While travelling can be a highly rewarding experience, it can also be quite dangerous for those that choose to step off the beaten track and safety should be the number one priority of anyone going abroad. This is especially true in North Africa and the Middle East. If you have any plans to travel in the near future, here are some tips on how to stay safe while you’re abroad.
Don’t hide all of your money in one place
One of the worst things that can happen when you’re abroad is being stuck without any money. For that reason, you should avoid having all of your money stored in one place in case you lose it, have your pocket picked, or have it damaged. Keep the majority of your money somewhere safe on your person in case something where to happen to your bag. If you’re carrying cash, distribute it in different wallets and in different pockets that make it difficult for anyone to steal them, like a pocket on the inside of your jacket, or in a wallet attached by a chain to your clothes. With several stashes of cash, you have money to fall back on should you lose any of it, and if you are ever involved in a mugging you can diffuse the situation by handing over one of your stashes while still having money to get home.
Don’t draw attention to yourself
There are certain people that attract the eyes of thieves, and the last thing that you would want is to be one of these people. If you have any expensive gadgets or accessories, keep them safely tucked away in your bag and don’t take them out in public. The same can be said if you have any paper money. Showing off your wealth is the fastest way to get the attention of thieves. When it comes to pickpockets, they look for people that aren’t paying attention, so don’t listen to your music player in crowded areas or zone out. Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
Pay attention to foreign customs
Before travelling abroad, it is worth it to research a bit about the culture. In countries that adhere to a certain dress code, you should follow suit and cover up as appropriate. You should also pay attention to foreign etiquette; what counts as a joke in one country can be a serious offense in another. Understanding foreign etiquette is also especially important when socialising with the opposite sex.
Don’t get out of sorts
If you are travelling alone it is important that you keep your wits about you at all times. That means drinking responsibly and abstaining from any psychotropic drugs. It is also advised that you remain vigilant of the possibility of having your food or drink drugged. Do not leave drinks unattended or accept drinks from strangers.
Travel with insurance
No matter how short your trip may be, travelling uninsured is a big risk and it can often be when you’re not prepared that these accidents strike. Before you go on your travels, make sure that any important belongings that you will be taking with you, such as your laptop or phone – are insured and travel insurance should be the first thing you think about when you plan your trip. UK citizens have an European Health Insurance Card known as an EHIC and they are able to apply for a renew EHIC each time they go abroad. However, if you are living in the Middle East, you will likely need to use an independent insurance provider for your health insurance while you are abroad.