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Travel Safety 101: How To Keep Safe While Traveling The World

Travelling the world can be an enlightening, inspiring, and life-changing experience. Unfortunately, being vulnerable in a new place can make for horrible experiences if proper precautions are not taken to ensure your safety. With tourists being subjected to robberies, violent altercations, rapes, and even murder, it is absolutely crucial to maintain control over yourself and your belongings. Many things are common sense, and the following are a few basic considerations for keeping safe on your next trip.

Share your itinerary with someone back home.

Leave your travel itinerary with someone, or multiple people back home to be extra secure. Doing so will not interfere with your independence or your status as a worldly traveller. It makes you smarter and better prepared. It is helpful for friends and family when they can find you if necessary, and know your whereabouts if they do not hear from you for an extended period of time. Additionally, most countries offer a smart traveller enrollment program where you can register as a tourist.

Research your destination prior to arrival.

This almost goes without saying, but everywhere in the world has different customs, rules, and ways of doing things. It is vitally important to be aware of these variances before your trip begins. Some countries have unspoken dress codes and wearing anything else could be offensive. Other locations have rules about curfews or specific places that should be avoided entirely. The internet is a great resource for planning a trip — take some time to familiarise yourself with your destination.

Leave your most prized possessions and valuables at home.

Depending on your travel destination, leaving your Great Aunt’s antique brooch at home might be wise. Laptops, watches, and jewellery, unless absolutely necessary, are better left somewhere safe. Losing something important out of carelessness or by robbery is sure to ruin any trip.

Look smart.

If you are alone, unable to speak the local language, and crying because you cannot find your hotel or hostel, you will seem to many an easy target. If you are not in an especially tourist-driven area , try to avoid bewildered expressions whilst looking at your map. Similarly, do not vent to strangers like bartenders, taxi drivers, and hotel workers about your lack of local knowledge.

Watch your drinking.

Speaking of bartenders, it is most likely a good idea to avoid reliving your college days by becoming intoxicated whilst abroad. Again, you will look like an easy target, not to mention you will probably lose your keys, phone, and other valuables. If you are someone who likes to party, do so where you are familiar with the environment and have someone to watch out for you.

Secure your credit cards and cash.

Nowadays there are countless brands and styles of travel wallets that you can discreetly attach almost anywhere on your body. Purchasing one of these is easy and can save you heartache and trouble if anything should happen. Make sure that when you call your credit card company to inform them of your trip you also store your credit card numbers somewhere in the situation that you may need to cancel one quickly.

Secure your luggage.

It is of paramount importance to always keep your belongings safe and sound. There are many TSA-approved padlocks that could prevent unsavory hotel or airport workers from tampering with your precious items. If you are travelling on public transport, try to sit directly next to your bags and keep a watchful eye over them at all times.

Blend in.

Try, within reason, to look and act like a local as much as possible. Sticking out like a sore thumb will leave you vulnerable to scammers, or worse. While you should always respect the culture and customs in any location, doing simple things like dressing the part, being polite, walking with confidence, or eating the authentic cuisine can help prevent insults or attacks. Along with this, do not expect everyone to speak English, which may mean that it is wise to learn a few key phrases and words before arriving.

Trust your instincts.

Your instincts are normally enacted for a reason, so do not be afraid to leave a situation or call for help if your gut tells you so. If someone appears to be distracting you or leading you in the wrong direction, stop and ensure that you and your belongings are safe. Avoid walking alone at night, do not try to convince yourself to wander through streets that leave you feeling nervous or apprehensive. Cautiously assess anyone who offers you something, from drinks to help and company — they may have an ulterior motive.

About the author: Mark Tulloch is a co-owner and villa specialist at Asia Holiday Retreats, the premier booking service for holiday villa rentals in Bali, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. He’s constantly travelling the continent to personally handpick top quality villas for their portfolio. With offices in Bali, Sydney, and Hong Kong, and partnerships with over 500 luxury villas, Asia Holiday Retreats continues to expand with more desired holiday destinations planned for 2017.

Mark has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry and huge success in managing luxury boutique hotels in Australia and London. And to Asia Holiday Retreats he brings a 5 star service to all guests, from helping them find and book their ideal villa accommodation to supporting them during their stay with anything they require.

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