Traveling and working abroad can be a positive life-defining experience. On the other hand, going abroad tends to be somewhat unsafe if you are unfamiliar with the country. This should not detract from your enjoyment, however, as the risks tend to be quite manageable if you follow these time-tested traveling tips.
1.) Get a sturdy bag
Invest in a bag with a design that discourages pickpockets. These are usually a bit more expensive, but they’re worth it if it means it that they can’t easily be tampered with. You might also want to keep your bag in front of you when you’re traveling in crowded areas.
2.) Avoid looking like a tourist
Avoid wearing clothes that make you look like a stereotypical tourist, and wear something that’s more in line with how most people in your host country dress. While this isn’t always applicable, it will help you avoid unwanted attention from pickpockets and muggers who count on clueless tourists being easy pickings.
3.) Don’t drink too much
Alcohol will greatly increase your risk for accidents – a risk that is already elevated by the fact that you’re in an unfamiliar country. You’re also much more likely to be unaware of your surroundings and where your valuables are when you’re inebriated.
4.) Leave your jewelry at home
Avoid bringing anything unessential that you’re not prepared to lose. Jewelry can make you a target for mugging, even in developed countries. If you’re attending a formal event and actually need the jewelry, take a car to the venue or just put on the jewelry when you get there.
5.) Invest in international insurance
Many major insurers neglect the expat and traveler market, which means their plans are often expensive and don’t provide much coverage. The smarter choice would be to go to a specialist international health insurance provider. These companies are more likely to over wider coverage for tourists and expats at a lower cost.
6.) Don’t take unregistered cabs
Don’t take rides from strangers in unmarked cars offering you a ride, even if they claim to be a taxi. Legitimate taxis are a lucrative source of revenue for most city governments and are almost always properly marked.
7.) Never leave your drink unattended
Slipping ‘roofies’ and other similar drugs into drinks has long been a popular ploy to get tourists and other foreigners intoxicated so they’re easier to rob. The only time you should be leaving a drink of any kind unattended is the one you have at home.
8.) Write down the address to your hotel or home
If you’re like the vast majority of people, you probably aren’t very good with memorizing addresses. You should be keeping this information on you somewhere in case you get lost. It should ideally be written down on paper or on a business card so that you can easily show it to a local if you don’t know the language. Sure, you can keep this info on your phone or on the cloud, but batteries die and you can quickly lose access to it.
9.) Learn the local language
This is especially important if you’re working abroad. A working knowledge of the local language can help you be more aware of the intentions of people around you and help you understand signs and instructions that you may encounter.