The global travel industry is a nearly trillion dollar industry, and some countries depend on tourism as main sources of income and economic support. In 2010 alone, there were in excess of 940 million tourists, and despite the sluggish global economy, tourism doesn’t appear to be slowing. Despite the relative safety and security of traveling, accidents have happened and will continue to happen. wikiHow can help you protect yourself while on vacation.
1 Protect your health. Medical assistance while abroad can be very expensive, difficult to find, of dubious quality — or all of the above. Purchasing travel insurance before you leave your home country can protect you if you should fall ill or have an accident while abroad. Coverage amounts and deductibles will vary, but it is an inexpensive way to prevent financial catastrophe. In addition, make sure that you have all the necessary and suggested vaccinations when traveling.
2 Protect your valuables. The best way to protect your valuables while traveling is not to take them in the first place. If you insist on traveling with jewelry or expensive items, carry them with you instead of packing them into luggage. Luggage can be stolen or searched; don’t risk losing your valuables this way. Instead, put them in a purse or bag that you carry with you at all times. Leave unnecessary forms of ID and credit cards at home. When at a hotel, secure your valuables in the room safe.
3 Protect your money. Rather than carry cash, purchase traveler’s checks from your bank before you leave home. Traveler’s checks are widely accepted, and most large hotels will exchange them for local currency. If stolen, traveler’s checks can be canceled and replaced. The same can’t be said for cash.
4 Protect yourself. Even though millions of people travel each year without any incidents, accidents can happen. The best way to protect yourself is to stay in groups when wandering around, and don’t venture far from your hotel at night. Never go into unlit areas at night, and stay off beaches after dark. Always know how to contact the local police whenever you enter a foreign area. Never accept rides from civilians; stick with Taxis or public transport.
- Most importantly, listen to your intuition. If a situation or area doesn’t feel comfortable, move someplace else.
5 Dress like a native. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your belongings while traveling is to not dress like a tourist. Big, bulky cameras, beach bags, floppy hats and brightly colored clothing all advertise that you’re a tourist. You’ll draw much less attention to yourself if you dress more demurely, or even like the locals.
6 Guard against pickpockets. Fanny packs and loose purses are a pickpocket’s primary target. Their straps can easily be cut, and the culprit can be off into the crowd without a trace. Instead, wear purses that cross across the chest, and wallets kept in a breast pocket.
7 Read the news before departing. Reading the news, or checking for travel advisories from the government, can help you avoid journeying into a potentially dangerous area. Civil strife, an upswing in crime or even natural disasters can happen at any time. Be aware of the conditions of the area into which you’re traveling.
- Protecting your home while you’re away is as important as protecting yourself. Have a neighbor keep an eye on your house, and ask a trusted friend to collect your mail. Leave a contact number with the neighbor in case of an emergency.