Travel Tips: Personal Safety When You Travel

March 19, 2014

You’ve planned and packed and you’re all ready for your expedition, but you may have overlooked one of the key ingredients for successful nature travel: taking the necessary steps to make sure you and your family take a few simple steps to keep yourselves safe. Our friends at MedJetAssist have great travel tips for ensuring your own safety while exploring.

Hotels

  • Stay in hotels on well-traveled streets in safer areas of any city. The more expensive hotels usually have better security.
  • Stay on lower-level floors in case of fire or other need to evacuate quickly.
  • Avoid the first floor, as it may not be safe from burglars.

Transportation

  • Your tour operator can arrange for transfers from the airport or port if necessary, and International Expeditions includes arrival and departure transfers in the cost of our ecotours. Taxis or private car hires are recommended as you are more insulated. Most airports, ports and train stations have areas clearly marked for taxis and car service pick-up.
  • Do not enter any vehicle that does not have a proper license or does not pick you up from the designated area.
  • If you will be renting a car, get maps in advance and clearly write out the directions from the airport to your hotel.
  • If you need to stop for directions, go to well-lit public areas.
  • Keep the phone numbers of your destinations with you.

Keep a Low Profile

  • Do not discuss your travel plans or itinerary publicly...we know, it's hard not to share everything on social media, but it will keep you safer. 
  • Vary your schedule if possible and vary travel routes when you can.
  • Maintain a low profile and dress down if possible.
  • Leave the expensive jewelry and watches at home and do not display large amounts of cash.
  • Look like a person of modest means and do not leave your itinerary or other sensitive business information in your hotel room.

Out and About

  • Keep your valuables including passports, etc., in a money belt concealed or use the hotel safe to store valuables.
  • Keep a copy of your passport with you at all times, but separate from where you are carrying your passport.
  • In high-risk countries it is a good idea to check in with the American Embassy and provide them with a copy of your passport in case you need to have it replaced.
  • When using your credit card, keep an eye on it until it is returned to you. Always verify that it is your credit card before storing it again.

As always, trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable in a restuarant, shop or area of a city, do what you would even if not in a foreign country - leave. 

What are your best tips for staying safe when you travel? Let us know in the comments below.