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Traveling around the world is what makes my world go round. However, it’s not without its risks. Travelers often fall prey to fraud, scams and petty theft, and when you’re doing adventurous things like riding motorbikes and scaling mountains, your risk of injury is a lot higher than usual. Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t embrace travel and enjoy every trip that comes your way, it just means that you should also follow these 10 travel tips whilst you do so. Staying safe abroad really isn’t rocket science, it just requires a little thought and common sense. Happy reading!
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I know, I know, travel insurance is boring. You’d much rather spend your money on vacation outfits and fun activities… until your phone gets stolen or you end up in the hospital, that is. You never think it’ll happen to you but the truth is, it could, and it’s best to prepare. Taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy could save you thousands of dollars should something go wrong, not to mention a ton of stress and anxiety. That’s why it’s top of my list of travel tips.
Make color photocopies of all of your important documents – passport, insurance policy, etc. – and store them separately from the originals. That way, if a document is lost or destroyed, you’ll at least have some back ups to reference. It’s a good idea to scan copies onto your phone, too.
In some countries, such as Vietnam, hotels are required by law to keep your passport until you checkout. However, in many cases they’ll be happy to keep a copy of the document if you don’t feel comfortable handing over the real deal.
Thieves and con-artists pick on tourists, so try to blend in as much as possible and make a note of how the locals dress and act. Admittedly, in some monoethnic countries your appearance will always betray you as a tourist. However, there’s still a difference between a tourist and a clueless tourist. Perhaps leave the Hawaiian shirt and bucket hat at home.
Travel tips articles will often tell you to carry as little cash as possible, but I don’t find that that’s always practical advice. In developing countries, many businesses only accept cash and card machines aren’t always reliable. This can be frustrating and impractical, so it’s best to carry bills.
On the other hand, many major US cities, like Los Angeles and New York, are becoming increasingly cashless and it’s a lot easier to use your card most of the time. Do your research beforehand about which payment method is best and make informed decisions from there.
If card is the preferred payment method in your destination, use your credit card rather than debit card because it offers much greater protection from fraud. If a fraudster steals money from your debit card, you won’t get it back until the bank investigates the matter which could take weeks. A credit card means you’re much less likely to end up out-of-pocket. Look for a travel card with no – or very minimal – foreign transaction fees.
If cash is king where you’re going, be sure to spread it out. Don’t keep a huge stack of bills in one wallet. Instead, you could keep some in the hotel safe, some in your wallet and some in an emergency money belt underneath your clothes.
I always advise double checking the most reliable taxi company in your destination. Where possible, use reputable ride hailing apps such as Uber and Grab. Again, this is something to research beforehand.
When getting into a taxi, ask the driver to start the meter at zero or agree on a flat fee beforehand.
Unfortunately, scams vary all over the world and just as tourists get wise to one scam, another pops up. That’s why it’s so important to research the common scams in your destination. For example, pickpocketing scams are rife in Barcelona whilst fake police are common in Prague.
A local SIM card is absolutely essential. They’re usually cheap and easy to obtain. With a local SIM you’ll be able to find your way if you’re lost and contact family, friends or emergency services.
You can often buy them before you even leave the airport but as always, do your research and choose a legitimate, reputable company. Be sure to load it with plenty of data that will last your entire trip. SIM cards are usually pretty cheap and they make life so much easier.
If necessary, contact your phone company before traveling and unlock your device. You’ll usually have to pay a small fee and wait a number of days before a new SIM will work, so be sure to do this in advance. If your network can’t or won’t unlock your device for any reason, consider purchasing a cheap backup phone just in case.
Well, you don’t want to spend your vacation sore and looking like a lobster, do you? Choose a high SPF and reapply every 1-2 hours when in direct sunlight. I recommend the following brands to help you avoid the tomato look.
Now that you’re up to date on travel tips, why not check out my ultimate carry on packing list to help you fly in comfort and convenience? And be sure to keep up to date with COVID-19 travel news with this list of the best destinations for post-pandemic travel.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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