5 Ways to Stay Safe During First Time International Travel

Traveling overseas for the first time is thrilling, but if you’re like most tourists, you’ll probably have a few nerves. Visiting an unfamiliar area always carries some degree of risk, but with these tips in mind, you can improve your chances of staying safe during your first international trip.

Become Familiar With Local Laws

Local laws aren’t there simply to spoil your fun. They often exist to keep you safe. For example, some nations, including China and Indonesia, have severe penalties (including execution) for illegal drug possession. Jaywalking is illegal in other countries, which may also have unpredictable drivers. You’ll get fined for this in India, but in Singapore, this crime could see you spending six months in jail. Read up on the laws in the cities and countries you’re visiting to make sure you’re up to speed.

Share Travel Plans With a Trusted Person and Stay in Touch

Leave a detailed itinerary with a trusted person at home, such as a parent or best friend, stating where you’ll be on each date, what flights you’ll catch, and where you’ll stay with contact numbers. If a natural disaster or terrorist incident occurs, your loved one will know whether you’re in potential danger and can alert the authorities if required. Of course, things can still go wrong overseas without an event hitting the headlines. Making regular social media posts or sending emails home will let your loved ones know you’re safe.

Split up Your Money

At home, you probably carry just one wallet with all your cash and cards. However, this isn’t the safest approach when you’re traveling. Some international cities like Barcelona and Prague are renowned for pickpockets. If your money is all in one place, it’s easy for thieves to grab everything you have. However, if you keep some cash in a wallet, some more in your hotel safe, and your credit cards in a tote bag, for example, there’s less chance you’ll be totally fleeced.

Get a Medical Protection Membership

Think beyond travel insurance and get a medical protection membership to feel confident that you’ll stay safe. MedjetHorizon, an add-on to MedjetAssist membership, is one of the most comprehensive medical protection memberships on the market and provides air medical transport benefits, travel security services, and crisis response services. That means you can easily get home and to safety during times of terrorism or political unrest. Best of all, unlike competitors, Medjet Horizon members don’t need to wait for hard triggers, like government evacuation mandates, to use their benefits.

Travel With Close Trusted Friends

The old saying that there’s safety in numbers holds true, so make sure you bring some trusted friends on your first international adventure. Solo travelers are much easier targets. Simply having friends around can keep you safe from muggers and sexual predators. You can also look out for each other if someone drinks too much or gets aggressive with the locals.

International travel carries some degree of risk, but so do most things we do in our daily lives. Don’t let your fear of the unknown hold you back. Take the right precautions on your first time abroad to boost your chances of staying safe.


Image via Flickr by lhilfinger

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