Good planning doesn’t stop with accommodation bookings, it extends to communication plans and savvy packing. Here, International SOS offers their top tips to make holiday trips rewarding, not risky.
1. As you begin to book your travel, research the destinations you will be visiting beforehand. Take note of risky areas and places you can seek out assistance if needed. Familiarise yourself with emergency numbers and take note of specific country restrictions such as electrical outlet wattage, local customs and holiday schedules.
2. Pack smartly. Only take what you need for the trip and leave valuable jewellery/clothing at home.
3. Communicate. Tell family and friends your itinerary beforehand and how to contact you. Check-in periodically as a basic precaution.
4. Arrive early at the airport. Allocate plenty of time to pass through security checkpoints as high travel volume during the holidays is likely to increase delays. Ensure you have obtained all necessary documents prior to departure including country-specific visas.
5. Prearrange transportation throughout your trip. Typically this is best done through your hotel or host. App-based rideshare services are also often an acceptable method of travel, though this can vary by location and local restrictions. If using taxis, make sure they are officially licensed.
6. Don’t stick out. Wearing incongruous clothing may heighten your risk of being targeted for petty or street crime. Maintain a low profile to prevent drawing attention to yourself and avoid ostentatious displays of wealth.
7. Travel in groups. It’s easier to rob one person than a group of people.
8. Know your hotel. Use the room safe; always deadbolt your room door when you’re inside; familiarise yourself with the exits, and choose a room towards the middle of the hallway and above the ground-floor.
9. Know your surroundings. If something or someone seems out of place, listen to your gut instinct and remove yourself from the situation or seek help. Stay informed of what’s happening in the area you’re travelling in.
10. Never carry a lot of cash on you. Always keep a small separate amount hidden somewhere on your person in case of emergency. Avoid carrying valuables including tablets, laptops or expensive cameras when out for the day.