I recently mentioned to my family that I would like to take a year of exchange studies in either Copenhagen or Stockholm. To my delight, my parents were very approving and highly recommended the experience. However, something that they stressed to me was the importance of safety- especially as a young, female traveler. I decided to do more research on travel safety, and found a few great tips that really resonated with me.
1. Consider purchasing travel insurance.
If you get injured overseas, medical costs can be incredibly high. Most travel insurance plans will cover this, among other scenarios such as: protecting travel investments from sudden cancellations, expatriation if you’re working or living abroad, and more.
2. Don’t wear flashy accessories in public.
Avoid displaying jewellery, expensive watches, bulky cameras, and other signs of wealth to protect yourself from theft.
3. Carry your belongings in interior pockets or sturdy backpacks.
Places that attract a lot of tourism can also attract a lot of pickpockets. While visiting Barcelona, my friend noticed that his backpack had been unzipped, while another friend caught a woman’s hand in his pocket.
4. Keep electronic copies of important documents.
Having electronic backups of your passport, plane ticket, bookings, and other forms of I.D. can be a huge lifesaver if any paperwork gets lost or damaged.
5. Know the area you’re travelling to.
Certain neighborhoods are notorious for crime. Check travel websites to read up on an area’s safety as well as other travellers’ experiences.
6. If you’re travelling alone, give a copy of your itinerary to someone back home.
Whether it’s a family member or a friend, it’s important to have at least one person who knows where you are.
7. Before the trip, make an appointment with your doctor.
Ask about any potential vaccines that you may need as well as advice if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
8. Choose transportation carefully and stay alert.
Although it may be tempting to fall asleep in a cab after a long day, it’s important to stay awake and aware. If something feels off, track the cab on Google Maps to see if the vehicle is going off route.
9. Do not appear to be alone!
Even if you are travelling solo, it’s a good idea to give others the impression that you are with a group. If you feel that you are in a risky situation, attach yourself to a group and make it seem like you are a part of it. Isolated travelers are often targets of robbery.
Although going abroad can be an incredible experience, it’s important to keep safety on your mind when you’re visiting a foreign country.
“Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.” – Unknown