Traveling abroad can be hazardous (and sometimes dangerous) when we are unfamiliar with our surroundings. A must for all abroad travelers is to educate ourselves about our destination country. Always check your country’s government site for travel alerts. Gain familiarity with the dressing code and the general cultural etiquette and then once there follow scrupulously the rules. Respect the in-country laws, and this includes media restrictions. Be prepared for the unexpected, so that you can travel with a peace in mind.
1. Know the domestic airlines. Be cautious when you travel using domestic airlines in a country that you don’t know. For instance, do you know that there is a EU Air Safety List which actually blacklists some carriers, banning them from entering EU airspace due to safety concerns.
2. Limit the amount of cash you carry. Don’t be an easy target with carrying a lot of cash. Use a money belt, and carry a small amount within hand’s reach to negotiate transport fees, buying food, etc. Don’t flash cash during purchases. And if you can, use credit or debit cards whenever and wherever possible (making sure first that you notify your bank of your travel plans).
3. Always protect your passport. Without it you’re not going to go anywhere, and this includes leaving the country where it has been lost or stolen. Have a copy of your passport (and visas) in a location different than where you hold your passport. Keep the passport itself with you at all times in a travel pouch inside your clothes. If your accommodation asks to hold your passport during your stay, request documentation of it.
4. Only use authorized taxis. Before you travel, check what the cab rules and issues are at the destination. Check what are legitimate taxi services. When you can it is better to organize transfers from hotel to or from airport with the hotel itself. Note that in some places, unauthorized taxi rides have resulted in robbing and kidnappings.
One of our mandates at Earthwise Aware is to foster good wildlife practices and standards when traveling, volunteering or simply enjoying your local nature and wildlife. Respecting wildlife by following the EwA Wildness Etiquette will naturally increase your safety. Make sure to study it before your trip and to remember it when in the middle of an exciting sighting, and you’ll be most likely fine. Even better: make a copy of the etiquette, bring it with you and share with your fellow travelers and friends.