There are a lot of things that could ruin a holiday but being robbed, mugged or threatened in some way must definitely rank among the top three. Those travelling alone or with just one friend tend to be at higher risk than groups, so it’s a good idea to read up on a few safety tips before you head off…
While reading up on the destination won’t guarantee you a vacation that is completely free of any hiccups, it will definitely make it a bit easier to avoid the riskiest situations. Sadly, you can’t always protect yourself against everything and may have to choose between the adventure of travelling and staying safely put at home instead.
Here are a handful of tips to make your first solo journey a bit safer or at least make it easier for you to avoid dangerous or high-risk situations when you’re trying to enjoy yourself and let your guard down.
#1 Always ask for help if you need it
Millennials have, in general, become a generation of travellers who want to explore the world and enjoy their freedom. With this increased amount of travelling amongst the young, it is, unfortunately, also more common to read about crimes against them in the news (although it’s worth bearing in mind that the risk of being a victim of crime on holiday is actually pretty small).
Before you head off, remember to read up on the areas that are considered to be safe and keep in mind that although somewhere may be seen as safe, you should still be cautious and careful. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff at the hotel or hostel you’re staying at for help, or alert the bartender if someone is bothering you – or even just giving off the wrong kind of vibe.
Trusting your gut feeling is one of the most important things you can do while travelling… and it’s far better to be a bit too cautious than it is to end up in a dangerous situation, which could possibly have been avoided.
The bartenders or bouncers at most pubs would be prepared help you out if you felt unsafe; a lot of pubs have a code word or a particular drink you can order if you feel unsafe, by the way, so that you don’t have to make it too obvious in case you need to get out of an uncomfortable situation.
#2 Let your family know where you’re staying
For backpackers, staying in touch with family at home isn’t always that easy – and letting them know about every move you make may seem a bit unnecessary. The main thing is that you should try to let them know the name of the hotel or hostel where you’re staying and preferably where you plan on going next as well as when you intend to do this.
Prepare yourself before you embark on your adventure by making sure your smartphone is usable even when you’re abroad and that you’re not turning it off in order to avoid any roaming charges. Have a look at this site to get the most out of your smartphone while you’re on holiday, by the way, and ensure that you can get in touch with your loved ones while you’re out there, exploring the world and having a blast.
#3 Look and act smart
Bad things can happen to anyone and you could meet both great people and those whose intentions are somewhat dubious wherever you are in the world. It’s important to keep this in mind, first of all, so that you won’t blame yourself in case something does happen while you’re out about. Again, avoiding dangerous areas is the number one rule to staying safe – but it’s not much help if the area was considered safe, to begin with.
In terms of avoiding the avoidable, it’s a good idea to ask the professionals for help rather than accepting the help of a stranger at the ATM; head into the bank instead, pop into the shop to ask for directions, and lean towards staying a bit too cautious rather than taking risks if they can be avoided.
Try to demonstrate an air of confidence when you’re out and about, look like you know where you’re going and always trust your instinct if someone seems a bit off to you. Criminals a more likely to target those who look lost and confused rather than someone who could just be another local commuter on their way home from work.
If you don’t look and act like a tourist, you’ll also be a bit less likely to be targeted by criminals. It’s the kind of stuff that makes it easier to return home with all of your belongings and no dangerous situations to mar your wonderful holiday memories!
Happy Travelling and a Very Merry Christmas!
*This is a collaborative post and contains affiliate links.
*Header photo and last photo copyright Kate Loves Travel. First image provided by client.