Whether one is traveling alone or with a group, here are some tips to remember while abroad, regardless of the destination.
There’s nothing inherently dangerous about traveling. It is common to see people from country A, speak about how dangerous country B is and why they would never go there. At the same time, one sees people from country B saying that country A is dangerous and it would be foolish for them to go there.
Still, there are some things that can make traveling dangerous and some places are more dangerous. Most of the things one can do to mitigate the danger are common sense. But some things are more specific. Generally, the danger is all about money, its thieves and opportunists taking advantage of tourists in spending mode and that advantage that tourists don’t know how the country works.
Cities After Dark (Especially Africa)
Africa is a very big continent and it is very difficult to generalize. But for many Sub-Saharan African countries, it is unwise to go out on the street after dark. Kampala in Uganda, Nairobi in Kenya, and many of the cities in South Africa are examples of where one is advised not to walk after dark. In all of these countries, one can easily call an Uber.
- Uber: Call An Uber After Dark In Dangerous Cities
Note: Not All African Cities Are Dangerous After Dark
But other African cities are much safer – Lusaka in Zambia being an example. Ask where the safer and more dangerous parts of the cities are. There are certain things tips to be had while traveling in dangerous cities.
- Avoid: Avoid Going Alone Or Out Drinking To Excess
If one does go out after dark, do not go alone and do not go out drunk – this makes people easy targets. Also, carry as least cash as possible and leave one’s phone in the hotel – never take one’s passport. Take a picture of it (with the visa) on one’s phone.
Places With Lots Of Motorbikes (Like Morocco)
Morocco is mostly safe, but again be careful of being robbed. It has been known for people to “lead” travelers to their hotels – but instead lead them into a dark alley and rob them. But Moroccans are very friendly people and this only happens in very touristic places. The main thing in Morocco is not to pay silly high prices for wares – remember to bargain!
- Watch Out: For People Guiding One To One’s Hotel But Take One To A Dark Alley To Get Robbed
- Avoid: Holding The Phone Towards The Street Where Motorbike Riders Can Snatch it
Another concern in places like Morocco which have lots of motorbikes on the street is cellphone theft. Motorbike riders will come up and snatch the phone out of the hand of people walking down the street. Never walk holding the phone to the street. And in any city or bus stop that one is not sure about how safe it is, don’t hold the phone out at all.
Uncomfortable Places or Solo Female Travelers
Some places have different cultural norms between the sexes and they can have some misconceptions about Western Culture and Western women. It can be quite unpleasant for solo female travelers in countries like India and Egypt. Exercise the normal types of caution – but on a much more alert level. Be careful about being drunk alone on the street at night or the only girl on the bus at night.
- Female Travelers In Difficult Places: Try Not To Travel Alone
- Conservative Countries: Dress Modestly – Both To Not Cause Offense To The Local People and To Not Draw Unwanted Attention
To mitigate this it is advised to dress modestly and travel with another traveling companion. If a girl is not dressed modestly, she will be perceived as signaling she is open for men to approach her. In some countries, it is very disrespectful for girls not to dress modestly (in Iran girls must cover their arms, legs, and wear a headscarf – even the men can’t wear shorts).
There’s even a solo female traveler’s club one can join.
Don’t Put All The Eggs In One Basket
When traveling it is beneficial to have multiple credit cards from (preferably) multiple banks. But don’t keep them in the same wallet or bag. If one was to be pickpocketed and they were both in the same wallet, then they are both lost. Keep one somewhere else.
- Credit Cards: Have More Than One And Keep Them In Different Places
- Notify: Notify One’s Bank That One is Traveling
Also, notify the bank when one is traveling or they may think one’s overseas transaction is suspicious and freeze the card. Also, avoid taking more cash than needed. In many countries, it isn’t really needed to carry any cash at all (Sweden and China e.g. are virtually cashless societies anyway).
One of the most important things is to know where to get actuate travel information in the places one is going.
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