I recently received a phone call from a client who was planning a trip to the Dominican Republic. “Have you heard about all the reports of crime in the Dominican? We’re reconsidering our trip but didn’t buy travel insurance. What would you do?”, she asked. Staying safe while travelling is a concern for many of my clients. It can be a difficult position to be in.
Social media has played a major part in drawing attention to the stories of violence abroad that may not otherwise have been given as much attention.
At the same time, it’s impossible to look the other way once you’ve been exposed to the headlines, regardless of how unlikely it is that it will happen to you.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
The Canadian government has created a great tool for travellers who want to research countries and view the risk factors before they travel.
This website has in-depth information on every country in the world and considers risk factors based on the following:
- The overall risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry/exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- National disaster/climate
- Assistance available
Take Steps to Reduce Risk
While this site offers travellers reliable, fact-based, and up-to-date information, it is also recommended that you follow some simple rules in order to safeguard yourself while travelling:
- Blend in. Try not to look like a stereotypical tourist while travelling.
- Ask trusted tour organizers about safe options for travel, food, water, and excursions.
- Safeguard your valuables. This includes using your hotel safe.
- Carry your spending cash in a secure hidden location and keep money in several locations.
- Travel with a photocopy of your ID rather than the original.
- Wear costume jewellery rather than real precious metals and stones.
- Travel in groups or with a buddy. This includes quick trips out to the beach or the pool.
- Communicate your whereabouts with your travel companions.
- Be wary of any opportunities that “just arise” that lead you away from a group or into a more secluded area.
- Be careful when consuming food and drink.
Be smart, thorough, and cautious when travelling so that you can stay safe and enjoy your vacation.
If you’re planning to travel abroad in the near future, visit Currency Converters in Waterloo.