10 Travel Tips for Safe and Healthy International Exploring

Health and safety travel tips cannot and should not be ignored. This is a big world and there is a lot of it to explore. However, when traveling to an unfamiliar country, it is important to be aware of hidden tourist dangers. There are general precautions that a person can take in order to minimize the chances of personal injury or other health-related risks. A few of the best health and safety travel tips are as follows:

  1. Carry bottled water - When traveling to a country where water systems are known to cause illness in foreigners, it is important to always have bottled water on hand. Water should not only be used for drinking, but also for brushing teeth.
  2. Select shoes carefully - One of the easiest ways for criminals in impoverished countries to spot tourists at a glance is by the quality of shoes worn. Even a modest pair of clean sneakers can make a tourist stand out in an area where the locals wear shoes that are very worn. Therefore, one of the best travel tips is to take an old, very well worn pair of shoes when traveling, especially when venturing into non-tourist parts of town.
  3. Select clothing carefully - Similar to the shoe advisory above, there are some very beautiful parts of the world that are most safely enjoyed when dressing down for the occasion. Again, thieves will often single out a tourist by the clothing and jewelry that they wear, which makes them stand out amongst locals. Tourists should keep clothing choices very simple. Avoid wearing obvious name-brand apparel and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  4. Travel with basic luggage - That coveted set of Gucci luggage is a great way to notify would-be criminals that a tourist with money to burn has arrived. It is also not uncommon for expensive luggage to be singled out for an open inspection by airline personnel in other countries. Instead, it's better to travel with a simple set of luggage that doesn't make a statement or attract unwanted attention.
  5. Do not travel alone - Even in some of the most exclusive parts of the world, traveling alone is ill advised. Not only are lone travelers a target for criminal activity, but traveling solo is generally frowned upon for health reasons, too. Traveling abroad can sometimes affect the healthiest people adversely and it's always a good idea to have a companion nearby who can help in case of emergency or just to nurse a person back to health should a virus or other bug be caught while traveling.
  6. Do not walk at night - It may be beautiful, warm and feel very good to explore the nightlife in exotic locales, but it's never advisable to do so, especially if traveling alone. This is particularly true in high crime areas where even the locals make their way home by dusk. There's a reason for them doing so and a foreign traveler is not immune to these reasons.
  7. Locate the embassy - Upon landing in a foreign country, one of the best travel tips is to find out where the nearest embassy is located and how to contact them in case of an emergency.
  8. Hire a local driver - It is often cheaper and safer to negotiate with a single driver for the entire length of a visit, as opposed to hiring a new driver for each excursion. After initially selecting a driver where a level of safety is felt, find out if this same driver is interested in being hired for the rest of the vacation. Be sure to get her or his contact information and let them know that you will be calling often. Your driver can likely function as a bit of a tour guide, as well.
  9. Do not carry large amounts of cash - This travel tip should be a given, yet some ignore the fact that lost or stolen cash cannot be replaced. Travelers checks, credit or debit cards are advisable for use while traveling. Not only are they replaceable, but help in keeping a record of all transactions made. Small amounts of cash should be kept on hand, however, for paying taxis, for tips and for local vendors that may not accept other forms of payment.
  10. Do not drink too much around strangers - For some people, the whole point of an international vacation is to eat, drink and be merry. However, having too much to drink while partying with strangers is sometimes the last thing travelers recall before an unfortunate incident occurs. For this reason, one of the greatest travel tips is to only moderately consume alcohol or avoid it altogether in public settings.

Traveling to new and exotic lands can be fun, exciting and literally change a person's worldview. However, falling ill or becoming the victim of a crime can permanently alter one's feelings about a location. By observing the health and safety travel tips noted above, a safe, secure and healthy vacation can be had.

author: Laura M. Sands

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