For the most part, travelling is a carefree, fun experience and little to nothing goes wrong other than maybe a mad dash through the airport. But the reality is, things can and do go wrong and it’s always a good idea to keep alert but not alarmed when in a foreign country.
You may not have realised that the below are risks but they are. We don’t mean to alarm you but the more you know, the less likely anything will happen. Just keep your wits about you and use common sense.
Here are the top travel dangers:
1. Traffic incidents
Car or motorbike accidents are the number one cause of death for travellers so it pays to have a very good travel insurance policy that covers you. But you can also do you best to prevent accidents by avoiding driving at night, wearing a helmet on any bike, and by adhering to the road rules.
2. Flaunting wealth
If there’s one thing pickpockets and scam artists love, it’s someone who looks like they have a bit of money. One of the dead giveaways is having an expensive bag hanging off your arm. You’ll be an easy target! Make sure you leave any valuables at home when you go out, and don’t take a wad of cash.
3. Trusting too easily
It can be tempting to want to help every person you see but scammers are smart and will take advantage of a naive tourist’s best intentions. This may include being scammed by children who say they need food or money.
A good rule of thumb is that the more someone calls you “my friend” or tries to take you somewhere you don’t want to go, the more they want to rip you off.
4. Not buying travel insurance
Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t need travel insurance! If you’re going overseas, you 100% need to have it to cover getting sick or injured, or if you have anything stolen or misplaced.
Travel insurance is cheap and easy to buy so there’s no excuse not to buy a policy. If you’re travelling and don’t have insurance, you should get coverage right now before you leave, as this will cover you before you go too.
5. Identity theft
Identity theft is a risk for everyone around the world, but travellers can be even more susceptible as they are constantly showing people their passports and personal information, and using cards and other methods of ID. Consider buying an RFID protector for your cards and passport so scammers cannot steal your information. Also, only ever use a secure connection to go on Wi-Fi.
Many countries have water and air with serious pollution. Swimming in highly-polluted water can lead to a range of serious illnesses including hepatitis and gastro, as can drinking it. The pollution in the air in some cities, especially in Asia, can be catastrophic for people with respiratory diseases.
When you hear about a big sickness sweeping a cruise ship, it’s usually norovirus. Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach bug characterised by extreme diarrhoea and vomiting and can be spread quickly on cruises due to the confined space and shared eateries. So if you’re going on a cruise, always make sure you sanitise your hands. In fact that goes for travelling anywhere!