Safety and security. These are usually of the utmost importance to most travellers when researching their next travel adventure. But, did you know that huge numbers of people heading to far off lands and tropical beaches actually put themselves in danger with their choice of travel destinations? Do they know how to stay safe overseas?
Just think of the amount of people currently sitting on beaches in Bali and Thailand, sipping cocktails without a care in the world. Well, they should care. Both Indonesia and Thailand are on one of the highest alerts from the Australia’s Smart Traveller and, most other governments lists. Exercise a “High Degree Of Caution”! With the amount of foreigners on the soil of those countries, obviously many didn’t do their research on how to stay safe while overseas. Either that or, they are adventurous! Read on for some handy tips to stay safe overseas.
How To Stay Safe Overseas
Scams And Theft
One of the biggest concerns for travellers is the prevalence of scammers, pickpockets and petty thieves. These people are often the only locals you will find in areas popular among tourists. Most have their “art” refined down to a tee and, you will never notice you have been taken until it’s too late.
One thing which I have never understood is men carrying their wallets in their back pocket. They are just asking to be fleeced. Guy’s please, always carry your wallet in your front pocket! It is way too late when you have been taken by one of these highly skilled thieves. Prevention is better than cure. Don’t think that you can outsmart them because you can’t. These people “earn” their living off know-it-all tourists. Just like scam artists.
Scammers are prevalent in many, many cities around the world. Actually, they are pretty much everywhere to some degree. As hard as it may be, ignore EVERYONE who approaches you for any reason. Especially with a hard luck story. Oh, and that gold ring that you “lost” in Paris which a helpful local has kindly offered back to you in exchange for a small sum of money? Unless you want a worthless piece of metal, don’t fall for it. Just like you should not catch the fake baby in Rome for if you do, you will be cleaned out in the blink of an eye for the moment you are distracted!
Exercise common sense and always get taxi drivers to use the meter and you have gone a long way towards keeping yourself, your valuables and cash safe.
Be Careful What You Eat And Drink
While not really necessary everywhere, there are certain countries where you should take a great deal of caution about what you consume. Various countries in Asia, South America and Africa are common destinations for food and water borne illness.
In these countries, there is a popular saying among travellers – “Peel it, boil it, cook it or forget it”! Sort of speaks for itself. As a rule of thumb, if a restaurant or establishment is empty, don’t eat there. On the contrary, if it’s full of locals, it is generally fine. Avoid street food which is sitting in baking sun and tropical humidity with no refrigeration.
In saying this though, food poisoning does exist in every country on the planet. Even the cleanest places. You can even get sick from food borne illness at home.
Also, a lot of cities do not have water systems like we do. Old, non-maintained pipes can carry water borne disease. In affected areas, stick to sealed bottled water and close your mouth in the shower! Some nasty illnesses can be caught through dirty water.
There is an old saying within the travel industry. “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. There is no greater investment than the couple hundred dollars a decent insurance policy will cost you. Especially in countries like the USA where medical costs are a fortune! No matter where you travel to, travel insurance can be a Godsend. Although the best return on travel insurance is arriving home safe and healthy having never had to use it. Travel insurance is probably the most important item that can help you stay safe overseas.
I have only ever had to claim travel insurance once (bad stomach bug……On my Honeymoon!) but, the ease at which our return flights were re-booked, medical costs and extra hotel nights reimbursed (I was on Doctors orders not to fly on our scheduled flight) just made the whole situation better for my new bride, who unfortunately had to handle all the arrangements as I was too sick. I personally would not wish this experience upon anyone but, having adequate travel insurance does make an unfortunate situation that little bit easier.
I hope these tips on how to stay safe overseas can help you safely plan your next travel adventure. Remember these tips and maintain common sense and I doubt you will go wrong.