10 Tips for a safe holiday

Safety by Kynne Hand

Photo by Lynne Hand

by Christine Muir

The relaxed feeling of being on holiday can lead people to take risks with their safety that they would not take when at home. The following travel tips will help to make sure that your holiday is enjoyable and safe.

1. Before you leave home, make sure that you have the address and phone number of your embassy. If you are travelling with a tour operator, make sure that you have their phone number, and the name of your travel representative. Make sure that you know the laws of the country you are visiting and your legal rights.

2. If you intend to travel around the country you are visiting, plan your itinerary before you go. Give a copy of your travel plans to your family, and include hotel phone numbers.

3. Photocopy documents before you go, and carry these with you when you are out. Leave your original passport and documents in the hotel safe.

4. Only carry a daily cash allowance on your person. Leave the rest of your cash in your hotel or room safe. Only take one or two credit cards on your trip, and always leave one of them in the hotel safe. Check that you know what to do if one is lost or stolen, and take the credit card company contact details with you.

5. Always use well lit main roads when walking at night time. If you use a cab (taxi), then only use registered ones (they will usually have a plaque on their licence plate). Do not accept rides from unmarked cars. If you are using public transport at night, make sure you know the route. If possible use taxis (cabs) that you or your hotel has booked.

6. When in a bar or club, never leave your drink unattended. Do not accept drinks from strangers. Often, bottled drinks are best, as you can keep your thumb over the top of the bottle, which will help to make sure that no drugs can be added to it.

7. Do not dress in a way that shows you are a tourist. Dress to blend in.

8. Do not wear an expensive watch or jewellery when you are out. Keep them in the hotel safe, or better still, leave them at home. If you have an expensive mobile phone, consider taking a cheap one away with you.

9. Carry enough small change (local currency) to use in a public phone box if needed, or public transport. Many buses will only accept the correct fare, and will not give change.

10. Check that any medication you need to take regularly is available in the country you are visiting. If it is not, then ask your doctor about alternatives before you go and if you have to travel with your medication ask your doctor for a note to explain why you need the medication. Know the emergency number in the country you are visiting.  For example in the UK the emergency number is 999, in the USA it is 911.

Finally, be aware of your surroundings, and use your common sense. Do not act in ways that you would not act when at home.

Enjoy your trip!