Note: We actually wrote these travel safety tips for couples before we heard about the tragic killing of the solo female traveller Sarai Sierra in Turkey. Our travel safety tips can also be used by solo female travellers and males.
This post is a follow up to our previous article: Travel Safety Tips for Couples, Before you Travel.
We felt obliged to write about travel safety because we get asked a lot of questions regarding travel safety. We travelled to Egypt over a year ago and still get asked “is Egypt safe to travel to?”
Of course travel in Egypt is safe!
We basically consider that everywhere in the world is safe to travel to, as long as you are sensible and take precautions. It is like I said in our previous post, you don’t want to listen to everything others say, especially the media.
The world is NOT dangerous or unsafe. Sure there are dangerous people and destinations, but they are a really small percentage of the world.
And most of the unfortunate bad experiences that happen to travellers arise from them being stupid, drunk or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. By using a few simple travel safety tips, you can cut down your risks.
Travel Safety Tips for Couples
After 3 years of travel we haven’t had anything stolen and have NEVER felt unsafe because we follow our basic travel safety tips for couples, and solo travellers.
Travel Safety Tips: Blend in
One of the keys to travel safety is to limit drawing attention to yourself.
The closer you resemble a tourist, or more specifically the less you resemble other tourists, the better it is for you. Wearing sandals with white socks or sneakers with a large camera dangling from your neck is kind of a giveaway.
Similarly if you are waving around a map you may be targeted.
Travel Safety Tips: Dressing appropriately
Once you have stopped acting like a tourist you want to dress appropriately.
By leaving your valuables at home you should be carrying less stuff as you explore the streets. Everything you carry should be able to fit into your pockets or be within your bubble of “personal space”. Any time someone gets within that bubble you know to keep an eye on things.
There are always situations where this is unavoidable such as tightly packed public transport or local markets. To reduce your risk and avoid being pick-pocketed you want to keep your wallet in your front pocket, preferably buttoned up. Or use the inside pocket of your zipped up jacket.
You might also want to consider buying a “money belt” (examples here) that wrap around your waist underneath your shirt.
Finally, if you are a travelling couple ensure that you both carry your money and that it is not all in the same place. By spreading it out you won’t lose it all if one is stolen or lost.
Travel Safety Tips: Gather your gear
On arrival, or departure you are most likely to lose something.
At the airport you are tired from travelling and rush through customs eager to go exploring. Simply stuffing your wallet or passport at the top of your bag or in your back pocket is not good enough.
Use a money belt or secret compartment in your luggage to store valuable items.
It’s the same situation in a restaurant, accommodation or at an attraction. Take a moment to stop, gather yourself, and your belongings. As you walk away check behind you to see that you didn’t leave anything behind. I always do a quick “pat down” to check my camera, wallet, phone etc are in the right places.
If you know where everything should be then it becomes very easy to make this a simple routine ritual.
Travel Safety Tips: Don’t leave it unattended
We see this all the time. Someone sits down at a cafe and promptly ignores their bag or coat because they feel safe.
Always keep your items in your line of sight and within that personal bubble of space. It isn’t hard for someone to wander by and take something from your chair, or table, when you are distracted by delicious pastries and coffee.
Travel Safety Tips: Stay Alert
Before leaving your accommodation ask the staff if there is anywhere in the city they recommend not going. While you don’t necessarily want to stick to the boring tourist trails, you also don’t want to end up in seedy areas.
It is easy to unwittingly wander up the wrong street when you are gazing at all the sights. Just retrace your steps (guys are a little better at this than girls for some reason) and carry on your way.
The important thing is that you see what is going on around you. Take notice of what strangers are doing because it’s common practice for thieves to work together.
Kids with signs may try to distract you while the others pickpocket you. Or women will beg for money while pushing a crying infant in your face. While we feel bad doing it, we always just ignore them and keep walking. Once you stop, you become a sitting duck.
Our only rule is that if someone outright robs you then NEVER FIGHT BACK. Insurance will cover anything stolen and it is better than getting injured or worse.
Travel Safety Tips: Lock your luggage
While you should travel with minimal stuff, anything you leave in your accommodation should be locked away. Most hotels and hostels provide safes or lockers.
Our small padlocks probably wouldn’t stop a determined thief, but it will make them think twice and/or slow them down. Stealing your stuff is all about speed, so most won’t take that risk.
Travel Safety Tips: Walk away from confrontations
Everyone has been in a situation where someone upsets you or makes you angry. They might have accidentally bumped you or tried to chat up your girlfriend. Some ridiculous people might just be looking for a fight.
Unless you are Chuck Norris, walk away calmly. You never know who that person might be associated with. If they follow you then stick to public areas and find a local spot to ask for assistance.
And by no means are we telling you to avoid people. Meeting people is a main reason to travel!
Travel Safety Tips: Know your way out
Familiarising yourself with local landmarks as you wander around the streets of a foreign city can be very helpful for when you do take that eventual wrong turn.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have taken the time to learn a little bit of the local language then someone will be willing to help you out. Our favourite experiences have been after we have gotten lost then shown where to go by a friendly local.
Travel Safety Tips: Don’t try this on holiday
While we love to step outside our comfort zones, we don’t take unnecessary risks. Especially when something looks a little dodgy.
There are way to many stories of travellers getting injured, or killed, while taking part in something life threatening. Sure we have run with bulls, driven scooters in Italy and scuba-dived in Egypt. But we consider these calculated risks. And we had great travel insurance.
If you want to take part in adventure travel activities then always check that the operators have legal qualifications and a good safety record too. The cheapest option is usually that price for a reason.
Travel Safety Tips Summary
No we are not trying to scare you away from travelling. We just know from experience that people seem to go on holiday without their brains. By showing you examples of worst-case scenarios we hope that we can limit your risks.
Travelling is safe when you reduce your risks and take precautions.
The important thing to remember is that if you do suffer a loss or a problem, don’t let that ruin your trip!
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12 indulgent experiences to enjoy onboard a cruise ship
Everyone should take at least one cruise in their lifetime. Want to visit multiple places on one trip? Experience different cultures while living in luxury and trying something new every day? A cruise offers this and more.
Cruise lines are becoming increasingly creative in the activities and experiences they put on for their passengers – here are 12 of the most indulgent waiting for you onboard.
1. Pamper yourself in a spa
Cruises are renowned for their relaxing atmospheres, and this is reflected in the high quality of their spas. There are a mind-boggling number of treatments on offer, from hot-stone massages to facials, massages and even seaweed body wraps. Spoil yourself by booking a spa package and enjoying a day of your favourite treatments.
2. Indulge in afternoon tea
Afternoon teas are a staple of the cruise experience. The best cruise ships for afternoon tea present their customers with mouthwatering pastries, dainty sandwiches and the best scones on the high seas. Debate continues to rage about which comes first – the cream or the jam– but whichever way you take yours, your taste buds are in for a sumptuous treat.
3. Champagne tasting
What could be more romantic than sipping Champagne in the luxury of a lounge bar with your better half? Try various Champagnes from the best houses, learning more about the styles vary, or if you’re cruising with friends, why not try a bottomless brunch where the bubbles flow non-stop while you nibble on delicious food prepared by top chefs.
4. Win big in a casino
If Vegas is your thing, a visit to the casino is a must. Pop on your tuxedo or little black dress and try your luck on the slot machines. Or test out your poker face in a card tournament while drinking a Martini – shaken, not stirred…
5. Watch a show
Take your pick from live music (remember Jane McDonald?), a Broadway show or a comedy performance. Some cruises even have aqua or ice shows. Take your seat and enjoy exhilarating performances you’ll never forget.
6. Take a dance class
Fancy yourself as the next Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers? Take a dance class and master the skill of not standing on your partner’s toes with a professional dance instructor. From ballroom dancing to salsa, you’re bound to find something that suits your dance style.
7. Watch a movie under the stars
If you’re after a quieter night, snuggle up under a blanket on deck and watch the latest Hollywood has to offer on the big screen.
8. Go skydiving
Even the impossible is possible on a cruise – on some cruises you can find out what it’s like to skydive. Pull on a jumpsuit, launch yourself into a specially made air machine and feel the adrenaline rush and the wind in your face.
9. Book on a culinary class
Want to learn how to make sushi? Or maybe create the ultimate dinner-party menu for your family and friends? Then take a culinary class and learn the top tips in the trade from an experienced professional chef.
10. Attend a formal night event
The pinnacle of any cruise has to be attending a formal or gala night. Experience fabulous food, excellent entertainment and the height of cruise-ship fashion during these exceptional evenings. If you’re going to go, go big. Dust off that tux or ballgown and show your fellow travellers what you’re made of.
11. Get married
What could be more glamorous than getting married onboard a magnificent cruise ship? Appoint a wedding organiser to take the stress out of the planning and say ‘I do’ in idyllic surroundings with your friends and family. Weddings aboard cruise ships have become more popular, and all aspects of your wedding, from the cake to the photographer, will be catered for.
12. Dine at the Captain’s Table
If you want to get yourself seen, an invite to dine at the Captain’s Table is the way to go. You may have to do a bit of schmoozing with the ship’s social team to secure an invitation but once you’ve got one, put on your glad rags and enjoy a fun-filled evening with free drinks and entertaining tales from the Captain or a senior crew member.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover For You?
Many people in India underestimate travel insurance for no reason in particular. They are of the mindset that travel insurance is an unnecessary investment and can be avoided easily. If you also believe the same, then you are completely wrong!
Travel insurance is as important as health or any other kind of insurance. Travelling is a part of human life. There are hardly any people who do not travel to new places either for work purposes or for vacations. And when you travel, you obviously need safety, right? And safety comes from buying a travel insurance policy.
There are many insurance companies in the market that are providing with different kinds of travel insurance policies. You need to choose the best amongst them as per your priorities and budget. Try to strike a balance between these two aspects (affordability and requirements) as it will help you benefit more. Compromising on your needs or going way beyond the range of your budget will lead you in trouble at a later stage.
Travel Insurance policy provides you a sense of security whenever you are not at home. Apart from you, it also keeps your family members satisfied whenever you are not with them. In this way, you can enjoy your trip in a better manner with complete safety, be it financially or physically.
But before buying the policy, you should be aware with what it covers for you, right? Below mentioned are few points that will guide you regarding the same. Just have a look at them!
Travel insurance provides coverage against the following.
A much awaited trip is what a person waits for to explore, relax and it provides a break from the hectic life, which is quite common these days. The major sadness strikes when the travel plans gets cancelled. Few reasons for the cancellation may be:
- You may fall sick or face illness before the travel date.
- You may face injury which restricts you from travelling.
- Weather conditions are not good for travelling.
- A terrorist attack may strike at your destination.
- An emergency work or situation may rise which makes you cancel your travel plans.
Travelling requires a lot of preparation and planning in advance before you leave towards your destination. It involves pre-booking of hotels, flight, trains etc. and a fair amount of money is always spent on these things which can be non-refundable. If a situation arises in which a person has to cancel his or her trip with the money already paid as advance, then there is quite a chance that he or she will have to face these expenses without any reason.
To save you from facing such financial loss travel insurance comes into play.
Travel insurance cover provides reimbursement to these non-refundable costs incurred by you prior to your travel.
In order to purchase the trip cancellation cover one must insure some or all of your trip expenses.
In addition to the trip cancellation policy one gets a benefit named as trip interruption cover.
A situation may arise when you are required to travel back home in between your trip. But it is obvious that you must have made the arrangements in advance for the whole trip.
Trip interruption plays the role of refunding you the amount of all the unused expenses. These unutilized expenses can be the amount paid for hotel bookings, travel etc.
Trip interruption protects a person from facing unnecessary expense.
No one is immune to health problems and diseases and they can strike you anytime and anywhere without any notice. You don’t want them to ruin your travel plans but it is not in your hand.
In the situation of these medical emergencies the patient requires proper treatment on time. Treatment in many countries can be a costly affair and no one will want to think and worry about the costs at this situation.
People believe that domestic health coverages will work in abroad too. But this is completely wrong as one needs to purchase a separate health insurance cover while travelling abroad.
Travel insurance cover will reimburse you with all the expenses incurred by the insured for the complete treatment. These expenses may include the consultancy charges, ambulance charges, treatment cost and so on.
Medical evacuation isalso known as medevac cover and it goes along with the medical emergency cover.
In case medical emergency strikes at the time of travel this cover provides you with ambulance facility to the nearest hospital and can bring you home if hospital determines that it is necessary in your situation.
You may also choose the hospital which suits you. Along with Sthis the cover provides you with on vehicle medical assistance till the time you reach the hospital.
Lost baggage or passport cover:
Travel insurance cover also deals with lost baggage or important documents like Visa or Passport.
This type of cover is helpful in securing your belongings at the time of travel. One may face a situation like theft or damage which may lead to loss of any important possession. In this situation, this insurance cover will pay you for the loss of your belongings.
You must be aware of the fact that passport is one of the most important document a person requires to travel as no country will allow you to enter without it. If a person loses the passport due to any reason then the travel insurance company will make arrangements for a temporary passport so that the insured does not face any problem and stays tension free.
In case there is baggage delay the insurance company pays you for the basic amenities like clothes and toiletry kit. This is done so that you have required things till the delayed baggage arrives.
Flights only take off when the situations are suitable. With situations we mean weather conditions or mechanical welfare.
Under unsuitable conditions the flights can be delayed or even cancelled.
Delays and cancellations are common in air travel as good conditions required to take off are not in the hand of people. For example: there is a fault in airplanes turbine or stormy weather.
This delay or cancellation may lead to financial loss to the travelers as they might have made pre-bookings at their destination and have paid them already.
Along with paying for the medical expenses or loss of luggage they also provide reimbursement for the loss incurred by the insured person due to delay or cancellation of flight.
It is often heard that he or she missed the flight as he or she didn’t arrive at the airport on time. There can be many reasons behind this like traffic, weather conditions etc. Whatever the reason is, the airline company will not return your money in such a case, which will eventually lead to your loss.
For this purpose missed connection benefit comes as a savior for travelers who are delayed, and incur additional costs to catch up to their trip.
The actual reason for the delay should be mentioned in your policy in order to receive the benefits from this cover.
Everyone thinks of having a good time while they are travelling. But one should know that uncertainties may arise at any moment without any notice.
Situations like natural calamity, serious health problem or a terrorist attack may be the reasons for emergency evacuations. No person will want to be stuck in such a situation in order to be safe and sound.
If you get stuck in this situation in order to reach a safe place or hospital you will have to pay a large amount of money in transportation. Benefits of purchasing this coverage is that it will pay for all the evacuation expenses like airlift, transportation cost to reach hospital.
Worldwide phone assistance:
This cover can be really very beneficial for you at the time of medical emergency, loss of luggage or passport or cancelled flights. It provides you with worldwide coverage and phone assistance so that you can make a call if you face these types of situations.
Along with this they also offer you 24/7 travel assistance service. This cover will provide you with both medical and non-medical benefits like:
- Provide transportation to the hospital.
- Provides proper treatment.
- Free choice to choose your hospital.
- Assistance in case of lost passport or documents.
- Help in locating lost luggage.
Travelling without purchasing a good travel insurance cover in not an option one should prefer. Looking at the possibilities of facing any major or minor uncertainty one must surely purchase a travel insurance cover before travelling abroad as no one knows when it may come to use.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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