Without risk, there is no reward. Very true but what’s important to note is there is dumb and careless travel and smart-risk travel. There’s an enormous difference. And it’s critical that you understand you can travel safely in a somewhat unstable country if you do your research and get informed before you jet off. So when it comes to traveling you need to figure out what sort of things you can deal with and what your expectations are when visiting abroad in a “not so cozy” environment. How do you deal with crisis and are you a good problem solver? Are you a freak-out type of person or are you okay when the crap hits the fan? Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind when you are set to take on travel adventures that don’t have any bubble wrap.
Get Your Head On Straight
This is just another way of telling you to get some perspective and make sure you have thought these travel plans through before you book. Have a look at the social and political situations for this far-off destination you plan on visiting. Themuse.com points out you should also make certain you have a look for travel advisories well before heading out and just before you go. Contact your airline or local government agencies to get up-to-date information. It’s important because if it’s actually unsafe to travel these outlets will let you know. In fact, sometimes flights are even cancelled and designated “no-fly zones.” This is your bright red flag that you just aren’t going. The last thing you want is to get over to a foreign country and wind up in a preventable life or death situation. Another thought to consider is that just because there may be some turbulence in one city doesn’t mean the whole country is like that. Do your research, use common sense perspective, and make certain you are as sure as sure can be before you board that flight.
Create a Plan
It’s ultra-important that when you are traveling you take the time to create a solid plan of attack for your travels that’s focused on safety. You will need to notify the embassy where you are headed at least a few weeks before leaving. Use this as an opportunity to get the update on the country’s political and safety status. Make copies of your passport, airline information, travel itinerary, visa cards, and have a list of contacts readily available. When you have a plan, you have the means of taking action. No plan usually means you are going to get a heck of a lot of nothing.
Leave a Paper Trail
This is incredibly important when you are traveling anywhere. People besides yourself need to know in as much detail as possible where you are going, what you are doing and where you’re staying. You will need to leave a copy of your hotel and numbers, your plans on a day to day basis, and decide before you leave how you are going to check-in and set the days to do this. E-mail seems to be the easiest route for most people. So your loved ones at home know you are safe and sound and that you are having the time of your life. And in particular if you are heading out for a rather risky adventure, like perhaps a hike in the wilderness, check-in before you leave and when you get back just to be extra safe. This really is important that you leave as much information as possible with your friends and family so if you don’t connect with them when you should, they at least have a good paper trail established to track you down. Social media is also another excellent avenue to keep the world in the loop just in case. Do it because it makes sense.
Prevention is Everything
Often risky situations can be prevented. But if you are headed to a dangerous place you might consider taking courses and training that will help you get prepared. Perhaps a self-defense and First Aid course are a wise move. You might even want to look into military security training tactics. Where you learn how to avoid ultra-dangerous situations and stay clear of particular danger. Make sure you have the insurance protection you need and are familiar with evacuation procedures. What are your options to get your butt out fast and safely? These are all factors you need to prepare yourself on to ensure you have a wonderful trip and come back in one piece.
Information is Knowledge and Knowledge is Power
Plenty of knowledge and confidence are essential when you are heading to an unsafe country. You need to gather as much information as you can to reduce fear and build the trust and know-how to stay safe and have fun. If you head over in fear you are going to create issues and likely shouldn’t go. It’s okay to have some anxiety and worries, but they need to be contained. That just keeps you on your toes and doesn’t let you get too confident. Cuz if you feel too safe and confident that’s just not a good thing in a volatile situation. Finding your balance is important and having a confident but cool attitude is critical when you decide to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Risk and Opportunity Need Attention
Just because a place has been labelled dangerous doesn’t mean you are stupid to set up shop there. Perspective and subjectivity are necessary. However, the flip side is also true. You could be headed to an overseas destination that has gained the stamp of approval for being safe when it’s in fact very dangerous. For instance, an area of a country may be developed and safely protected where another area may be Hoodlum-Ville. It’s up to you to do your research and assess the risk versus the opportunity. What may be tolerable and even exciting for you might not be worth it for John Doe. Be smart, do your homework, leave a paper trail, and stay safe. That’s all there is to it. Oh…and make sure you have loads of fun.