6 Tips for Staying Safe When Traveling Overseas
It’s that time of year for summer traveling. Whether you’re traveling overseas for business or pleasure, it’s important to practice safety tips so you and your family will be safe during your overseas travel.
Some key tips for staying safe when traveling overseas:
- Be healthy – Make sure you understand the health concerns of the country you are visiting. Go to the Centers for Disease Control website to check out any possible health precautions you have to take in the country you are visiting. The precautions include any health concerns about food and water, and if you are required to receive any vaccinations. If you use eyeglasses, take an extra pair. If you have an existing medical condition, make sure to bring all the necessary medications you need. It’s preferable to buy travel insurance to ensure air ambulance insurance coverage in the case that your insurance provider does not provide international coverage. Travel insurance will also cover non-medical issues such as lost luggage, trip delays or cancellations, and other losses incurred while traveling.
- Keep important documents safe – Make sure all of your official documents (passport, plane tickets, vaccination records, driver’s license, etc.) are always with you or in a security box when not needed on your person. Before you leave, make printed copies of each document or an electronic backup of the documents so you can access your information from your smartphone or laptop. When you carry all of your documents, keep them in separate bags, purses or wallets as a precaution against pickpockets.
- Be wary of using public Wi-Fi – Public Wi-Fi in other countries may be susceptible to identity thieves who can hack personal information stored in your cellphone or laptop. To avoid the use of public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network or a portable router to set up your own Wi-Fi hotspot. You can do so by buying a local SIM data card from a local electronic store.
- Bring Money options – It’s better to take a combination of adequate cash, credit card, debit card and possibly traveler’s and prepaid cards instead of only taking cash with you. One advantage of taking a combination of money options is the convenience and ease of using an option that has a faster time in processing payments, so you’ll spend less time at the checkout counter. Bringing a card option affords you some form of fraud protection. Bringing cash allows you to pay at establishments that don’t accept credit or debit cards.
- Research about the places you’ll visit – Before you leave, research and familiarize yourself with local laws, customs and cultures of the places you’ll visit. Being informed can prevent possible misunderstandings about local etiquette, traditions and law enforcement. It’s also important to understand public transportation and local phone numbers to call in case of emergencies.
- Be careful of strangers – Although it’s nice to be friendly with local people you’ll encounter while you’re traveling, it’s still wise to be careful of complete strangers who will approach you offering help. There have been many horror stories of people traveling abroad who have been scammed or victimized by criminals posing as friends.
Be reminded that these tips are not meant to discourage or scare you in your plans to travel abroad. Practicing these tips can mean the difference between enjoying the most out of your travels or having problems that will hinder your traveling experience. As they say, to err on the side of caution is always best.