(Photo: Jan Vašek from Pixabay)
According to the wise words of Saint Augustine of Hippo, "life is a book and those who do not travel read only one page". It's certainly true that experiencing new landscapes, getting to know other people and immersing yourself in different cultures can be a truly life-changing experience.
However, many individuals refuse to turn the leaf on the book of life through nothing more than fear of what may befall them while out of their comfort zone. While the world can be a dangerous place at times, there are many precautions you can take and tactics you can employ to stay safe abroad. Here are a handful of our favorites for your next trip away.
Stay connected at all times
From translating key phrases to getting directions, the internet can get you out of uncomfortable and potentially hazardous situations in countless ways. For that reason, it's important to stay connected 24/7 - but doing so via data roaming is needlessly expensive. Instead, get yourself a Europe eSIM such as the one offered by Holafly. Order before you go away, prepay your data for the duration of your trip and activate it remotely via a QR code. What could be simpler?
Insure yourself and your things
Travel insurance is one of those things you never want to use, but should always have just it in case the worst-case scenario comes to pass. By adequately insuring yourself and your belongings, you'll guarantee that you don't have to stump up for eye-watering healthcare costs or have to spend unnecessarily on gadgets stolen from you. With many companies competing for your business nowadays, you might be surprised how affordable insurance can be, too.
The flora and fauna of some parts of the world are wildly different to others, which has resulted in the evolution of distinct diseases, viruses and other health threats. As such, it's just common sense to do your due diligence and figure out which shots and vaccinations are recommended for the destinations you intend to visit. Besides keeping you safe, you might find that these are even compulsory for some governments.
Be food aware
One of the true delights of visiting a new country is sampling the local cuisine. While we'd heartily encourage you to do so, it's worth bearing in mind that not everyone's constitution is accustomed to certain flavors (spicy foods, for example) as the locals might be. At the same time, food preparation protocols may not conform to the same standards of hygiene as you're used to. For those with allergies, translating the vital phrases into the language of your destination country is also a good idea.
In one sense, drinking responsibly means only ever consuming water from reputable sources where you know it has been treated and is safe for human consumption. In another sense, drinking responsibly means consuming alcohol in moderation, since your guard is likely to drop and your behavior become more erratic when intoxicated. Both of these outcomes are asking for trouble, especially when travelling alone.
It's a good rule of thumb that dressing as the locals do is a good way to avoid trouble while outside of your own nation. That's because you'll blend in more easily and thus pose less of an obvious target to fraudsters, pickpockets and other insalubrious members of society. At the same time, doing so will also avoid the unwanted eventuality of causing offence unintentionally by wearing an outfit that's deemed culturally insensitive.
Exercise common sense
Following on from the above point about keeping a low profile abroad, you should expand this concept with regard to your possessions, too. Don't leave your wallet on the table, don't brandish an expensive watch to check the time and don't carry your phone (or other valuables) in a visibly accessible pocket or compartment. A little bit of common sense can go a long way in deterring thieves from targeting you as their next mark.
Make copies of important documents
While money and possessions are obviously important, they're far more easily replaceable than certain documents you'll need to get around, including your passport. With that in mind, we recommend making both physical and digital copies of your ID, hotel reservations, itinerary and other vital documentation. If possible, leave the originals in a locked safe in your accommodation and take your copies with you when exploring your new environs.
You should never let fear deter you from realizing your dreams and expanding your horizons through travel. Having said that, the above tips and hints are great ways of ensuring you stay safe, healthy and happy while overseas.
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