Before leaving home, use these sites to get the latest updates on travel warnings, health risks, visa requirements, and crime statistics. They usually have good baseline information on risks and dangers related to a particular region. They can also provide contact information for American embassies and consulates.
U.S. State Department, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Centers for Disease Control United Nations, CIA World Factbook, www.independenttraveler.com.
Next, accept that different cultures often have different customs and beliefs. And remember that travel involves a good deal of unpredictability. So it’s vital for you to learn everything you can about your destination — including its history, traditions, rituals and institutions — even if you’re just visiting a neighboring state.
Pack and carry your own luggage
Always pack your own bags when traveling. This holds great importance if you are traveling outside of your respective country. The idea is you are responsible for whatever is contained within those suitcases. If you packed them, you can be sure about what customs officers will and won’t find.
Mark Your Luggage
Enough said !
I.D. Carriers and Copies
An ID carrier is a piece of gear that every traveler should not leave home without. It’s a small pouch that’s usually worn around the neck as a convenient way to protect these items during the numerous times you will need quick access to your personal information.
Make sure you have copies of any and all important documents such as your passport. Keep the copies in a safe place and do not carry them with you. Also write down all your credit card information such as bank, type of card, VISA, MC, AMEX, etc., card numbers, expiration dates and security codes. Put these in a safe location as well.
Mitigate the Risk of Street Crime
To avoid being mugged, always dress to blend into the environment. In other words, keep a low profile. A shabby pair of shorts and older sneakers with a Timex watch may not sound stylish, but they can go a long way to keeping you safe. Don’t draw attention to yourself with flashy jewelry and designer clothing unless you’re surrounded with people who dress the same way.
Another cardinal rule while traveling is: Do not flash cash. Keep as little money on your person as possible when you’re on the move. Use small bills to pay for things.
Additionally, separate your cash and your credit cards. For example, I always keep one or two twenty-dollar bills in my front pants pocket or the equivalent when I travel. I then put more money in each of my shoes but I leave the rest in a bank, with friends or hidden where I can get to it in an emergency.
In this way, if you happen to get jacked, then just reach into your front pocket and give them the 20 dollars or 40 dollars to satisfy them … unless they are there to kidnap you.
Practice good situational awareness as you move about at your destination. Keen eyes and sharp wits are always readily available and they make the best weapons against street crime.
Lastly, be aware that phones in your hotel room could be monitored. And a hotel employee or two could be working with some criminal gang. So you’d be smart to limit the information you reveal while talking in your hotel or restaurant or a local watering hole.
Make your vacation is truly a vacation and doesn’t turn into an expensive. Do your homework before you leave home and don’t take your safety for granted! Safe travels everyone.