Take control of your personal safety while traveling: Part 1

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Gone are the days when you can take a solo trip on a whim, or are they? I used to be able to hop on a plane, after finding a last-minute deal and head off for a fun weekend. Can I still do that? Of course, you can! It’s just a matter of doing the prep work. I know it sounds tedious and boring but you’ll have a more enjoyable trip full of lasting memories, instead of headaches and regret. Here are some tips to help you be better prepared for any trip whether last-minute or six months in the future.

Start with a quick Internet search

So you have a trip booked and you’re leaving this weekend. You got a fantastic deal but you don’t know much about the area. No problem. The first thing I always do before heading out on a trip is to do a quick internet search about the place I’m going.

  • What’s popular to do at my destination? You can usually find this by looking up the tourism website for your destination. This will also be a great place to see if there are any events happening that you might be interested in.

 

  • What is the local news for my destination? This should really be the first thing you research, even before you book your tickets. See what’s going on in the area and make note of things that stand out. Are there a lot of thefts in the area? Have there been protests or strikes in the area? Being aware of what’s happening at your destination can help you prepare. Perhaps all of the issues are happening in one area of the city you’re visiting. Looking up this information will help you to understand which areas to avoid and which areas to enjoy.

 

  • Are there local suggestions or a locals page? I always see if I can find a local bulletin for the destination I’m visiting. For me, part of the experience of traveling is learning about new cultures and places and locals have the inside scoop. When I was in Edinburgh, I found the best and most unique pizza place in the city by asking a local. Pizza Geeks was founded by friends who combined their love of great pizza and comics. I would’ve never known about the place on my own. Make sure to explore community boards for information on cool things to do that only locals know about.

 

  • What are the safety requirements for where I’m going? With the advent of Covid, each country has its own regulations when it comes to entry. It may be that you need a PCR test or need to wear masks. Some countries still require a short length of self-isolation. Know what the entry requirements are before you go.

Gather Important information and share it with a relative.

This is probably the most important fact-finding you can do before you go. Most people do not take the time to do this but it will not only save you headaches but it will give your loved one peace of mind while you’re traveling on your own.

  • Write out a loose itinerary. If you’re like me you tend to travel with no real set schedule. However, putting together a general itinerary of where you’re hoping to be on your trip will provide a little bit of needed structure and give your family reassurance of where in the world you’ll be.

 

  • Changes to your loose itinerary should be updated by email or phone calls. So you’ve got a brief summary of what you’re hoping to do however you decide that you would rather check out a different city before moving on. I usually touch base with my family in each new location. I’ll either send a quick text, email or call. It not only provides a safety check but allows for a freer itinerary.

 

  • Identify the municipal areas where you’re going. No matter where you travel most places will have a law enforcement hub. Locate where it is. Hopefully, you won’t need it but if you do you won’t have trouble finding it when it counts. This is the same if you’re traveling to a foreign country. Know where the Embassy is, again in case of emergency.

What comes next?

Come back next week when I’ll talk about prepping yourself for solo travel and what you can do to make yourself less of a target. What are some tips you have for researching before you go on a trip? Do you do any of the things above to aid in your safety in traveling? Let me know in the comments. Until next time.

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