Your first trip abroad is going to be one of the most exciting trips you’ll ever take. The first time you step outside of your comfort zone into a place where it is completely unknown and strange can stir up a mixture of intense feelings: nervousness, anxiety, excitement, giddiness. You’ll want to start exploring as soon as possible but if there are some things to keep in mind to have a safe and enjoyable journey abroad, especially if you are traveling by yourself.
Tips to Stay Safe While Traveling Abroad
1. Limit the drinks
It’s so tempting to let loose and stop counting how many drinks you’ve had on your first night out. That’s usually one of the main reasons why unfortunate things happen, people let loose and stop using their common sense. It’s easy to justify it and keep going but it’s not a wise decision unless you have some other people looking out for you. If you’re traveling alone, always be aware of your surroundings and of your own personal situation. If you think that you’re at your limit, you’re probably at your limit.
2. Ask the locals
Sometimes, the news and media hypes things up and we get this pre-determined idea of what a country or a city is like without being there. Ask the locals how it’s been lately and if there is anything that you need to watch out for, if there’s been a certain area that is known for people to get mugged, if it’s dangerous to be on the beach at night or if there is any alert that’s been going around. Locals are the ones to know what’s really going on in the area so you can get the scoop from them.
3. Keep your personal belongings with you
You can use a passport pouch or a hidden belt but try not to be bringing all your cash with you and flash it around, don’t be wearing your expensive jewelry all the time and always know where your personal belongings are if you’re wearing a purse or carrying a backpack. Don’t just hang your stuff on the back of your chair and let it be for the rest of the night, someone can easily walk by and slip something out of it. Keep track of your important and personal belongings, the most important being your passport.
4. Power in numbers
Especially for women, it is always better to walk back to the hostel with others than walking down the dark street alone. Make some friends from your hotel or hostel or even at the bar you’re at and stick together when you’re walking around outside. It’s better to be safe than sorry and being alone in a foreign place makes you very vulnerable, especially if you look like you don’t know where you’re going.
5. Have a way to keep in contact
It’s easy to get a SIM card or a cheap phone so you can have a phone with you so you can make an emergency call or get in contact with your group easily. You can even use it for directions if you have data on your plan. Nobody will be able to know you’re in trouble if you don’t have a way to tell people and it’s standard for travelers to have a phone or way to keep in contact with others.
All you really need to do is be smart, use your common sense and do read up on the area you are visiting to see if there are any alerts.
Have some more safety tips? Share them in the comments below!