Here are some tips for staying safe while traveling (regardless of the type of trip)

Whether you are traveling alone or in a group, here are some tips to remember abroad, whatever the destination.

There is nothing inherently dangerous about traveling. It’s common to see people from country A talking about how dangerous country B is and why they would never go there. At the same time, we see people from country B saying that country A is dangerous and that it would be foolish for them to go there.

Still, there are some things that can make traveling unsafe, and some places are more dangerous. Most of the things that can be done to lessen the danger are common sense. But some things are more specific. Usually the danger is all about the money, its thieves and opportunists taking advantage of tourists in spending mode and this advantage that tourists don’t know how the country works.

Cities after dark (especially in Africa)

Africa is a very large continent and it is very difficult to generalize. But for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, it is unwise to go out on the streets after dark. Kampala in Uganda, Nairobi in Kenya and many cities in South Africa are examples where it is advisable not to walk after dark. In all of these countries you can easily call an Uber.

  • Uber: Call an Uber after dark in dangerous cities

To note: Not all African cities are dangerous after dark

But other African cities are much safer – Lusaka in Zambia is one example. Ask where the safest and most dangerous parts of cities are. There are certain tips to have when traveling to dangerous cities.

  • To avoid: Avoid going out alone or drinking too much

If someone goes out after dark, don’t go alone and don’t go out drunk – that makes people easy targets. Also, have as little cash as possible and leave your phone at the hotel – never take your passport. Take a photo (with the visa) on your phone.

Related: 10 Essential Safety Tips For Exploring An Unfamiliar Place

Places with a lot of motorcycles (like Morocco)

Morocco is largely safe, but again, beware of break-ins. It is known that people “drive” travelers to their hotels – but instead drive them down a dark alley and steal them. But Moroccans are very nice people and this only happens in very touristy places. The main thing in Morocco is not to pay ridiculously high prices for goods – don’t forget to haggle!

  • Be careful: For people guiding One to One to the hotel but taking someone down a dark alley to get robbed
  • To avoid: Hold the phone to the street where bikers can snatch it

Another concern in places like Morocco which have a lot of motorcycles on the streets is cell phone theft. The bikers will come and snatch the phones out of the hands of the people walking down the street. Never walk while holding the phone in the street. And in any city or bus stop where you are unsure of the safety, do not hand over the phone at all.

Uncomfortable places or single travelers

Some places have different gender cultural norms and they may have misconceptions about western culture and western women. This can be quite unpleasant for women traveling alone to countries like India and Egypt. Exercise the normal types of caution – but at a much more alert level. Be careful not to be drunk alone on the street at night or the only girl on the bus at night.

  • Travelers in difficult places: Try not to travel alone
  • Conservative countries: Dress modestly – both so as not to offend locals and not to attract unwanted attention

To mitigate this, it is advisable to dress modestly and travel with another travel companion. If a girl is not dressed modestly, she will be seen to signal that she is open to men to approach her. In some countries it is very disrespectful for girls not to dress modestly (in Iran girls have to cover their arms, legs and wear a headscarf – even men cannot wear shorts).

There is even a solo female traveler club that you can join.

Related: 10 Safety Tips You Should Know When Traveling Alone

Don’t put all the eggs in one basket

When traveling, it is beneficial to have several credit cards from (preferably) several banks. But don’t keep them in the same wallet or bag. If one were to be stolen and they were both in the same wallet, then they are both lost. Keep one somewhere else.

  • Credit card: Have more than one and keep them in different places
  • To warn : Notify your bank that you are traveling

Additionally, let the bank know when you travel or they think your overseas transaction is suspicious and block the card. Also, avoid taking more money than necessary. In many countries it is not really necessary to carry cash (Sweden and China, for example, are virtually cashless companies anyway).

One of the most important things is knowing where to get up-to-date travel information in the places you are going.

Next: Going on vacation? Here are the best essentials for travel safety

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