I love exploring different parts of the world but when I tell some of my friends where I have been they say they could never do it because they wouldn’t feel safe. There are definitely some parts of the world I wouldn’t visit right now but there are a ton more I would.
I spent 2 months backpacking through India with a roommate a few years ago exploring almost the whole country. We didn’t do it the typical American way with fancy hotels or comfy trains. We spent the bare minimum on hotels and trains but we weren’t stupid on where we stayed. Here are some tips we used and I have used since then for safe travel throughout the world.
1. Make sure your family has a rough idea of your itinerary, and if possible where you will be staying.
2. Carry a cell phone. Let me guess right now you are saying no way I don’t want to spend 5 dollars a minute! I completely agree. Depending on the length of your trip look at getting a prepaid phone or sim card (if you have a compatible phone) at the beginning of your trip. Our phone cost us less than 50 dollars for the whole two months. If you are going for a short time at least carry your phone and leave it off except for emergencies or to check in.
3. Read up about your location before you go using books like Lonely Planet or online. Look for areas you should avoid visiting or staying in. For example we read we shouldn’t be in Old Delhi at night so we weren’t.
4. Don’t draw undue attention to yourself. Don’t wear fancy jewelry or dress crazy. It is best to blend in and act like you belong. Stay in well lit and public areas. Be careful after dark.
5. Have a copy of your passport and credit cards with you, along with a copy in a hidden spot in your suitcase. Only show your real passport to officials and at hotels that require it, otherwise use your copy.
6. Don’t get out too much cash at a time. When possible use a credit card for purchases.
8. Use your head.
Bad things happen every day everywhere but by doing a few simple things you can make yourself less of a target so you can have an enjoyable and safe vacation.