Important safety measures while traveling

Travel may be fun and pleasant, but it can also be scary at times. Whenever you travel to somewhere new, make sure you follow these safety tips to protect yourself and ensure you have a safe and pleasant trip.

Choose the transportation method wisely

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), car accidents are the leading cause of death of US citizens abroad. You should always travel in a car which is in good condition and ensure that the safety belts work well. Take a look at the safety records for bus companies, and avoid using less secure vehicles.

Communicate with the State Department

Did you know that the State Department provides updated safety information to every country in the world? You can search the site and get important, reliable details about the place you are visiting. Learn about everything like what vaccines you need in any country, the local laws and various warnings (including crime rates). In the event of an emergency (be it a natural disaster, an emergency at home or civil unrest), they will be able to contact you if you register your data as a traveler.

Check out the emergency and exit routes from your hotel room

We must be realistic and admit that most of us focus more on the hotel’s amenities rather than studying the map on the back of our doors. However, it’s a good idea to take a quick look at the ways of escaping in case of emergencies. If any sort of emergency happens in the middle of the night, you’ll be happy you did.

Have a copy of your passport

Before you go anywhere, make sure you have a copy of your passport, and you can also take a picture of it to save on your smartphone. This way, if you need your passport while you’re outside, you can access it easily. Not even mentioning that if it ever gets stolen, this little tip will make your life easier.

Confirm visitors with hotel reception

Let’s say you are in your hotel room and someone knocks on the door, saying that he’s someone from the maintenance department or housekeeping. Before allowing this person to enter, make sure you contact the reception desk to verify that someone from inside or from the hotel needs access to your room.

Do not show your cash money or your valuables

Keep your money hidden, separated in different places. Make sure you have easy access to some of the money you need to spend daily and hide the rest. Never take out a large amount of money every time you pay. While it’s good to have your smartphone always on hand to look for directions or take photos, be aware of your surroundings so that you don’t get noticed by street thieves who are on the lookout for strangers or tourists.

Don’t try to pet every animal you see

Some may think that stray dogs and cats on the streets are good opportunities to take photographs, but these animals can carry all kinds of unwanted diseases (including rabies) that can ruin your entire journey.

Have an emergency car kit with you

Whether you are driving your own or hiring a car while traveling, always make sure to keep a complete safety kit in case of an emergency. This should include a first-aid kit, reflective warning signs, blankets, non-perishable food, tire gauge, flashlight, bottled water and an ice bucket.

Save emergency numbers

Remember, 911 isn’t the emergency number everywhere. Learn about local hotlines and save them to your phone. Also search for the nearest embassies or consulates of your country and save those addresses and phone numbers as well.

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