For the adventure junkie, travel safety isn't generally a first though. There’s no disputing the rush of adrenaline that occurs when you take part in something that may or not be completely safe. And there’s nothing like it; there’s a reason bungee jumping places stay in business – it’s an experience, it’s a story to tell, it’s straight up fun.
But just like all things, there is a fine line between having an adventure and staying safe. You need to find a balance.
How to find the balance between travel safety and adventure:
1. Take advantage of Google
This tip applies even to the non-adventure junkie. Even if you’re not planning to take place in any risky activities, there is still a lot of information for you to find out before you go. It’s important to do your research; try having a look at something like Smart Traveller or another government tourism website and have a look at any safety warnings that might be about the place you’re visiting.
Are there any political disputes taking place at the moment? What’s the crime rate like? It’s important to look into these sorts of things to ensure that you know the full context of the place you’re going.
2. Get tech savvy
There are so many apps available at the moment that can help you have the best trip possible.
For example, City Maps 2 Go is packed full of information about basically everywhere in the world; it will provide you with cool stories or adventure ideas for wherever you are, which is handy for getting to know your environment. But probably the best aspect (and most safety savvy) is their free offline maps feature. This allows you to track and see your location via GPS, but doesn’t use any data at all. This kind of feature means that you’re guaranteed not to get lost, and it'll keep you in the know, keeping you safe.
3. Have your wits about you
Unfortunately, a lot of places see tourists as easy targets. Of course, this isn’t always the case but there are always going to be a few careless foreigners who leave their wallet on the table and walk away, or leave their handbags in easy sight.
Doing your research in advance and being aware of some of the common scams (most famously in Europe perhaps; shoving a baby into your arms and stealing your bags as you struggle to hold it) means that you’ll keep your wits about you and be ready if anything like this does happen.
4. Have a plan for your valuables
Trying not to carry them around too much is probably the best plan. A lot of hotels and hostels do have safes in their rooms or at reception, so storing your passport or wallet in there overnight or when you don’t need it might be a good idea.
Also, it’s a good idea to store emergency cash in hidden places across your luggage. Dispersing it in a few places means that if something gets stolen, you’ll still have a bit on hand. In a pair of socks, in your carry bag, and in your wallet are a few easy ones.
7 Tips for Balancing Safety and Adventure While Travelling Overseas - by @MichHutchinson
5. Look at the travel warnings
This sort of goes without saying, but diseases and outbreaks are a good indicator of where to avoid. If you’re desperate to visit Peru but don’t want to be affected by the Zika virus, it might be a good idea to not go right now. Try having a look at some international travel warnings and how they will affect your trip if you aren’t sure.
6. Get insured
Travel insurance is one of those things that so many people think they can go without, but that often ends up being when you need it the most. Aspects like cancelled flights, accommodation double bookings, theft, or even medical incidents and emergencies should be covered. It just means that if anything goes wrong, you will be able to get yourself cover. If you aren’t sure where to begin, try having a look at a travel insurance comparison site.
7. Have fun!
It’s much more enjoyable to travel prepared as opposed to worrying the whole time. With just a few small changes to your mindset you’ll be able to have a great trip! And for those out there that do get a bit anxious, just be ready, be careful, and enjoy your travels.
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