After working hard all year, you deserve a break during the summer. It’s a time for family vacations and adventures. Traveling is an excellent way to blow off steam and leave the stress of work behind.
It’s important to remember on your summertime trips that safety is still a priority. Crooks tend to target tourists more so than locals.
Here are ten travel safety tips to keep you and your family safe.
Know Your Surroundings
When you go to tourists hotspots, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge, your primary concern is getting a perfect picture. Thieves know this and count on the distraction that monuments provide.
Tourist traps are pickpocket havens. Make sure you know what’s going on around you. Does someone keep getting too close to you? Is there a group of people that you’re uneasy about? Does the local man seem a little too willing to help?
Follow your instincts. Being safe isn’t rude; it’s smart.
Don’t Flash Your Jewelry
Wearing expensive jewelry to popular tourist locations is the same as painting a bullseye on your back. You’re letting criminals know that you have something they want. Not knowing where you are and being away from your natural surroundings expounds the danger of the situation.
Women are at risk overseas because of their jewelry. What might seem like a normal necklace can fetch a month’s worth of income in other countries for thieves.
Keep jewelry and important documents in a hotel safe. Fashion isn’t worth putting yourself at risk.
Know Where You’re Going
There’s an urge to wander around a city and explore. This is fine as long as you know where you’re going.
If you’re taking a trip to Los Angeles, do some research beforehand and figure out what neighborhoods to avoid. Figure out where you want to go and explore within that area. The last thing you want to do is pull out a map in a bad neighborhood. It’s the best way to advertise that you’re vulnerable.
If you have to go into a bad part of town for something you want to do, find out what you can carry for self-defense. Most countries allow you to carry mace, but other countries have a zero tolerance policy for anything resembling a weapon. If you want to know more about self-defense weapons, learn more here.
Maintain Your Self-Awareness
There are a lot of scams around the world that center on targeting drunk tourists. Bars and nightclubs are crawling with people looking for an intoxicated person to take advantage of.
If you go to a club, don’t get drunk. You want to make sure that you can make it back to the hotel on your own accord. If your a single dentist, taking random women back to your room is a bad idea. There’s a chance you’ll get a knock on the door within ten minutes of getting to the hotel from three men who want to “talk”.
Another popular setup is when the friendly local buys you drinks and offers to take you home. There’s a good chance they plan on taking more than enough stuff from you to foot the bar bill.
Protect Your BackPack If You Have One
It’s surprising how quick and sneaky thieves are. If you carry a backpack over your shoulders, a thief can unzip the pockets and take your belongings while you’re walking down the street. Imagine the surprise if you get back to your room and everything is gone.
The best way to combat this is luggage locks for each compartment. It might not be the most stylish way to walk around, but it is the safest.
Pay For Tours And Sightseeing Events With A Credit Card
There are a lot of people, especially overseas, that set up “tours” and then cancel them at the last minute. The problem is that this cancellation tends to happen without notification for the tourists that paid for it.
If the tour is willing to accept a credit card, make sure you watch the transaction. Never let someone write down your card number because “the machine is down”. Have them process the card through a machine, and verify that the transaction went through and the machine didn’t copy your number.
The problem with paying in cash is that you’ll never get it back. With a credit card, you can dispute charges and have the money put back into your account.
If the tour is cash only and not from a reputable source, walk away.
Travel Insurance Is Travel Safety
If you’re traveling inside of the United States, you won’t need to worry about getting insurance. If you plan on going outside of the country though, you need to make sure you’re covered.
Lost luggage and getting robbed are legitimate concerns, but there are worse things that happen. Not every country has the political infrastructure and security that the United States has.
Political coups and uprisings happen in South America and SouthEast Asia more than anywhere else in the world. If you’re traveling to these countries, make sure you do some research to mitigate the risk of flying into a bad situation.
Even if things appear to be fine when you arrive, there could be tensions bubbling beneath the surface. If a coup breaks out, travelers insurance helps you get out of the country fast. For Americans, this is important, as they are often targeted during times of political unrest.
Even in Turkey, a stable country, there are coups in which Americans find themselves stuck. Travelers insurance protects you and your family’s health and wealth. Don’t go overseas without it.
Follow These Tips And Stay Safe
After reading these tips, it might seem like overseas trips aren’t worth the danger involved.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Going overseas will expand your mind, allow you to experience new ideas and cultures, and open you up to new adventures. The chances of something bad happening while you’re traveling are very low.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare. By following these ten travel safety tips and respecting the culture of your destination, you’ll reduce the chances of a bad event happening even more.
Before you travel, check out our benefits page to see how your ADA membership can save you money. We have everything from discounted insurance plans to hotel savings to help you save some money on your next adventure.