If you’re traveling in an area of the world that doesn’t quite speak the same language as you, it’s extremely important to at least know the basics in the local language. There are countless guides online for almost every language in the world, where you can simply type in a few phrases and it will tell you how to say them. It’s important to learn how to ask for the police and a telephone, as well as for directions and help.
2. Decoy wallet
If you’re ever mugged, typically your assailant will obviously go straight for the good stuff - they want your money/wallet. Most thieves won’t stick around to count their plunder, so why give away the good stuff. Why not hide your valuables and then keep a decoy wallet, specially thieve-ready. Load your ‘faux’ wallet with just a few dollars, maybe an old I.D. and some of those promotional credit cards that you receive in the mail (or gift cards work too).
Packing and planning ahead for the worst case scenario is imperative for ultimate travel safety. If you were to be mugged, stripped of all valuables, money, credit cards and identification, how do you suppose you would recover from that incident? So split up your money and credit cards, and keep copies of your identification in random places on your person. Keeping a little bit of money and a credit card in your socks or in hidden pockets could very well save your ass when traveling. Some of my readers have also said that they don’t travel without an extra prepaid bus/metro card on them as well, so if something happens, you at least have the ability to get back to your hotel/hostel or to the police department/embassy.
4. Don’t draw unwanted attention
It’s important to leave your unneeded valuables and jewelry at home, as well as your expensive/high-end clothing. The point is to blend in, so you won’t be drawing on the attention of those who are looking to score (and not in the fun way). Don’t flaunt your pricy purchases or electronics, because there’s no easier way to ask for trouble than to stick out like a sore thumb in a rough area or around people living in poverty.
5. Prepare for dangerous situations
I focused a lot on mugging and theft in this post; however, it’s also important to plan ahead and travel smart for dangerous situations, like traveling alone with hungry animals in Africa or climbing without a guide. Being alone in certain places and doing risky adventure sports by yourself without a backup plan is like you’re asking for something bad or even fatal to happen to you. When preparing for any trip or trek, know what to realistically expect and give yourself options to recover if something bad were to happen. For example, it’s important to know how to load up your first aid kit, because there are some diseases and issues that are more prevalent in other places of the world. The moral is, always plan for the worst, just incase things go a rye.
(Photo http://therust.blogspot.com, edited)