Whether you are an avid holidayer or travel often for business, you may have to embark on a dangerous destination at some point. Some parts of the world are deemed unsafe because of civil unrest, terrorism, and violence. Others are perilous because of geographic dangers like the high risk of pandemics, landslides, earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis. But you will probably not want to miss out on a place on your bucket list only because of apprehensions. Similarly, people traveling for work assignments have no choice.
In any case, it makes sense to prepare well in terms of personal safety so that you can come back home safe and unscathed. Thankfully, good planning and awareness set you on the right track. You can rest assured about your safety and also have an enjoyable experience when you are there. Here are some tips from travel buffs who often explore destinations full of risks and dangers.
Gain perspective with research
Doing some research on your destination gets you insight into its political and social landscape. It can also give you a fair idea about the forecasts of some natural calamities. You can easily get a lot of information by checking official travel advisories, reading local newspapers, or going through the experiences shared by people who have been there. It is a good idea to find details such as the legal status of carrying a weapon and a bullet proof vest for tourists in a country where riots and violence are common. Find out about the danger-prone areas because the entire country may not be unsafe, and you could be landing at a relatively safe destination. Similarly, you can choose the right time of the year to travel to some places, when risk factors are low, as in the case of areas prone to floods and landslides.
Leave a trail
When you leave for a high-risk destination, leaving a trail back home ensures that someone knows your whereabouts at all times. Plan an itinerary and share it with family or friends. Staying in touch constantly is vital. Call them frequently and share the phone number of your hotel with them. They will have an alternative to connect if your personal number does not connect. Frequent check-ins and status updates on social media are good ways to stay in touch with friends and colleagues back home. You should also notify your embassy about the trip in advance. It is vital to carry along copies of your passport and leave them back home with family or friends so that you have a backup if it is lost or stolen. Your managers should have these copies in case you are traveling for work.
Have a plan for worst-case scenarios
A little planning goes a long way in making travel safe and enjoyable, and it becomes all the more vital if you are traveling to a dangerous place. It also raises your confidence levels as you have a plan B for every situation. Discuss the details of the trip with someone who has already been there and highlight your key concerns. They will probably have all the answers and the best advice with their experience. Planning for worst-case scenarios in advance keeps you prepared so that you are not overwhelmed in an unexpected situation. Know where you can get help in case of an emergency and have important phone numbers like that of the local police station, hospital, hotel manager, and your local guide at hand. If going overseas, get the number of your country’s embassy as well.
Travel with a partner
You may be a solo travel enthusiast, but some destinations aren’t just right for exploring alone. The idea of a solo adventure sounds exciting, but it does not make sense when you know the dangers of being there alone. It is best to travel with a partner when you have a high-risk destination in mind. If you are traveling for work, ask your boss to co-assign the project to a colleague you bond well with. Those going for leisure must plan trips only with a travel buddy or a group of people you know well. It is even better to choose someone who has already been there before because they know the risk factors and danger spots well enough. Having someone with you makes you confident as you can make all the safety arrangements together and discuss an escape plan if you get into a tight spot.
Follow the basic travel safety rules
Whether you are traveling to a dangerous place or a relatively safer one, you should never go slack with the basic travel safety rules at any time and any destination. Avoid shady accommodations in isolated locations, no matter how attractive their offers are. Stay indoors during late hours and avoid traveling to lonely areas after dark unless you are with a group. Do not get too close to strangers and avoid flaunting cash and expensive items when you are in an unknown place. Never share drinks with unknown people nor dine out with them, even if they seem nice and friendly. There have been incidents of locals poisoning gullible tourists and robbing them. Find a trusted local guide who will take you only to safe locations and ensure that you stay out of trouble. Following these elementary travel safety rules is not a choice, wherever you travel.
Make adequate arrangements for personal safety
Things may turn hostile at any time when you are in an unknown country, more so if the risks run high there. It is best to make adequate arrangements for personal safety as they keep you secure and confident at all times. Consider carrying body armor if legally permitted for travelers in the country you are planning to visit. You can go through https://www.bodyarmornews.com/ to find out more about the types of body armor ideal for travel if shopping for the first time. Do not forget to find out about rules for carrying body armor on the flight because you will not want to get into trouble at the airport back home or at the destination. Self-defense training can help you protect yourself in dangerous situations.
Stay calm in danger
Fear wastes precious time and hinders your ability to think when you need to do it the most. If you are at a dangerous place, staying calm and collected can go a long way in keeping you safe, even in a tricky situation. It also helps you be alert, and foresee danger, so you have better chances of escaping the place before things get out of control. Even if you get trapped, find a safe spot and hide till help arrives. Blending with locals is a good idea as they can aid you when something goes wrong. But choose your company wisely because you may endanger yourself by befriending someone who can hurt you.
Presence of mind and self-confidence are your best friends during tricky situations. It is easy to feel nervous and apprehensive when things aren’t favorable, but a level head and cool mind can help you get out of a tight spot. Also, remain alert to the surroundings and trust your instincts so that you can evade danger in the first place.