be sure to check any restrictions or requirements for the country you are traveling to. This could potentially include arrival quarantine and possibly quarantine upon reentering the states (depending on your return state).
No matter what time of year, or under what unique circumstances, you can use the US Department of State Travel Advisory website to check recommendations for whatever country you are planning to visit. this list gives insight into potentially hazardous destinations based on current events or weather conditions. They use a 4-level system to recommend travel precautions or advise against travel altogether if the situation warrants it.
Depending on your destination’s travel recommendation, you may want to send your itinerary to a friend or family member back home and plan times to check in each day and give updates. Checking in with your embassy or consulate may also add a layer of mental reassurance when traveling to higher-risk countries.
Once you are all set to travel to your destination, you can plan accordingly! Write down any and all emergency numbers or information you might need. Thinking that you will always have your cell phone handy for that information may not be the most reliable route; cell phones can be the most easily stolen items while traveling. They can be picked from pockets, bags, or when if left unattended for a short moment. Even seemingly secure bags can be a potential target for theft on a busy street or if when left to sit on the ground even for a quick photo opportunity.
Upon arriving at your destination, it may be beneficial to chat with locals or hotel staff to learn the lay of the land; what areas are great for tourists and what areas might you want to avoid? But remember, be careful not to overshare personal information that might leave you vulnerable to being misled or directed into a scam.
Finally, even as you are enjoying your trip always remember to practice situational awareness. Avoid walking and texting, wearing headphones, overly loose clothing, or carrying an overlarge backpack or purse. Being aware of your surroundings is the best way to prevent petty theft and keep yourself safe in an unfamiliar place.
There are numerous safety tips that can be viewed as more or less important than others, and it can be overwhelming to try and keep them all in mind at once. This article can help you prioritize other tips relating to your safety as you plan your international trip. As you become more aware of your surroundings, hopefully, these tips will be easier to remember and act on more naturally. Remember, the more you plan ahead, the smoother your trip will be, and the more you can relax and enjoy your time abroad! Safe travels!
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