Here’s a guide to make your travelling experience smart and safe
As travellers, our aim should be to have fun and enjoy new experiences. However, sometimes that excitement comes at a high cost if you’re too lost in it. The main reason people regret their trips is because they make mistakes that translate into significant losses. It would be a shame if one of your travel memories includes you counting every penny after making a regrettable mistake. On the flipside, to ensure you make the most out of your trip, we present this guide on how to be a smarter traveller.
Report your travel plans to the US State Department ( if you live in the US)
The US Department of State recommends that American citizens traveling abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Once enrolled, you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Tip: You can use STEP to get emails or text messages with important information on your destination as well as general travel tips by email.
Make sure you have traveller’s renters insurance
Whether you’re staying in a hotel, renting a house on Airbnb, or staying with friends, there are a few key things you need to do before you leave home, which will help ensure your travelling experience is safe and enjoyable. If you’re planning to be away from your home for more than 10 days, make sure to do this one thing first: get travellers’ renters insurance. Even if you don’t own the home or apartment you live in, most companies will cover theft of the items in your home for up to $250,000 for less than $20 a year.
Organise your valuables and medicines
- Organise your valuables: Taking a few minutes to ensure that you have all of your important belongings in one place will help you stay organized and decrease the likelihood of something getting left behind on the trip home. For example, collect all the chargers for your phone and laptop in one bag, rather than letting them float around loose. And don’t forget items like headphones or extra socks — little things can make a big difference!
- Pack medicines separately, with labels: When it comes to packing prescription drugs, take care to do so securely and thoughtfully: pack them in their original containers or bags with labels attached, rather than in your check-in luggage (which could get lost).
- Carry copies of important documents: It’s always good practice to make copies of anything you need to travel with — keep these copies separate from originals, just in case something gets lost or stolen. This includes passports and other identification documents: if yours are lost while travelling abroad, having a copy will at least make it easier for local authorities to assist you in getting replacements.
Carry a first-aid kit
Carrying a small first aid kit can be extremely helpful if you get injured or fall ill away from home. It should include the following:
- Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, and antihistamines.
- Bandages, gauze pads, and adhesive tape.
- Antiseptic cream or lotion and alcohol wipes to clean cuts and grazes.
- Antihistamine cream for nettle stings, insect bites, or allergic reactions.
- Travel sickness tablets for motion sickness on flights, boats, or buses.
- Diarrhea tablets to treat travelers’ diarrhea if it occurs.
Handy tech gadgets for travel
With the right gadgets, you can make your trip everything it should be: smooth, hassle-free, and fun. Here are some must-haves to include in your carry-on:
- Portable charger: One of the worst things that can happen while you’re on the go is a dead battery. Before you leave home, charge up your portable charger and take it with you wherever you go.
- Earplugs: If you’re sensitive to noise, bring along a pair of earplugs so you can’t hear any snoring or loud conversations around you on your flight or train ride.
- Headphones: Whether it’s for listening to music or watching movies on your tablet, headphones will be essential for keeping yourself entertained during long periods of travel.
- Selfie stick: It’s not just for selfies! A selfie stick will also come in handy as a tripod for taking photos or videos with a group of people—or just yourself—in the shot.
- Travel pillow: They may seem like a gimmick, but neck pillows will keep your head from bobbing around and waking you up during naps or overnight flights.
Last but not the least
Using your common sense is the most important thing you can do to stay safe on your trip. Stay aware of your surroundings, and don’t walk alone in dark alleys or deserted streets. If you can, join a group tour or bring a friend along with you.
Finally, don’t leave your bags unattended, and try not to carry too much cash on you at any given time. You should also be careful about what personal information you share with people—or even post online while travelling.
Honestly, no matter how smart you think you are, you can always become smarter. A smart traveller is a safe traveller, and a safe traveller doesn’t just get to have fun on his trip — he/she also gets to experience life full of new adventures and learns more in the process. That’s what you are, now that you have read this post!