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What You Should Know to Protect Yourself When Traveling Abroad

Apr 26, 2008
Few things compare to visiting new places and experiencing a different culture. But if you don't take a few precautions, there might be a high price to pay for your adventure. Overseas travel can be an ordeal if you don't follow some basic safety rules. Keep these tips in mind if you're planning a trip to a foreign country.

1. See what the weather is going to be where you are going. Arrange for the probability of plane delays. If the weather predicts particularly bad storms or a hurricane, you should delay your trip. You do not want to spend your vacation time stranded due to bad weather.

2. Be aware of any security issues. Investigate the political climate in your planned destination. Are there internal disagreements that seem likely to cause full-scale fighting? Do your research so you don't get trapped in a country at war.

3. There are many resources for researching the culture of the country you will be visiting. Keep your beliefs to yourself while in a strange country. Offending the people that live there is not conducive to a good visit. You do not want to end up being a victim because your beliefs are different from someone else's. That is why it is important to be as well informed as possible before you leave.

4. Taking some lessons on the language of the country you are visiting is recommended. How else are you supposed to know what people are saying to you? Do not be taken advantage of because you do not understand what someone is saying. This can lead to insulting someone and causing problems.

5. Get coverage. Check your health insurance policy to see if it covers overseas medical expenses. Don't take it for granted that you're covered. If travel is included in your insurance, find out exactly what services are covered, and invest in additional travel insurance if necessary.

6. Choose touristy accommodations. A hotel in the tourist district is a safer bet because it will probably have superior security measures in place. If you're out sightseeing, stay within the tourist zone or you'll be a target for the less savory local residents. Otherwise, hire a reliable guide to show you the parts of town that are more authentic. Don't wander off on you own.

7. Keep a low profile. Dress so that you don't stand out in the crowd and brand yourself as a tourist. If you rent a car, choose a discreet model that doesn't shout that you're a wealthy foreigner. If you attract too much attention you'll become an easy target.

Traveling abroad to a foreign land can be an enjoyable and safe experience. Just remember to take the proper precautions before you depart on your voyage and be alert when you arrive at your destination. Show respect for the local customs and traditions, and make an effort not to cause offense. By taking this approach, you're much more likely to be welcomed and looked after.
About the Author
Ashley King is editor of the Travel Section at i-KnowHow | Information for Life, where you'll also find ideas and tips for hobbies, home and garden, personal finance, technology basics and much more.
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