As business and leisure travel continues to recover, the world is returning to what feels more like “normal.” This could mean some people are traveling to dangerous destinations, or at least what we might initially perceive as high risk.
Regardless of the reason why someone is traveling and no matter the destination, people want to feel safe.
Feeling safe can mean various things depending on the individual and where they’re traveling.
We consider certain destinations to be more dangerous than others, even although some of these are media perceptions and depictions of those locations.
Regardless, from choosing a hotel with top level security To pay attention to your personal safety when you travel, here are things to remember when you’re at a dangerous destination. These tips can even be helpful if you are not in an area normally considered dangerous, but are simply traveling someplace unfamiliar.
Do Your Research
The mainstream media does not at all times offer you the information you need before you traveling someplace you do not know. For example, you might think of Brazil as a dangerous location just because of its depiction, but the country is not full of criminals. As elsewhere, there are risks involved in traveling to so-called dangerous destinations, but they’re often not as important as we might think.
Begin your travel research by visiting a government website administered by your home country.
For example, US residents may initiate research with the Department of State. The Department of State offers country-specific information, travel alerts, and alerts to US travelers.
You can start learning about the general risk levels for your destination and the precise threats to watch out for.
There is a big difference between your greatest risk of rioting or political strife versus a country where your greatest risk is crime related to drug cartels.
If you go someplace with political strife, you can determine which areas are most in danger because they do not get as widespread.
Your goal when researching is to gain perspective.
Also, understand that large portions what you have read overstates the riskincluding information from your home government.
If you have friends or co-workers who have traveled to destinations, they can be an amazing source of perspective.
When you go to a dangerous destinationstaying in a hotel is usually your best bet.
You want a hotel that caters to international visitors, and you want to ensure they’ve security in place at all times.
If your hotel does cater to international travelers, they’re more likely to meet the security standards those travelers expect.
Security should be visible most of the time and at all times with reason. If you are not sure whether or not that’s something the hotel offers, contact them directly to find out their protocol.
A hotel with a 24 hour reception is a must. If the lobby at all times has someone in place, it makes it less likely that somebody will follow you.
Also, if you at all times have someone to call, you will have peace of mind if you see something suspicious.
Depending on your location and reason for your trip, you may want to let the receptionist know your plans each day and when you’ll be back. Of course, you only want to do this if you feel like you are really taking a risk.
When you book a hotel, ask for a higher floor, but not too high. If you are at ground level, it is simpler for intruders to target you. At the same time, it is difficult to get out if you get too high and there is a fire or emergency.
If you are near an emergency exit, even better if you stay in a hotel. These are things you should consider wherever your destination may be.
Leave a Footprint
If you are going to a risky destination, you want to have a plan for everything you do and leave a trail of that plan.
First, notify the embassy of your home country at least two weeks before your trip. Then you want to make a color copy of your passport. Keep a copy with you, then leave one at your home, and exchange copies with others who may be traveling with you.
Keep a copy of your passport separate from your actual passport.
Leave travel plans with someone at home or share a Google Doc with trusted people.
When traveling with other people, you should at all times have their phone numbers with you, and you should share details about what each of you’ll do if you split up.
Along with staying in touch with people you may be traveling with, you should also stay in regular and consistent contact with at least one person in your household.
For example, maybe you tell members of the family about your general schedule and plan their time check in with them everyday.
Anytime you are in an unfamiliar place, whether you consider it dangerous or not, it is vital to stay alert. Pay attention to what is going on around you, and pay attention to how the people around you behave.
For example, if someone appears to be following you, try heading to a populated area.
When traveling anywhere, but particularly where you think it is dangerous, give it a try keep a low profile. You do not want people to think you have quite a lot of money.
Dress in a way that blends in with the locals, and do not wear expensive jewelery or accessories.
You also want to try and avoid places where people can target you based on where you are from. For example, if there is a bar where Americans go, it is best to avoid it.
Finally, do not drink too much while traveling, but you should be extra vigilant, particularly if you are traveling someplace. If you drink too much, you will not be as aware and attentive as you need to be to keep yourself safe.