Travelling abroad always carries a degree of risk. Your vacation is supposed to be a time when you can unwind, let your hair down and relax. While visiting many resorts, one can often be overwhelmed by the feeling of security that is on offer. If you truly wish to enjoy your vacation and minimise the possibility of any incidents that may spoil your holiday, however, it is still important to maintain a degree of vigilance. There is no need to vacation in fear, as the security in many resorts makes for an extremely safe environment, but there are a few things that you should bear in mind, for your own protection.
Staying safe abroad starts from the very moment that you begin packing; it is important not to fill your bags with unnecessary, expensive items. Travelling light is always better and many expensive items are not covered under travel insurance, while your very possession of them makes you a target for theft.
In addition to packing, consider dressing down while flying to your chosen destination. Marking yourself out as an affluent tourist tends to attract unwanted attention from those looking to exploit the feeling of safety created by many resorts.
Choose safe accommodation
It can always be tempting to save a little money by cutting corners on a holiday. When taking a vacation, however, accommodation is one area where you should not skimp. Pick a reputable resort, check it out online in advance and take the time to read people’s reviews. If a hotel sounds cheap and too good to be true, proceed with caution.
Take out good insurance
It is essential that you take out high-quality travel insurance before you depart on your trip. Not only does this cover you against illness or accidents abroad, but it also covers cancellation costs, as well as other miscellaneous expenses. While travel insurance is likely your number one concern, ensure that you have high-quality home insurance too. Leaving your home empty for an extended period of time should not be taken lightly. In addition, leave a key with a neighbour or loved one, making sure to ask them to check on the house regularly.
Relax, but still be vigilant
When living in a bubble that is a resort, it can be easy to let your guard down too easily. While it is unlikely that other guests are there to cause problems, remember that many of the bars especially will be open to the general public; this means that strangers can often wander in and a lack of vigilance can prove costly.
Safety in your hotel
Your hotel may seem like a safe place, but it is still important to remain alert. Keep your door locked at all times and offer to meet visitors in the hotel lobby, and not in your room. Ensure that you keep all valuables either in the safe at reception or in the safe that is located in your room.
When staying out late alone at night, ensure that you tell someone at your party what time to expect you to be home. Update them regularly if your plans change, but ask that they contact the front desk if you do not return at the time you specified.
While many resorts may provide certain modes of transport, you may find yourself wanting to explore a nearby town or city. If this is the case, and you must take a bus or taxi, be extremely vigilant. Only take licensed, marked taxis and registered buses. Under no circumstances should you accept lifts from strangers.
When it comes to walking around on a day-to-day basis, travel light and take the minimum number of valuables with you that possible. Leave money and traveller’s cheques in your hotel safe, take only the credit or debit cards that are essential and do not wear expensive accessories, such as watches; these accessories make you a target for thieves.
When you are on holiday, everyone likes a drink every now and again. One must, however, be extremely vigilant when it comes to alcohol. Only consume alcohol in moderation, do not accept drinks from anyone you do not know or trust, and never leave your drink unattended at the bar. Another thing to be cautious about, for non-alcoholic drinks as well as alcoholic ones, is to only order drinks without ice in countries where the consumption of tap water is a risk.
Food in your resort is likely to be of a very high standard and perfectly safe to consume. If, however, you take a trip into a neighbouring town, make no assumptions about cleanliness. Eat in restaurants that are busy and look clean. If in doubt, ask another patron who is leaving the restaurant what their experience was like before entering.
The laws regarding drug consumption may differ in different countries. Although we could never condone their use, if you decide to take drugs, proceed with caution, not only when taking them, but also consider checking your bag before you depart from your resort. There are thousands of cases each year of tourists being sent to prison for smuggling drugs that they were not even aware had been planted on them. Just because a certain drug may be legal in the country in which you are visiting, this does not mean that it is acceptable to transport that drug internationally.