Most Americans travel once or twice a year, which makes sense. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve to have a nice break from everything occasionally.
Seeing the world can be thrilling, but it also comes with its own set of risks. However, if you’re prepared, you can have more fun without getting into trouble or danger.
What do you need to do and know before you set off on your next adventure? Read on to find out.
Get Travel Insurance
There is always a chance you might get sick or injured. If you don’t have travel insurance and get hurt while on vacation, then a personal injury lawyer can still help. However, you definitely won’t get as big compensation.
Even if you are healthy and fit, you never know what can happen, especially if you are abroad. Travel insurance doesn’t cost much, and it will cover you if you have emergency medical and evacuation needs.
Not to mention, if your luggage gets lost or stolen, you will get much-needed money to buy new clothes and toiletries, which is a huge plus. In addition, if you have travel delays, you can get compensation here too.
Research Your Destination
Your destination might seem like the perfect paradise, but you’re going into things with rose-colored glasses. The reality is, the city will have its own perils like any other place, so you need to be fully aware of them.
For example, the destination might be safe overall. But locals might know of a few streets that are unsafe to go down, even in the daylight. It is vital that you find out where these dangerous areas are, so you can avoid them.
Some cities are also well-known for tourist scams. For instance, Paris has shell game operators in the central bit. If you read about them beforehand, then you’ll know not to get involved.
Use Reputable Vendors and Sites
When booking your vacation, you might be tempted to use third-party vendors with unbelievable deals.
However, there are many online scams that will not only take your money, but they’ll also hack your computer and find out your sensitive data. In the worst-case scenario, everything might seem legit. Then when you arrive at your destination, they can’t find a booking for you, and you’re out of luck.
It’s fine to use third-party vendors, but do your research and stick with reputable sites. Look at reviews to see if anyone’s been ripped off before.
Secure Your Valuables
The best thing to do is to not bring valuables when you’re on a trip. Not only can you lose them, but they can be stolen too.
If you must bring these things, then make sure they’re secured. Most hotel rooms have safes; take advantage of these. Otherwise, if you’re wearing jewelry, try to bring less flashy pieces so you don’t draw attention to yourself.
This is essential if you’re visiting somewhere that’s more impoverished and/or has lots of pickpockets.
Don’t Carry Large Amounts of Cash
Speaking of pickpockets, they’re very good at slipping wallets and wads of cash out from people. It’s even easier with tourists since they’re distracted by navigating a new place and taking all the sights in.
Don’t carry around large amounts of cash while you’re out and about. You might get pickpocketed, and in some places, you might even get held up and robbed with a knife or gun.
We know that dealing with different currencies is hard, and using your debit or credit card will come with high fees. So converting your money into the local currency before departing makes sense.
What we suggest is keeping the majority of it in your hotel safe. Only take out what you need for the day so if you get pickpocketed, robbed, or just lose your money, it won’t be such a big hit.
Always Bring Your ID
In case of emergencies, you’ll need an ID to verify your identity. If you have a driver’s license, this is a great thing to carry, as you can leave your passport back in the hotel safe. You can also scan or take a picture of your passport so you can bring it up on your phone if needed.
In addition, carry copies of important documents and have emergency contact info on your person. They can be digital and on your phone for convenience.
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
It can be easy to get lost in your surroundings and be overwhelmed. This is why it’s a great idea to research the city beforehand and familiarize yourself with the streets on something like Google Street View. This will decrease the chances of you getting lost and becoming flustered, which will make you more susceptible to scammers.
Also, it can be nice to knock back a few drinks on vacation, or even partake in some substances. Make sure to keep your wits about you though; criminals are looking for vulnerable tourists, so don’t give them what they want.
Keep Your Phone Charged
Your phone can quite literally be your lifeline, so always keep it charged. Even if it’s at 70%, plug it in while you’re sleeping. That way, it’s at 100% when you wake up.
Bring a portable power bank with you everywhere to ensure your phone never dies.
Be Careful With Strangers
Part of the fun of traveling is that you’ll meet people from all around the world. You might even make some new friends!
However, numerous scams involve people approaching you. Be wary of anyone who talks to you first, and remain in public places if you can.
Never ignore your gut instinct. If something feels off, then it probably is.
Stay Safe on Your Next Trip
Jetting off to a new destination is always exciting. No matter how many times you’ve traveled though, you need to stay vigilant.
The fact is, there are people who want to take advantage of us. So be a smart tourist and don’t give them what they want!