10 ingenious ways to stay safe abroad
Helen Johnson is a Student Brand Ambassador for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 'Know Before You Go' campaign for Northumbria University. During her gap year in 2014 she lived in two different Italian cities working as an au pair and english tutor and travelling as much as possible. Here are her 10 ingenious ways to stay safe abroad...
1. Solo traveller or small group?
For solo travellers and those part of a small group, making friends with other travellers and locals in the day (when sober and more aware) and then all going out together can help ensure your safety. Obviously make sure that you trust these new found friends and they don’t give off a weird vibe though, and never go anywhere with someone if you don’t feel comfortable.
2. Travel Apps
Whether you want to check your flight is on time, meet other travellers or check that you’re actually travelling in the right direction, travel apps can really help out a lot and help you to stay on track .
This word is said an awful lot, but insurance could really help you out of a sticky situation. Make sure you don’t end up spending a huge amount of cash after accidentally falling down some stairs or get food poisoning after eating dodgy curry or something. Just make sure your insurance is comprehensive, and covers any extreme activities you may be considering!
4. EHIC Card
When travelling in Europe, an EHIC can help reduce health costs and sometimes even let you get healthcare for free, oh and the card is free to get too. But if you don’t have it your insurance could be invalidated – I’d say that qualifies as a no-brainer.
5. Travelling in Europe?
If you do happen to get into a sticky situation and are in Europe just remember that the emergency services number is 112- easy peasy!
6. Where to avoid?!
This may seem like common sense, but try to avoid walking through dark places or venturing into non-touristy places - especially if alone. Do some research on the places you are travelling to and find out which places to avoid and which are not to be missed!
7. Don’t bring attention to yourself
Hopefully you won’t be waving your country’s flag around and singing the national anthem anyway, but doing this or something else that makes it glaringly obvious that you’re not from the area could draw unwanted attention to yourself and isn’t the safest of ideas.
8. Belt up that money
Although it may not be feel like the most fashionable or comfiest of things, the handy money belt is a great way to hide your money beneath your clothes and keep it as physically close to you as is possible. Have another safe place for some of your money if you can manage it. It’s always worth having a separate fund for emergencies.
9. Don’t show it off
Although it may be natural for most people today to have their smart phone glued to their hands, things like this or just letting your camera dangle from your wrist/around your neck will majorly attract thieves so it’s best to put them away and don’t make it obvious you have them
10. Let people know
Keeping somebody up to date with where you are and where you’re planning on going next could be extremely useful if you get into an emergency abroad. It’s also a great idea to write your emergency contact details in your passport.
For any further information, to check any advice you may need before going abroad and to get up to date on all of the latest travel information, go to the FCO Travel Advice website and the Know Before You Go page where you’ll find information on many different aspects of going abroad.
For all of the latest foreign travel information, head to the FCO's Travel Advice website. Follow the FCO on Twitter @FCOtravel, watch their videos on YouTube and add them on Facebook to get instant access on all of the latest travel updates.
Our insurance-related articles are in partnership with our friends over at YearAbroadInsurance.com!