Whether you’ve always wanted to travel the country, the world, or just get away for a weekend, there are endless fun opportunities for traveling opportunities. However, it’s important to consider your safety while traveling, especially if you’re going by yourself.
While exploring new places means you’ll get to see incredible sights, try new or exotic food, and meet unique people, tourists can often be a target of thieves and abductors. Because of this, it’s important to be more careful than when you’re at home.
Don’t let this dissuade you, though; the world is still a pretty safe place for travelers, and you shouldn’t let that hold you back.
In this article, Michael Wiener – a world-renowned license plate collector and travel enthusiast, discusses essential travel safety tips.
1. Keep in Touch with Loved Ones
Before you embark on your journey, let your loved ones know what your itinerary is. That way, if they don’t hear from you for a few days or you don’t return, they know where you were, which helps figure out which authorities to inform or get in touch with.
The best way to do this is to write down your plans, especially if you plan to go to more than one place (i.e., road trip or traveling across Europe), and emailing it to them. If you decide to change your mind, let them know right away.
2. Make Copies of Documents
In the case that your things are stolen, it’s a good idea to have backups.
Make copies of important documents in case you need to go to the Embassy or authorities and keep them in various locations, such as your luggage, purse or wallet, and with you at all times. That way, if one is taken, you have a backup.
3. Never Use Public Wi-Fi
Most public Wi-Fi does not have proper security features, which puts your personal information at risk of being stolen.
Because of this, avoid using public Wi-Fi while traveling. Instead, splurge on international data and use a hotspot with your smartphone if you need to access the internet on a laptop or tablet.
4. Do Your Research
Some places are safer than others. Of course, that also means some places are more dangerous. Doing your research to determine what places to avoid and what places are safe to visit. If you are traveling to or through an area that is dangerous, research what things to look out for and how to avoid becoming a target.
Don’t forget to research the local customs, too. Some practices in the United States that are completely harmless can actually be quite offensive to other cultures. For example, tipping in Japan, touching the top of someone’s head in Thailand, or giving a thumbs up in the Middle East are off-limits.
5. Avoid Drawing Attention to Yourself
Lastly, dressing and acting as a tourist draws the attention of thieves, and sometimes it can get you in trouble. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or “standing out” in any way as it can make you a target.
Pay attention to your clothes and try and blend in the best you can. For instance, if you’re backpacking, don’t always walk around with your backpack, and if you’re in Europe avoid dressing too casually and wearing baseball caps.
About Michael Wiener:
Michael C. Wiener of Albuquerque New Mexico is a world-renowned license plate collector, researcher, and consultant. He is considered to be America’s leading authority regarding automobile license plates and motor vehicle licensing systems. By the time he was 23, he had visited all 50 states and has now explored over 100 countries across the globe. Mr. Wiener was elected as an Albuquerque City Councilor, a New Mexico State Senator, and a Bernalillo County Commissioner. He was elected twice as International President of the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA), and has been featured on HGTV’s Offbeat America,” CNBC News with Brian Williams, and appeared in an episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad and was featured in New Mexico Magazine. Michael Wiener serves as a consultant for motor vehicle departments, law enforcement agencies, and television and motion picture producers on subjects related to motor vehicles and automobile plate history. He has been nominated twice, by his peers, to the ALPCA Hall of Fame and was given the “Outstanding Leadership” Award by the Mid Region Council of Governments in 2013.