When we plan a holiday, we do so with the intention of relaxing and having fun. A holiday is a time where we finally get to exhale, unwind and take time to enjoy our surroundings. Thinking about what could go wrong isn’t really something that we want to consider. The fact of the matter, however, is that the less prepared and cautious you are, the more likely it is that things could take a turn for the worse.
With this little piece of holiday advice in mind, we would like to share 5 important tips that will help you to stay safe the next time you go on holiday or decide to jet set around the world. We have your safety and security in mind and truly hope that you will consider to action our suggestions – even if they might be a more sordid and inconvenient part of your holiday!
1. Get Yourself Some Travel Insurance
Sometimes getting from point A to B and everywhere in between is not as easy as it looks on paper. Things could go wrong, unfortunately. From missing luggage to theft, injuries and illnesses – these unfortunate circumstances could all very well happen. This is where travel insurance can not only cover unexpected expenses, but it can also (possibly) save your holiday before things go completely wrong altogether.
While some health insurance policies might automatically cover injuries and illnesses that occur whilst travelling, this is not always the case. It is also important to make sure that the belongings you are travelling with are insured too. This is where Travel Insurance will take care of both the health requirements as well as repair or replace property that becomes damaged or goes missing while you are on holiday.
Ask your insurance broker or agent for more information on Travel Insurance options. Or, ask your Travel Agent if they have suggestions for what type of policy would best suit your needs.
2. Keep the Address to Your Accommodation on You at All Times
Tourists get lost all the time — and this is often where havoc prevails. Not only do you stand the chance of wandering into a danger zone or possibly finding yourself trespassing on someone’s property, but you could also get utterly and completely lost. If you are in a location where there’s a language barrier, finding your way back to your lodgings could be quite a nightmare.
To rectify this problem, keep the address of your holiday accommodation on a piece of paper in your pocket. You should also write this note in English as well as in the native language of the country you are in. This way, if you do happen to get lost, you can simply give your address to a cab driver or to a friendly local who is kind enough to assist you.
3. Avoid Wearing Valuable and Expensive Jewellery When You Go on Holiday
This specifically applies when you are going to an unfamiliar territory or when your destination is known for having a high theft rate. Instead of bejewelling yourself with your most prized treasures, opt to wear comfortable and cheaper costume-jewellery. Try to wear items that do not look like they could be expensive either. This way you are less likely to attract the attention of sticky fingers. If your accessories do happen to get stolen, then at least you have not lost anything of great value. The same applies to all sorts of accessories that you might want to bring along with you on your trip (think cameras, cell phones, music players etc.).
While Travel Insurance might be a solution, not all insurers will cover the loss or damage of valuable jewellery unless each item is specified in the policy. If this is the case, you should expect to pay more for the travel insurance as a whole.
4. Make Sure You Have RFID Protection for Your Passport and Credit Cards
Criminals are always up to new antics and many of them are out to steal your identity. Identity theft is becoming more prevalent by the day. One of the most popular methods that thieves use to get a hold of your details is by scanning your passports, identification documents and your bank cards.
To avoid being a victim of identity theft, one solution is to ensure that your documents and cards are kept in wallets, purses or bags that are lined with RFID blocking material. RFID is an acronym for “Radio-frequency Identification” and in essence, RFID-blocking accessories are designed to protect you from a very unique style of electronic “pickpocketing”.
Certain electronic devices can easily scan the embedded radio frequency identification chips which are found in some passports, cards and many other documents. By doing this, the criminal can scan your information and use it to commit an act of fraud or they could even steal your identity as a whole. This offence often takes place at airports and hotels where tourists are more likely to be the victims. So, when purchasing your luggage, make sure to mention that you want RFID protection as a key feature.
The more you can prove to your travel insurance agent that you have taken measures to protect your belongings, the more likely your travel insurance payment will be kept to a minimum.
5. Let Friends and Family Know Where You Are at All Times
No matter where you decide to go on holiday, it’s always a good idea to communicate your whereabouts with someone back home or in your travel party. This especially applies if you are venturing off to more foreign countries where the laws and regulations could be quite different to how things are done in your own country. If you do find yourself in a situation where you have perhaps innocently broken a law, you will need the assistance of someone from home who would know where to find you and help you.
If your holiday has a fixed schedule, then leave a written copy of your itinerary with a reliable friend. This list can also include contact details of the different places you will be staying at, as well as your flight schedule.
You never know when this information might come in handy. Someone might need to get a hold of you with urgent news. Or, for your own safety, someone might need to be able to find and assist you if you are facing an emergency.
Just Be Prepared…
Vigilance is a necessity when you travel to a foreign country (or even just a neighbouring town). When you are in unfamiliar territory you need to be prepared for the unexpected. While, of course, we hope that only good surprises and discoveries come your way and as much as we would like to remain ignorant, things can go terribly wrong when we step outside of our comfort zones and into familiar surroundings. Apart from the above safety tips for tourists and holiday-goers, you can also be extra prepared by making sure you do the following research before you embark on your journey:
- It’s very important that you do some research and familiarise yourself with your destination’s culture, customs, laws, weather conditions, etiquette and crime rate.
- Every city or town has a safe part of town and a shadier part (usually where crime is at its highest). Get to know the areas of your holiday location and learn how to be “street smart” in that specific area.
- Use the internet to find out what the current popular crimes and scams are in your holiday destination and pick up some tricks on how you can avoid becoming a victim.
- Read up on what natural disasters may occur in your holiday location and follow the news to find out if there is anything brewing “weather-wise”. Make sure your travel insurance covers medical expenses incurred because of a natural disaster and that the cover extends to the replacement of your possessions in such an event.
- Study your insurance policy thoroughly and make sure you will have full coverage for the country you are travelling to.
Again, we plan trips to relax and enjoy some free time away from our gruelling schedules and demanding lifestyles and the last thing we want to do or think about is things that could possibly go wrong. But by being just a little cautious and with a tad bit of additional planning, holidays are more likely to be the moment that we had envisioned – pure bliss!