You will agree that the world has indeed become smaller in recent times, as many would like to believe. Technology has played a large part in this, with planes now flying to far-off continents and towards various corners of the earth.
The Internet, too, has made exploring the world a possibility for many adventurous souls who would, otherwise, not know where to begin.
It’s now possible to plan a trip to any dream destination, and we have been seeing an increasing number of holidaymakers opting to travel overseas for their vacation.
While there is a lot of good that comes with international travel, and even local travel, we cannot overlook the importance of staying safe during this time.
We’ve read reports and seen footage where people were caught up in all kinds of horrific incidents while they vacationed away from home.
Fires erupt in buildings and in the wild.
Floods, tornado strikes, earthquakes, and other kinds of natural calamities.
Gun attacks targeted specific groups of people.
Terror attacks of an increasingly worrying nature.
There is no telling where the next unfortunate incident will happen. It could happen locally or it could be triggered thousands of miles away. Safety, therefore, becomes a personal responsibility.
As much as the government may issue regular safety alerts, and whatnot, when it comes down to your personal safety, the responsibility heavily rests on you.
Why Is Safety Important?
Being in a foreign land, or on unfamiliar grounds, can make you an easy target for crime.
When you’re on vacation, most people around you may be local girls and boys. You’re probably going to be one of only a few outsiders, more so, if you’re vacationing in an exotic place that isn’t very cosmopolitan.
Under the circumstances, you stick out like a thin stick in a forest of thick trees. Anyone interested in making you miserable can easily find out and carry out their hedonistic intentions.
What can you do?
-Always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert at all times.
-Keep clear boundaries. You can be polite without going overboard and exposing yourself to vulnerabilities.
-Do not invite people you just met, sat at the beach with, or at the bar, back to your hotel. Treat everyone like a suspect. It can save your life.
-Avoid aggressive behavior. Even when you’re provoked. When the worst happens, you will be outnumbered and there’s no telling where a confrontation might lead.
If someone comes at you, for whatever reason, state your apologies and walk away. Again, even if you’re right. You may look like a sissy, but if it keeps you safe, it’s worth being a sissy for one day.
Being away from home, you don’t have an immediate support system
When you’re home, you know how the system works. In case of an emergency, you know how to quickly call for help. At home, you have family, friends, and neighbors close by, whom you can count on for help.
In faraway places, things may not work the same way. If you’re traveling alone, you may not have someone to immediately come to your rescue, in case something untoward happens.
What can you do?
– Know how the local systems work in the event of an emergency.
– Have your hotel number with you at all times, as well as, the contacts of your travel coordinator. If you have used a travel agent to book your trip, you can call them up at any time you need assistance.
Because public safety standards are not universal
You may be accustomed to things being a certain way. But when you’re away on vacation, expect any possibility.
Depending on where you travel, things that would be unacceptable in your home area may be normal here. Similarly, things that may be commonly available back home may be glaringly absent in your new location.
What can you do?
– Familiarize yourself with the culture of the new place before traveling so you know what to expect.
– Carry with you all the basics you need on a day-to-day basis so that you’re not inconvenienced if these items are not available in your new location.
– Enjoy the new experience and learn a few things from it too. It can be interesting to observe how different life is in some quarters. And yet, so beautiful!
Tips to Enhance your Safety while Vacationing
Learn as much as you can about your destination. Know the safe zones and which places to avoid.
If you’re on medication, carry all your medicine, and enough of it along, with your prescription cards and medical information.
In case of a trigger, this information will help the people attending to you.
If you’re driving yourself around, observe all the road rules and be careful on the road. Don’t use your car in bad weather. Given the circumstances, let a local who is familiar with the area drive you.
Follow the instructions your travel agent gives you. Travel agents know a lot about the place and will probably give you some good advice on the dos and don’ts. Follow this and you’ll be just fine.
Scan your flight tickets, passport, and other relevant passes and store them on the cloud, with copies on your phone. In case you lose the real documents, you’ll have the information needed to facilitate the processing of new or temporary documents.
If you lose your phone, you can access the copies on the cloud.
Have a few emergency contacts with you at all times. Copy these on a notebook or piece of paper and keep it separate from your wallet for easy access should you lose your phone and/or wallet.
- Avoid carrying huge amounts of cash. You can be easily singled out for attack/theft/burglary. Keep only the amount you need to pay for small stuff.
- Check the type of credit and debit cards that are acceptable where you’re vacationing and use these at points of sale instead.
- Register with the government traveler program before you leave the country or at the embassy where you’re visiting. In case of an emergency, they’ll know how to find you.
- The first step for staying safe while vacationing starts with you and the precautions that you undertake.