MINIMUM SAFETY OF TRAVEL
What is the minimum safety of travel?
Safety and health are the primary things to keep in mind when traveling. Hotel, transportation and everything else comes only after these two main things. No trip will be successful unless you are safe and have health. So always think about it!
1. Get to know the situation
When visiting a foreign country, initially it’s important to explore the current situation in order not to intervene in areas of terrorism or warfare. It is essential to find out what is happening in the country as a whole, and whether there are regions, where it is not advisable to stay. Often the information available to tourists is exaggerated, and the actual situation is not as bad, but it is always better to know the whole story. It’s important to find out if the place you want to go is subject to some natural disasters such as earthquakes – then you need to know how to act! In some countries there is a rainy season or cold weather when it’s summer in your home. Find out if there are any mosquitoes or illnesses in the region to be prepared. Also, what kind of documents are required – it may turn out that there is a necessity to show the departure ticket on the arrival! And when the destination is already reached, you should contact the locals themselves – they will know better what the real picture is after all.
2. Keep the hygiene
And safety is there along with the health. Always carry the most necessary medicine with you, and find out, what kind of meds could be needed in your destination. Keeping the hygiene will reduce a lot of problems, especially in less developed countries. Street food should be avoided, although only in India we had problems after having that. Always wash your hands, wash fruits and vegetables.
3. Watch your valuables
Of course, the less technology in the bag, the better. After all, it’s better to enjoy the journey through the eyes, not through the phone screen or camera lens. However, if everything comes along, it certainly should not appear on you when walking on streets. A giant camera hanging on the neck and a shiny phone showing out of the pocket will attract even the most peaceful guy`s attention and may raise some quick profit ideas.
Protect your documents, which should better be stored in a safe place, apart from the copies. Both cash and credit card are valuable, but it’s best to split them into different pockets. A fake wallet with some non-worthy shopping cards is an useful thing in a case of robbery – you won’t be sorry to give it away. Be careful with ATMs, because in less developed countries they can also remove the money from your card without actually giving it to you. Be careful of local deals – “for free” and “just come and see” – you mostly end up with unnecessary expenses.
4. Do not give money to beggars and children
No matter how harsh it sounds, giving the money can really only worsen the situation. In a number of countries adults, who have noticed that the tourist is giving the money to the child, start stealing the children from smaller villages, after bringing them to the city so they could earn a daily salary for the same bad ones. There are cases when giving the money to a child attracts other`s attention, and soon you may find yourself surrounded by people, who are trying to get out of your pockets everything you have. And also the beggar, having realized that begging is working, will never try to do anything else. Yes, there are exceptions, but it’s better to feed the hungry instead of donating them metal coins.
5. Be a part of a society
The less noticeable you are, the better. Of course, when a “white” visits Bolivia, it will be noticed even with the strongest sun tan, but the outfit is also important. Expensive fabrics or typical tourist sandals and shorts with hundred pockets and will definitely attract other’s attention. You do not have to wear traditional local skirts or hats to “flow in” the society, just think a bit of appropriate clothing and, of course, avoid showing naked parts of it (like shoulders). Do control your behavior and avoid conversation topics like religion and politics.
6. Think about your attitude
Scared and lost tourist can be seen from far. A tourist that should use some “help”, in fact, is an easy target. Though, if you are lost, never be afraid, and trust in your inner sense, it will take you to the right person who can really help! It is worthwhile to become “one of the locals”. If at first the real locals will be surprised that the tourist feels like home among them, after they will observe, and at the end they will be totally ok with that. And the opposite – never think that you as a tourist are better than a local one. It is not true! The local will always be smarter and more experienced in his own home. We noticed that many tourists are more arrogant than they are scared. Some tourists are showing off with their money, spitting food in front of a cook if it seems too unusual, and are very disrespectful in every way. And this creates a wrong picture of a true traveler. But we always try to show locals that, in fact, people are good. Everyone is good deep in the heart, it just should be reminded often.
7. Open to the trip
An open, happy and respectful traveler will always experience the most beautiful moments during the trip. You will never have to think – how to get out of an awkward situation or a dangerous place. It just will not happen if you travel with an open mind and open heart! If you travel without fear, without prejudices.
Become whole with the unknown, adapt, learn and share. And that’s the key. We should open up to people, open up to the nature. After all, we all live together, we are all people, shoulder to shoulder. Although we are each building our own little world, the Earth is one, you know..