Traveling abroad is a fun and exciting endeavor that many are fortunate to experience. International travel can also be a little daunting as unfamiliar places can make people very uncomfortable and feel at risk to their surroundings. Travel is supposed to be fun and can be if you do your homework and stay aware of some basic travel tips.
The first thing to prepare for a trip abroad is to purchase travel insurance. This will protect against any lost or damaged luggage, trip cancellation protection, death and bereavement protection as well as medical insurance and medical evacuation protection while abroad. Always spend the extra $40-50 extra to make sure that all of your traveling party is insured.
Once everybody in your traveling party is insured, make sure that proper protection is taken against all important documentation. This includes all passports, driver licenses, airline ticket information, hotel documents and any other travel related documents are secured throughout your trip. Utilize any hotel or hostel safe that is provided. Place your passport, any travel visas you may have and other documentation inside the safe at the hotel to insure its protection.
Carry a photocopy of your passport on your person at all times in case you need to identify yourself. Never carry your original passport on you. Make a few copies of your travel itinerary and any travel plans you have; leave a copy with the hotel lobby receptionist as well as a copy with a few friends and family back home so they know your travel intentions. Check in with these friends and family each day and let them that everything its going alright and going well.
While traveling and throughout your vacation, make sure that your luggage is always protected and everything inside is safe. If your luggage allows, place a padlock on each zipper to lock up each compartment. Even keep your luggage locked while it is inside your locked hotel room, so as to not tempt any underpaid maid staff. While traveling in airports, bus and rail stations keep your luggage in front of you at all times and never leave it unattended.
Another good safety measure to take for your luggage is to make your luggage uniquely yours. You can do this by tying ribbons to the zippers, placing stickers and patches on each piece or by even making random paint markings on the luggage so that you know that it is yours. This becomes very convenient when trying to find your belongings at the baggage claim area. Unique luggage can also deter would be thieves as they will stand out amongst the other suitcases and travel equipment.
When it comes to traveling with money, its best to try to not carry large bills, and if possible, utilize travelers checks and credit cards as these create a paper trail if something were to happen. If carrying cash, don‚Äôt carry all your cash in one pocket. Distribute it throughout your body and use multiple pockets. If you use a wallet, don‚Äôt carry it in a back pocket where it is easily accessible by thieves and remove any sensitive information from your wallet such as you or your traveling companion‚Äôs contact information, any cell phone numbers and other information you wouldn‚Äôt want a thief to have access to.
When traveling abroad, make sure that you do all you can to try and not stand out as a tourist. Avoid having your head buried in a map in public places, displaying large sums of cash and wearing expensive jewelry. All of those things will make you an easy target for muggers. It is essential to know all local emergency numbers as well as the number to your local embassy.
Travel safety is all about common sense but doing your homework will pay off in the end to ensure safe travels. Keeping up your guard and having an eye for the unusual will help keep everyone safe and enable everyone to enjoy your trip to Europe!