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The S Word!

Safety Tips for Traveling

By A’Dia G

I really dislike hearing the questions, “Are you afraid to travel?” or “Why do you travel so much?”. Oh, and the all-time favorite statement “It’s not safe to travel to insert country here.”

Let me be completely transparent with you. I’m not sure whether it is the fact that I have been traveling so long or my love of traveling, but my desire to learn about the world and cultures outweigh the fear.

Now I am not saying that I do not have any fears. Human trafficking is real! It's unfortunate and sick that people are kidnapped every day for money. The truth is that the world is a beautiful place with some unsavory, ugly people. However, I still feel safer in another country than I do at home.

I would do a disservice to myself if constantly live in fear. I had to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I found that that's where my best personal growth occurs. But back to traveling!

Traveling, in my personal opinion, is the best purchase a person can make. Exploring the world and learning about other people makes you richer. Traveling expands your mindset. I travel to experience and become familiar with things that are unknown to me. Meeting new people, learning about the culture, and trying foods, these are experiences I never take for granted.

So what about the S word? I cringe when someone tries to persuade me not to travel to a country because of the perceived level of safety. If I had listened to other people than I wouldn’t have traveled to a few of my favorite places; Egypt, Cuba, Colombia and Kenya. I believe that it is important to do your independent research to determine your comfort level with traveling to a country. See if anyone you know has traveled to your desired destination and obtain advice regarding lodging, excursions, et cetera from them. Facebook groups are also great with finding information on traveling.


When discussing traveling, here are a few of my main safety tips:

1. Respect the culture. Follow the law.

As a tourist, you are already being watched with a “magnifying glass”. Please refrain from doing anything that may be offensive to the culture or something that may get you in trouble with the local authority. Something that you may deem as small may be extremely offensive in another country. Stealing, fighting, and yes cussing can get you in trouble. While traveling remain open to the culture, and try to be empathetic to those around you. Just be calm!

2. Monitor and protect your valuables.

Please please please keep track of your things. I know it’s easier said than done. However, it is important to keep your documents and valuables safe and organized while traveling. Invest in money belts and other anti-theft gear, such as anti-theft purses or backpacks, to make things easier. No one wants to lose their phone or passport while on a trip!

3. Keep up with the group.

Don’t get left behind. I know it’s hard to take pictures and keep track of your tour guide. However, make it a practice to follow your group or guide while on a tour. Try to make a new friend within your group in order to create a buddy system. If you are traveling solo, and you are on an excursion, ask for your guide’s phone number so that in case you get left or lost, you are able to get in contact with someone.

4. Don’t post real-time on social media.

I know some of us like to post a lot on social media! However, we must refrain from posting “real-time” on these platforms, especially if you are using a location tag. It’s another way to ensure your safety. Just take note of where you go, and save the photos and videos to post later.

5. Secure you surroundings.

Even in your hotel or Airbnb you must be mindful of keeping secure. Double lock your doors while sleeping and in the room alone. Be mindful of any thing that looks out place when you come back in the room after being out.

6. Expect the unexpected.

Anything that can happen will happen. Make sure before leaving your hotel or Airbnb, to have the address of where you are staying. Just in case you get lost, you will have this information with you. Also, keep maps of the city, bus or train routes with you so that if needed you can find your way back.


Again, please make sure to ask around and do research when planning a trip! I understand that traveling, especially alone can be scary. Make sure you stay with your travel group and keep the hotel, Airbnb or your host's contact information with you. Please keep an open-mind when traveling to a new country. The last piece of advice I can give is to be aware of your surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right, go with your gut! Safe travels everyone!

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