Travelling abroad is always exciting, whether you are travelling for leisure or for a business trip somewhere.
However, many people can become concerned with their safety, especially if the country is a relatively unknown one with a different language and currency. Here are some top tips for ensuring you stay safe when travelling abroad, wherever you’re going:
Only take what you need
When it comes to packing your bags, make sure that you only take the things that you really do need. Don’t take more electronic devices them what you will actually use. Leave these at home, to deter thieves from stealing them from you. It also means that you can have a better peace of mind knowing that you don’t have so many expensive items to worry about.
Do not leave your electronic devices unattended
Make sure that you lock any items you are not using into your hotel safe when you travel abroad. If you leave items unattended, they could be tampered with or stolen. Ensure that you always keep them in your line of sight. This includes laptops, tablets, mobile phone devices and other communication items. Make sure you leave these items in your hand luggage only if you do need to take them. Putting them into your checked luggage means that they could be broken into at some point on the journey. Even if you put a lock on your suitcase, material suitcases are easy to cut into and could attract thieves.
Give your electronic devices a spring clean
Make sure that you clear your browser history on your laptops and any other electronic devices.
This includes your saved username and passwords, which many people set up on their devices to remember so that they do not need to login every time they use the laptop.
You should delete any saved sites that could expose your personal information as well. Remember, thieves can easily log in to your Internet history and see the kind of person that you are and use your saved credit cards to purchase more things. Remove all of the personal data as well as pictures and information that could be used against you.
If you are travelling on business, it is even more important to keep your corporate data secure. Make sure that you have an antivirus and firewall setup to enable any private data to be safe.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
If you do need to access Wi-Fi, make sure that you only use it when necessary because anything that you do on Wi-Fi can be viewed by a third party. If you need access to sensitive data, it is probably best that you wait until you have a secure connection.
Reporting stolen devices
If you do suspect that one of your devices has been stolen, it is important to contact the local police as soon as possible.
By contacting the authorities sooner rather than later, you’re more likely to have your stolen device retrieved. Thieves operating in the area may still be on site at this point, so make sure you do not leave it till the last minute. If you do not speak the language and are struggling to report the incident, go to the British Embassy in the country that you were in and explain the situation to them.
Telling people where you are
Whenever you go away, you should leave a contact list with a family member or friend, so that they know exactly where you will be and your travel itinerary. Make sure you tell them your hotel and choose a well reputed one. For example, if you are in London, choose one of the best London hotels on the UK tourist website. Choosing one of the best London hotels means you are more likely to be able to be contacted by anyone and you can trust the hotel to look after your best interests.
You should make a point to check in on these people every now and again, so that they know you’re safe. You might also want to tell your bank or insurance company that you are going to be away. Banks, for example, may see a transaction on your account in a faraway country and decide to block the card because they think that it has been hacked. You do not want and a situation where you cannot access your funds because your bank has cut off your supply. To avoid this happening, tell people where you are going and when you will be home.
Read up on the country before you go away
Make sure that you read up on the country before you go to visit it, so that you know of any dangers which you might come across.
For example, if there is a particular disease or illness that has been spreading in the country recently, it may be prudent of you to go and see if there are any injections which you can get from your local GP to safeguard yourself from getting ill.
Some travel guides and travel websites will also give you useful information about some more dangerous or risky areas of the country that you may want to avoid. Capital cities often have a lot of crime and theft, but there may be certain corners of the capital which you could avoid completely. Reading up on the country and finding out more about it before you travel is a very wise way of preparing yourself for the journey. If you are travelling with a family, it makes it even more important to look up the child friendly areas of the country and highlight any areas that should be avoided.
This article may seem like a way to scare prospective travellers, but the truth is that if you’re prudent and careful with your travels, you can really enjoy yourself and stay safe the whole trip.