Travelling to a new destination is exciting and interesting, but preparing for a trip can sometimes be overwhelming. This can be especially true if you’re travelling abroad to a new country where there is some form of currency, language, or cultural barrier.
Check with the State Department before traveling
Have you checked with the State Department’s website about your destination? The department provides up to date travel safety information for every country in the world. You can search around the website and get detailed information on everything from threat level to medical care to the local laws that you need to know about as a traveler.
Provide your emergency contact with a copy of your itinerary and your documents
Getting away from it all can be nice, but it’s important that you don’t go completely off the radar. Make sure you leave a copy of your itinerary with an emergency contact like a friend or a family member. The itinerary doesn’t have to be detailed. It can just be a basic plan of where you’re visiting, when you’re leaving, and when you’re returning.
Scan a copy of your passport
Often times overlooked, it’s important to keep a scanned copy of your passport in your digital possession. Before you leave, scan a copy using your home scanner and email a copy of it to yourself to save in either a cloud storage service or save it as a picture on your phone. This way, you can easily access your passport information while you’re out and about exploring.
Conceal cash and/or valuables
While this may be a common practice, it’s important to note. When making transactions or taking money out of an ATM, try not to openly count it or show it off in a big wad. Keep your cash separated, as well. Make sure your spending money is easily accessible in a wallet or travel pack, while keeping the rest hidden either elsewhere in your bag or in a safe at your hotel. Same thing for your phones or tablets, don’t keep them in easy to reach places. Minimize pickpocketing by being aware of your surroundings and keeping your possessions hidden.
Consider travel insurance
Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. Your trip may get delayed, a flight cancelled, etc. and you want to be protected from those instances. Consider purchasing travel insurance for your trip. A trip insurance policy can cover everything from delayed and cancelled flights and overbooked hotels to medical emergencies abroad. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to travelling far from home.
Act and dress appropriately in regards to local culture
One of the most important pieces on this list, make sure you act and dress appropriately to local culture. In many countries, what may be standard etiquette or dress in the United States may be too revealing or even inappropriate in other cultures. Do some basic research about the culture so you don’t stand out. Find out more about local dress and local customs to ensure that you don’t overstep boundaries in a country that’s welcomed you in as a visitor or make yourself a target as an obvious tourist.