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Safety Precautions to Take When Traveling



When it comes to picking a vacation destination, you normally consider elements such as the time of year, the hotel, the local area, etc., before you book. However, many travelers are now factoring in the level of safety in their respective destinations, due to the constant media coverage surrounding terror threats abroad. How do you stay safe while you’re traveling? In the following article, we explore the ways to do exactly that. 
Do Some Research
Before you book anything, research the country you’re thinking of visiting. For example, you may be wondering, ‘is Punta Cana safe right now?’ following the worrying headlines about tourists dying while vacationing in this area of the Dominican Republic. Or perhaps you are still troubled by the previous terror attacks in Turkey and France? Going on vacation should be a happy, stress-free experience, and you shouldn’t allow the threat of terror attacks to disrupt your life and leave you living in fear. However, there are still some safety precautions you can take to provide some peace of mind on your travels. 
By looking at the country’s State Department’s website, you can find more information about your destination, and if it advises you not to visit, then you know it’s a no-go area. While you are on the site, you can also register for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). In doing so, you will be alerted by the Embassy if there is a threat during your vacation, and they can offer you aid, or even get you out of the country if necessary. It is also worth looking up the contact information for the local police or medical services, in case you find yourself in an emergency. 
Tell Your Loved Ones Where You Are Staying 
It is advisable to let your friends or family back home know where you are vacationing. Make a copy of your itinerary if you have one or write down the name and number of the hotel you are staying at, to leave with them. To save them from worrying, try to keep them updated, either with the occasional text message, quick email, or a photo, so they know that you are fine. 
Teach Kids How to Respond in an Emergency 
If you are traveling with kids and are worried about how to prepare them for certain scenarios, then try not to panic. Obviously, you cannot be prepared for every hypothetical situation, but it is smart to teach kids some basic tips. For example, they should avoid large crowds and stay close to their parents; if they do end up straying, older children should hold hands with younger siblings to keep them close. If a child sees something odd or suspicious, they should immediately tell their parent or appropriate adult. It is also a good idea to teach your kids to pay attention to their surroundings, i.e., remembering how to get back to the hotel by themselves, if you become separated. And even if you don’t normally allow your kids to have cell phones, it might be worth allowing them to have one on this occasion. 
Stay Alert
It’s easy to become distracted by the new sights and sounds, but you need to make sure you keep your guard up when out and about. Naturally, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the unfamiliar culture and embrace new experiences, and you can still do all this; just remember to keep a close eye on your personal belongings. If you’re a tourist who sticks out like a sore thumb, you’ll be an easy target for pickpockets. If, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable or you see something suspicious, leave the area as quickly as possible. 
As long as you are well-prepared and trust your instincts, you will finally be able to feel relaxed and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.

Comments

  1. Great tips! A person needs to be safer now, not getting better.

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  2. I always research where I am traveling before I go. Never thought about teaching my kids what to do in an emergency away from home though. You can truly never be to safe.

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  3. These are great suggestions. Sometimes we don't think as much about safety when we are away from home and having fun.

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