4 Tips to Stay Safe While Backpacking

Safety is always a major issue when talking about travelling. Thefts, mugging and accidents can occur; traffic jams and unexpected delays will, at some point, interrupt your plans. However, with simple research and planning, it’s easier to stay secure and safe while travelling. Here are four useful travel tips to stay safe throughout your journey.

  1. Talk to Locals About Risks

If you are going somewhere notoriously dangerous, chances are you have been doing researches about the place. Let’s take Medellin, Colombia as an example. Perhaps, you’ve read about cocaine cartels and gang violence that almost ripped Colombia apart years ago, but it turns out that Medellin is pretty safe now.  

One thing you should be researching more of is the smaller crimes, such as theft and scams. Unless you are a popular personality, you’re more likely to be targeted by thieves seeking for quick money than a big time syndicate. No one knows the risks of the area better than the locals, so it’s advisable to speak to employees of your accommodation about what to look out for.

  • Avoid Carrying All Your Money

If you’re pick-pocketed at home, it can be a problem to cancel all your cards—but that’s all. However, if you’re out of the country, even getting to a phone is already a problem, and making an overseas call is another story.

To avoid this when travelling, carry just enough cash and a card that contains your information in case of emergency—keep the rest of your valuables in your hotel locker. Additional tip: carry a ‘dummy wallet’—a small wallet with a few useless cards and a small amount of money in it. If ever you get mugged, you can oblige and handover your wallet without losing everything.

  • Keep a Clear Head at All Times

This means don’t get drunk. Almost all incidents that involve backpackers getting into trouble are because they were drinking too much, which often leads to poor decision-making.

No one, in their healthy state of mind, would ever think that it’s safe to wander along the shore of Rio de Janeiro at night, but when you are drunk, it seems romantic. We’re not saying don’t drink at all. A glass or two won’t hurt, but make sure to keep a clear head afterwards. This is even more important when travelling alone, because there’ll be no one to pull you back when you’re about to do something dumb.

  • Prepare a Back-Up Plan

This basically means do all the boring stuffs. Get a travel insurance plan and make sure it covers every activity you plan to do, such as hiking, bungee jumping, skiing, scuba diving, etc. Scan your passport, visa, the front and back of your credit and debit cards and other important travel documents. Keep a set in each of your bags, so if you lose anything you can redeem a copy of it to take to your embassy.

Taking care of these things may sound boring, but we assure staying safe and secure will make your trip much more fun. Keep in mind these tips, and only by then you’ll fully enjoy your vacation.

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