The process of traveling has undergone plenty of changes over the past two years.
As the world and travel return to normal in 2021 and beyond, travelers may want to ensure they are taking steps to stay safe when they travel domestically or abroad.
Between taking an Express Test, booking your flights in advance, and keeping an eye on your passport and other essential documents, travelers must do a lot to ensure their trips are safe and successful.
Below are five tips for traveling safely in this era.
1. Research, Research, Research
The internet provides us with endless information at our fingertips, which is why a lack of research before your trip is inexcusable. Read travel reviews, talk to locals, and get more information online about the places you plan to visit.
Say you are setting up a trip around Europe. You may want to visit several countries, but you are unsure about the best places to see and eat. Checking online reviews of various tourist hot spots, along with guides from people who have been to those countries, can help you make the best possible decisions.
Those who have been in your shoes in the past six to nine months can help you avoid any common pitfalls of visiting a specific city or neighborhood.
You must also research your flight and hotel options, as shopping around for the best deal can save you a lot of money. If you can find a deal that discounts both your airfare and hotel stay, you will have so much more cash to spend during the trip.
2. Remain Inconspicuous
Many people make the mistake of dressing in flashy outfits, carrying ten different shopping bags, or otherwise looking as though they are a tourist. You want to avoid such behavior in significant cities around the world if you wish to avoid trouble.
Anyone who appears like they are from out of town is a target for crime. That is a universal law, whether traveling around the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, or Asia.
Ensure you are dressing appropriately for your various adventures. While you can wear smart, stylish clothes, ensure they are down to earth, subtle, and not too flashy. You should also avoid wearing too much jewelry when visiting tourist hotspots, as a local pickpocket may decide to rob you and run away with your bag, smartphone, or other valuables.
By dressing and acting as though you are a local, you can fly under the radar your entire trip. Then you will have peace of mind that you can relax when you are strolling down a busy street, as no one will think that you are an easy target for a robbery.
3. Keep People Updated
Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple, or as a family, you should ensure there is someone in your home city that has an idea about where you are traveling on a specific day.
Take the time to write out an itinerary for your trip. You can leave out every place you plan to visit, but a general idea of the cities or neighborhoods where you will be present on a given day can be beneficial.
Try to check in with that person or persons at least one time a day. Let them know that you are enjoying your travels and that you are safe. Such check-ins ensure your loved ones will not worry while establishing a timeline of your movements.
Should you have any negative experiences on your trip, and you cannot contact your loved ones, they can sound the alarm right away. They can contact relevant authorities at an Embassy or local police to ensure that someone checks on you.
4. Use a VPN on Your Devices
When traveling around the United States or abroad, you may require Wi-Fi to access the internet on your smartphones and computers. Perhaps you do not have 4G or 5G internet coverage in the area you are visiting, or your phone is low on battery.
The problem with connecting to public WiFi in any city, but especially in unfamiliar areas, is exposing your information to the public. Anyone can hack into the network and access your devices and data, leading to significant identity theft problems.
If you plan to use WiFi at airports, hotels, bus stops, and other locations, you should install a VPN on every device you plan to use on the trip. Using a VPN ensures that a layer of protection exists between your device and anyone else who connects to that public WiFI network.
5. Prevent Hotel Room Theft
People assume that if they are checking into a fancy hotel, they will not experience any problems during their stay. That is not the case for many travelers, as thefts and other issues can emerge during a hotel stay, especially in an unfamiliar country.
Start by never keeping any valuables, such as important documents, cash, jewelry, or credit cards, in your hotel room if you are not present. Either take the items with you or temporarily keep them with the hotel staff at the front desk.
Another way to avoid hotel room issues is by giving the impression that you are inside your room. Keep the blinds closed, turn on a couple of lights, and place the Do Not Disturb sign at your door. If anyone attempts to rob hotel guests, they will skip your room for one that appears unoccupied.
Enjoy Your Upcoming Trips
Taking precautions when planning a trip and going on the journey does not lessen the enjoyment of that experience.
If you are planning a family vacation, a solo backpacking trip around Europe, or a business trip with colleagues, you must take steps to ensure everyone is safe.
The above five strategies will ensure that you are saving money on your travels, avoiding harm, arriving at your destination, and coming back to your home on time and with minimal fuss.