International travel is exciting because you get to meet new people from far away countries. You get to immerse yourself in exotic cultures that perhaps you’ve only read about in books and magazines. While traveling internationally is a great way to open your mind, you want to stay safe and be aware of your surroundings at all time. Remember, you’re a foreigner in a foreign land. It pays to know before you!
3 Safety Tips When Travelling Internationally
Don’t look like a tourist. If you dress like a tourist you could potentially put a target on your back. You may be more susceptible to pick-pockets than someone who knows how to blend in with the locals. While it’s exciting to be immersed in another country, remember that you’re a foreigner. Don’t announce to everyone you meet where you’re from and how long you’ll be in the country. This may sound like paranoia but you want to smart about your travels. Get to know people (the best you can) before you start divulging personal information. If you’re not good at reading people, you could be setting yourself for an adventure of another kind that could you leave you stranded. While your experience would make for a great travel article, if you’re a ‘newbie’ traveler, you may not be prepared to handle the situation.
Be aware of your surroundings at all time. Become an observer when you travel. Notice everyone and everything around you. What are they wearing? What language are they speaking? What color are the buildings? What are the names of businesses? Take everything in and try to memorize everything that’s around you. Also, you’ll want to remember where your lodging is. Take a business card and carry it with you because it will have the name, address, and other pertinent contact information. Familiarize yourself with your lodging, the neighborhood, and the people.
Learn how to speak the language. You don’t have to be fluent in French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, and other languages, but it’s a good idea to know how to say ‘key words and phrases’ that could help you if you get into a ‘sticky’ situation. Also, the locals will appreciate it if you make an effort to speak their language. They could be more inclined to help you if you require assistance.
Traveling internationally is a great way to get out of your comfort zone. It’s sad to think that you may stay in your backyard, never taking the chance to visit another country. It’s your choice but there’s more to life than what is in your own backyard. Meeting people from different cultures can open your eyes to new ideas and ways of thinking. This may scare you, but it’s good to challenge your beliefs and thoughts. Be bold and brave and book a trip to a foreign country. Ask a friend or family member to go with you. If they’re not interested, you can always sign up for a tour. You won’t be alone and you’ll make new friends. What are you waiting for? Go for it — happy travels!