STAYING SAFE WHEN TRAVELLING7 min read

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STAYING SAFE WHEN TRAVELLING

Well I’ve had nothing but warnings coming to this city it’s unsafe, the people are rude, the taxi drivers will rip you off, I’ve heard it all before.

BE RESPECTFUL BUT NEVER A PUSHOVER

Although I love to ask other people for their opinion it’s always best to take it with a pinch of salt. I have lost count of the amount of times people told me to be careful or asked why are you going there when it’s not safe, most of which hadn’t actually been to the place in question. This in turn put me on edge and had a negative effect on some of my early trips.

THE WORLD IS SAFE

The general misconception is that the world is not a safe place. True if you believe everything you see on the TV but in reality it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Take my trip to Sudan LINK for example. A country that had only just come out of a civil war blew me away. I have met many friendly people on my travels, Filipino, Thai and Uzbeks but considering what the Sudanese people have gone through and what they continue to go through just humbled me in a way I doubt will happen again!

David Simpson and friend with a group of locals in in Da Lat, Vietnam. Night rider and a broken bike

Staying safe when travelling

FOLLOW YOUR GUT

If for whatever reason you get yourself into a difficult situation or something doesn’t feel quite right then always follow your gut. I’m a big believer in this and it has served me well for years.

RESPECT

The entire point of travelling is to see new places, meet new people and experience a different culture. But it’s no good if we aren’t going to respect these. Observing and studying the culture goes a long way. You might be on holiday but it’s important to dress and act appropriately and treat the locals with respect. It’s our own benefit to stick within the rules as if you were to be put behind bars, anything can then happen! Obviously this kind of thing is just out of the question.

 RELATED READ: GETTING SCAMMED IN BANGKOK

LUGGAGE

Don’t make the same mistake I made and keep your luggage on you at all times. From being in a bus to in a taxi, always keep your valuables bag on your knee! In a night bus in Peru I made the mistake of putting my bag above my head and going for a nap only to wake up the following day with no cash!

When at your hostel or accommodation always keep your valuables in the locker and never on your bed. Too many times have a heard of phones being snatched from beds as they charge.

People sleeping in airport. How to sleep in airports

Staying safe when travelling

TAXIS

Taxis in some countries can be a bit hit or miss as being a tourist they know fine well you are there for the taking. I do a number of things to avoid being over charged or scammed. I always try and use Uber when possible or if that’s not an option do a bit of research and ask how much the fare should be. In the taxi it does no harm to make some small talk and casually throw in the fact you are here very regularly – almost as if you work or live here so you know how things work. This usually puts them off the idea of trying their luck.

Staying safe when travelling

TIPS:
  • Need help? Ask a local, there is usually no better person to ask than someone who lives there.
  • Tip – download maps of countries
  • Downloaded google languages
  • Have dollars
  • Hide money in different places

SHARE YOUR ITINERARY

Whether you are travelling solo or with a buddy it’s always good to share your itinerary with friends or family at home so they know where and when you will be.

 RELATED READ: A NAKED SWEDE AND ANGKOR WAT

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Accidents happens, a lot of which can be completely out of your control so it is better to be safe than sorry. I have needed to call on my insurance 3 times and thankful for it on each occasion. I change my provider depending on my experience with them and also my destination. Look into Insure and Go or worldnomads.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Rarely do I get myself into any problems when on the road but it pays to be prepared if something untoward was to happen. Just don’t believe all of the scare stories, there are a tonnes of positive ones waiting to be made!

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x

This post is part of my Travel Tips Series, click to read more articles like this.

Question Time

  • Have you ever got into a bad situation when travelling?
  • Could you have avoided the scenario with a little more planning?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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