Are you interested in traveling to a place in the world that isn’t among the safest destinations? Many travelers stay far away from destinations where safety threats abound. However, other travelers don’t want their fears to rule their hearts when it comes to seeing the world. Some of the richest countries in the world are in destinations with safety warnings and there are people who want to see those places before they die.
If you want to travel to a place that has a safety warning, follow these tips to keep yourself as safe as possible:
1. Read all of the travel warnings carefully. It is important to completely understand what the threats are in the country that you are planning to visit. The U.S. government issues detailed travel warnings to help visitors gain knowledge about the areas of the world where it may be unsafe to travel. Make sure that you read these with great attention so that you know what you are getting into.
2. Read the news. Travel warnings alone don’t provide you with all of the information that you need to fully understand the situation that you will be facing when traveling to a destination with a safety threat. Make sure that you read the current news to find out what else is going on in the immediate time leading up to your trip (and while you are there, although access to accurate news varies by location).
3. Connect with travelers who have been to the area. Travel warnings and news reports are very useful. However there is nothing more valuable than learning first hand what travel is like from people who have recently been to the area as visitors. Connect with people via the Internet to get useful tips and information from an insider’s view.
4. Research the laws and customs. To avoid trouble as much as possible, you’ll want to keep yourself in line with the laws and customs of your destination. These may be very different from what you are used to. For example, you may be visiting a “dry” area where drinking alcohol can land you in prison. You may need to dress in a more conservative manner than you are used to, especially if you are a female traveler. Carrying firearms and even taking photos in certain places can land you in prison. Know the rules and follow them.
5. Get your affairs in order before you go. Make sure that you do extensive planning before a trip to a threatening destination. Prepare for an emergency. Make sure that you have a will, guardianship papers for any children you have, etc. Hopefully you won’t need any of this but make sure that you prepare just in case.
6. Don’t look rich. You may stand out like a sore thumb as a tourist in a non-touristy destination. Do what you can to blend in including making sure not to dress flashy or showy.
7. Know where the embassy is located. It is important to know how to get in contact with the United States government if you do get into trouble. Be aware of the fact that areas with travel warnings are areas where the government may have a limited ability to assist you. Nevertheless, make yourself aware of where the closest embassy is and how to contact the people there.
8. Check in with others. You should have a plan in place to regularly check in with others to let them know that you’re all right. This way you’ll know that someone is on the alert if something happens and they don’t hear from you.
9. Use common sense and trust your gut instinct. People who are traveling to areas where danger is present are sometimes willing to take unwise risks. It’s the nature of this type of travel. However, once you’re there, you really need to tune into your gut. You need to use common sense in terms of staying away from dangerous parts of the city, especially at night. If you sense that something is wrong, it probably is. Err on the side of caution.
10. Have a way to get home if you need to. Figure out an escape route out of the country to a nearby destination that is safer. Have enough money to get home in an emergency.