Do you have a deep, burning desire to travel? Exploring foreign lands and experiencing different cultures expands our worldview. However, it’s important to realize that you will be visiting somewhere that could be entirely unlike what you are used to at home. Therefore; you should be prepared to encounter different challenges with regard to communicating with local people and navigating yourself through the lands.
Here are five safety tips for first-time travelers that can be used in any international location:
#1 Research Your Location
If all you have seen of your ideal travel destination is a postcard image, or an article in a magazine, then you may be headed for trouble. Pick up a copy of the Lonely Planet guide for your overseas travel location. Search online for information and visit travel forums for reviews written by people that have traveled abroad there.
#2 Copy Your Documents
Make some color copies of your passport and identity documents. Take them to your local notary and have them certified. Keep your originals at your hotel in their safe and use the color copies for any other identity requests you may have with local law enforcement. Most local law enforcement officers will accept color copies of your documents, provided they are certified.
#3 Give a Friend Your Itinerary
While Facebook offers a way to live log your travels for your friends and family to view, it’s essential to have an anchor person that knows your entire itinerary. Give your travel plans, including a day-by-day schedule, to a family member or close friend. If something were to happen to you on your travels, the authorities would have an idea of your whereabouts.
#4 Keep a Back-Up Cash Fund
Nothing is worse than running out of cash, especially when you are traveling abroad and are stuck in a possibly compromising situation. Be prepared for any financial happenstance with a backup cash fund that you have set aside for just such an emergency. Whether it’s paying for transportation, a hot meal, or a hotel for the night, a backup cash fund is a necessity that you will be glad you had the foresight to set aside.
#5 Call Your Credit Card Company
Speaking of money issues while traveling, call your credit card company before you leave. Explain to them your travel plans and ensure that they know your travel itinerary and locations. Credit card companies tend to block payment requests from foreign lands. While this can help them protect their clients from fraud, it also can become a hassle when you are traveling and need to use your card in a foreign location.
Calling ahead and letting the bank’s customer service know your whereabouts will give them a chance to register your request on their system and ensure your card remains unlocked for international purchases. Do some research on the best credit cards for travel to make sure your holiday is a pleasant experience.
The Final Tip
Enjoy yourself! A trip overseas is a life-changing experience that will excite your mind and your senses. Remember to keep a power bank charged and ready to go wherever you are – missing out on a picture or selfie opportunity because your battery died is not the ideal way to remember your vacation.