Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

5 Essential Practices for Safer Travels

Traveling can be an enjoyable and eye-opening experience. However, don’t let yourself get swept up by the excitement and forget about security and safety considerations on your vacation, especially if you’re taking an overseas trip. This is even more important if you’re a first-time traveler. After all, it could cause you more than a few headaches and negatively impact your adventure. To that end, here are some essential practices to keep in mind when traveling abroad.

1. Do your due diligence
It’s a rule of thumb to always try to know as much about the planned destination before leaving. For example, reading up on traveler reviews can help you a lot in finding information on places with high criminal incidences and safe areas and neighborhoods. In addition, knowing who to call for emergencies is a security precaution you should take. So be sure to look up information on the consulate or nearest embassy, local law enforcement, and other emergency contacts.

2. Avoid drawing attention
Tourists tend to be a lot susceptible to crime than locals, so it makes sense to try to blend in with the crowd as best you can. One tip is to pick up inconspicuous clothing so you can avoid attracting too much attention. When checking your map or asking for directions, try to be as discreet as possible. Additionally, it's worth buying some protective gear and clothing. By making it more challenging for thieves to take your belongings away from you, you'll dissuade them from doing so. 

3. Get insurance
Planning and preparation can leave you less room for error and minimize the instances of trouble. However, it won’t be able to mitigate it entirely. When you get down to it, there are things that will always be out of our control. For this reason, it pays to buy travel insurance plan. Although it might sound like an additional expenditure you would rather be without, having coverage will ease any worries and get you out of a pinch. 

4. Be cautious when using public WiFi
It’s not at all a good idea to lose the accessibility and convenience of going online to keep you from making smart decisions. Public WiFi connections are more at risk of data breaches by hackers and other cybercriminals. Therefore, it makes sense to avoid using these public internet connections. If you can’t, invest in a VPN to ensure that your connection remains encrypted.

5. Copy vital documents
Lastly, you must always have copies of critical documentation like your passport or driver’s license. Scan them to have hard copies on hand, and be sure to keep them on your email or mobile device. In this way, you’ll avoid the trouble of having to look for any documents you need while abroad.

Despite being an essential consideration when traveling, many tend to overlook safety. Don't make this mistake, and follow all of the practices listed above. It will allow you to have a more enjoyable trip.