It’s not all white sandy beaches, ancient cities, and stunning countryside, sometimes we also think about the more serious side of travel. As the world has opened up to us all, the travel that we undertake has become more ambitious and we visit places that are often very different from those we call home. This opens up risks and we think it’s sensible to do what we can to minimize those risks in advance so we can get on with the very important business of having a fabulous time!
Traveling solo is a fantastic experience but you are more vulnerable alone and there are several precautions that you can take which will help keep you safe. Be careful where you go, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid classic danger spots, such as dimly lit areas or quiet alleyways. Make sure you always know where you are staying and how to get back there, it’s also good to know the location of your national embassy and where the local police station is. Be careful with using taxis, ideally book in advance, but if you have to hail a cab then check ID before you get in the car. Don’t keep all your valuables together, avoid expensive accessories that make you an easy target and don’t carry lots of cash. If you can stay in a group then great, but don’t highlight to strangers that you’re alone and make sure someone who knows you is aware of where you are and the route you are taking.
When you’re hiking aboard, particularly when it’s off the beaten track and away from the usual tourist areas, there are several things you can do to keep safe. Try and hike as much as possible in daylight hours, this usually means setting off early and keeping an eye on the time so you know when much daylight you have left and when to turn back. Check the weather forecast as it can turn pretty quickly, especially in tropical climates. Let someone know where you’re headed and roughly when you expect to be back, even if this is just the reception desk at your hotel, this information can be vital if the worst does happen. There are several items that are essential to take with you too: a lighter or matches, map and compass, torch, pocket knife, GPS or radio, sunglasses (essential for style points as well as safety!), extra clothing, food, water, and a basic first aid kit.
For some, a real holiday has to be full of adventure, thrills, and guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping! While this is undoubtedly fabulous fun, taking a few extra precautions can reduce the risk of your adventures ending up in the nearest A&E or worse. Here are some tips if you find yourself in 6 of the top situations that occur when doing high-risk activities:
- How to escape quicksand – carry a pole if you know you’re heading where there’s quicksand, lay the pole on the ground and lay on your back on the pole, slowly pull out each leg, in turn, move slowly, and take the shortest route possible to firmer ground – and don’t lose that pole!
- How to break down a door – avoid the classic movie-fail shoulder-slam! Instead, aim your foot at the lock and kick it down this way
- How to survive an earthquake – stay indoors if possible and avoid stairs, windows, or heavy furniture, instead get under a desk or table and wait until the shaking stops. If you are outside, stay in the open away from anything that could fall and hit you and if you’re driving stay in the car, but stopped and as far away from traffic as possible
- How to survive a poisonous snake bike – again avoid the movie-fail and don’t suck the venom out! Instead, wash it with soapy water, keep it lower than the heart to slow the spread of the venom, bandage it tightly 2-4 inches above the bite and seek medical help ASAP
- How to escape killer bees – in the short run! Get indoors if you can, don’t swat them, and don’t jump in a pool!
- How to avoid a shark attack – avoid recreating Jaws by staying out of the water if you’re bleeding (which includes the time of the month) or if it’s dark. Keep out of murky waters, stay near other people, and don’t wear bright colors or shiny jewelry which might act as shark bait. If the worst happens, fight back, go for the eyes or the gills
See this handy Infographic provided by Translate By Humans which provides a useful, easy to remember summary to the tips above.
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