Travel Safely With These 5 Tips
As summer break kicks off, and the world starts to open up after the pandemic, you may find yourself a little rusty on how to travel safely. While safety is a high priority no matter where you are, it’s important to learn how to stay safe in unfamiliar places. Travel and exploration are fun and exciting, so having a plan in place and understanding threats can allow you to relax and enjoy your adventures.
These travel safety tips are geared towards scenarios where your safety may be threatened or at risk. One of the best travel safety tips is to map out safety points within your destination, as well as saving local emergency services numbers. Enrolling with the State Department is another way to stay up to date on safety information, as well as the ability to contact loved ones in case of emergency. Another travel safety tip is to share your itinerary with friends and family but to be extremely cautious when sharing on social media. Finally, inform yourself of common travel scams, or popular scams within your destination. While you may be one smart individual, it is extremely important to understand it is easy to fall victim when you’re overwhelmed in a new environment. We have compiled a list of five travel safe things you can do to protect yourself for upcoming adventures:
Tip #1 Locate Safety Services
Travel safely by mapping out safety points in your destination. Learning about the local neighborhoods can be imperative to your safety. Learn the local emergency services numbers and save them to your phone or write them down on a card to keep with you. Pinpointing the location of police stations, as well as your nearest embassy or consulate could be helpful when you need help.
Tip #2 Utilize the STEP Program
Enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll in their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. According to their website, By signing up with STEP, the U.S. Embassy will have the ability to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. The program will also send you essential information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. These updates will help you make informed plans regarding your travel destination.
TIP #3 Share your Itinerary
Send your itinerary to friends and family. Traveling on a whim and going with the flow is fun and adventurous. However, it is best practice to have a plan and stick to it. If plans change, send a quick note to loved ones back home. Downloading a safety app that tracks and shares your location with trusted contacts is another safe way to share your whereabouts.
Tip #4 Learn About Scams
Read about travel scams or scams that are common where you are traveling. Being lead to dangerous locations is a tactic some scammers use. Confrontation using aggressive tactics is another scamming technique. Avoid these dangerous scenarios by doing thorough research.
Tip #5 Use Caution On Social Media
Don’t overshare. It’s important to let your friends and family know where you are. However, sharing on social media can put your safety at risk. The best way to post about your adventures on social media is to wait until you get home. It is too easy for criminals to sift through geotagged posts and target people based on the information they post. It’s so fun to show off cool photos of your travels, but it is so much safer to hold back.
It is easy to fall victim to danger when you’re overwhelmed in a new environment. Being prepared and understanding the risks associated with travel can save your life. Enjoy your adventures with a safety plan in mind. Travel safe. Bon voyage!