How to #Protect Yourself in a #Foreign #Country

Traveling is exciting, but it still involves a certain amount of risk. Traveling outside your comfort zone and exploring an unfamiliar destination is inherently risky. This is part of what makes it so fun, but you still need to stay safe. If you’re traveling to a new destination, keep these tips in mind on how to protect yourself in a foreign country.

Keep Scanned Copies of Important Documents

Whether someone manages to steal some of your important documents or you just forget them in the hostel, losing your travel documents can be a major headache. To avoid this pain, make sure to scan and copy your passport, tickets, driver’s license, and any other documents you may need, like your travel itinerary or copies of hotel reservations. Make sure to scan the back of everything as well. This can make your life much easier if you happen to lose your passport or something of equal importance.

Try to Blend in

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself while traveling is to avoid standing out. Dressing like the locals and avoiding typical tourist apparel can help keep you from becoming an easy mark. Instead of dressing to impress, opt for a more casual dress code. This will help you avoid the attention of pickpockets or purse snatchers. As a bonus, dressing casually means you’ll probably be more comfortable. Just leave the bright white sneakers at home.

Stay in Well-Lit Areas

While experiencing the nightlife of a major city can be one of the more exciting parts of travel, it can also be risky. To stay safe, make sure not to venture too far into the dark. Staying out of sight can make you easy prey for criminals, so instead, stick to well-lit, crowded areas. If this means you can’t explore the part of a city you really wanted to see, just visit the area in the daytime instead. This is far less risky, plus you’ll be able to see more in the daylight.

Buy Traveler’s Insurance

Traveler’s insurance offers plenty of benefits. Whether you have a medical emergency or just need to cancel your trip early to return home, your insurance can help you recoup some of your losses. It doesn’t cover everything, but it’s better to have it and not need it than the other way around. Different plans cover different aspects of travel, so don’t just pick the first traveler’s insurance you find. Make sure to compare a few different plans and decide on what you need.

Use Credit Cards Instead of Cash or Debit

If a thief steals your wallet, cash money is as good as gone. Even if you don’t carry cash, a debit card effectively gives them direct access to your bank account. Using a credit card while traveling offers much more protection. If your credit card is stolen, you can easily freeze your credit. This means that you might be inconvenienced, but you don’t stand to face the same losses as if your cash is stolen. If you do carry cash, be sure to scatter it among your belongings and not keep it stored in one place. That way, if you lose your wallet, you still have some money stocked away in your suitcase, backpack, even the soles of your shoes.

Let Friends and Family Know Your Itinerary

It’s never a good idea to travel without letting anyone know you’re leaving. If you’re headed somewhere where you may be concerned for your safety, this is doubly true. When your friends or family know you’re traveling, they’re more likely to answer a call from a foreign country. Send them a copy of your travel itinerary so they can keep track of the news in the areas you’re visiting. If you need help for any reason, it’s good to have certain people know you may be trying to get in touch with them.

Keep an Eye on Your Belongings

This may sound like a given, but some people tend to leave their bags or luggage lying around. If you’re not directly holding on to a bag, make sure you keep a very close eye on it. Even seeing that you’re watching your luggage can be enough to deter a potential thief. Setting something down for just a few seconds might seem relatively risk free, but a few seconds is all it takes for someone to grab your bag and run.

Lock Your Bags

Locking your bags isn’t as easy as it used to be. If you plan to check them, you need to use a TSA-approved lock which, in turn, makes it easier for thieves to open your bags. That said, even the appearance of a lock on your bag can be enough to deter criminals. If you’re not checking your bag, you can use sturdier locks. You can also buy a lock once you’ve arrived at your destination to be safe.

Don’t Zone Out on Your Phone

One of the key aspects to staying safe no matter where you are is to be aware of your surroundings. You can’t do this if you’re busy staring at your phone. You may be used to losing yourself in your phone on public transit at home, but don’t do this while traveling. If you need to check your phone, try to get to a safe area first. If you’re traveling with someone else, have them keep an eye out while you post your photos to Instagram or update your friends. Otherwise, try to duck inside an alcove or similar space where your back is protected.

CREDIT: thediscoverer

5 #Popular #Travel #Destinations #Everyone #Needs to #Visit #Once

Around the world, travelers gravitate towards the Eiffel Tower, Rome’s mighty Coliseum, and Australia’s precious Great Barrier Reef. While wandering off the beaten path has become a mission for many, the beauty and grandeur of the world’s most popular destinations still often outshine the crowds. Here are five popular tourist destinations that should still make it onto your bucket list.

New York City, New York, United States

New York City is a trendsetter in the arts, fashion and dining categories. Its grid of streets offers a smorgasbord of choices from Michelin-starred restaurants to unassuming $1 pizza joints. Explore the boroughs where iconic yellow cabs roam, traversing through Brooklyn, Tribeca and Queens and discovering each neighborhood’s unique personality. Spend your afternoon laying on the immaculate lawns of Manhattan’s urban oasis of Central Park with fresh bagels from a nearby deli, or nibbling on cotton candy on Coney Island. When night falls, the city is bedazzled in neon lights. Quintessential to any NYC experience is a night out on Broadway, clapping along to an acclaimed musical or sharing laughs with the audience at an improv show. Visit during the Christmas holidays for an air of romance, when plazas convert into outdoor ice rinks and horse drawn carriages trot down the snow blanketed streets.

The best part about New York City is that no matter how many times you’ve been before there’s still something new to discover. New clubs and bars, restaurants, hotels, shows and more make this city feel fresh every time you stop through.

Florence, Italy

Traipse the city’s delicate web of narrow alleyways and you’ll discover overwhelming evidence of the Renaissance in each monument, internationally-recognized museum brimming with works by Michelangelo and da Vinci and fresco-adorned cathedral. Shop (or window shop) for fine jewelry in the stores that line the Ponte Vecchio, and hang out on the banks of the Arno river with some rich and creamy pistachio gelato. Interspersed with atmospheric piazzas and elegant cathedrals, Florence was made for every kind of traveler. Make your way to one of Florence’s many delightful eateries and warm up with a hearty bowl of ribollita — a hearty bread and vegetable soup — or gorge on a succulently grilled Florentine steak seasoned to perfection, paired with a glass of house Chianti. Beguiling Florence is a destination of fine Tuscan culinary indulgence and rich history. And despite the tourists that flock here every summer, it’s one Italian hotspot you shouldn’t miss.

Tokyo, Japan

Incredibly modern yet rooted in tradition, Tokyo is a city of parallels — where stand-up ramen bars share the sidewalk with fine dining establishments featuring perfectly marbled Kobe beef. Where the timeworn traditions of observing cherry blossoms and sumo wrestling contrast modern Japanese entertainment of zany robot shows and karaoke. The city plays host to an eclectic collection of themed cafes that allow visitors to immerse themselves in diverse worlds in the span of an afternoon. Relax in an onsen, a volcanically heated hot spring, then shop among cosplayers in the perpetually moving district of Shibuya, where the city’s infatuation with manga and their thriving pop scene add depth to Tokyo’s complex culture. Like New York, Tokyo is constantly evolving, reaching for newer and more elaborate spectacles in all spheres of life.

Maui, Hawaii, United States

A dynamic landscape of verdant valleys and otherworldly volcanic slopes, Maui is an island of stunning geographical diversity. Encircled by the Pacific and blessed with a pristine coastline, Maui is a premiere destination for beach bums and water sports enthusiasts. The island is also a haven for nature lovers, with a sizable network of trails that transport hikers past rotating windmills and along rugged terrain. Road trippers embark on the Road to Hana, a drive of harrowing hairpin turns that unveil a treasure trove of sparkling red and black sand beaches, secluded coves and silky waterfalls. Budget time to witness golden sunrises or fiery sunsets that transform into a dark night sky of dancing stars atop Maui’s active shield volcano of Haleakala. While parts of the island can get overcrowded, especially during peak travel seasons, if you travel smart you can miss the crowds and enjoy the wonders that this island holds.

Prague, Czech Republic

Irresistibly charming, Prague is an urban wanderer’s delight. The city is a mishmash of architectural styles, as demonstrated by the solid piers of St. Longin’s Rotunda in Romanesque form, the soaring spires of the Gothic Vitus Cathedral and the glory of the Baroque Saint Cajetan Church. From Staré Město, Prague’s Old Town Square, wander on the cobbled streets towards the 14th-century Charles Bridge for a romantic stroll and find yourself admiring the enchanting Prague Castle. Though drawing in hordes of tourists year round, it’s possible to find peace by strolling through neighborhoods like Vinohrady, and meandering away from the center to uncover charming cafes, secluded gardens and pubs frequented by locals.

CREDIT: thediscoverer