Tips for Safe International Travel

International travel presents its own particular challenges to your personal safety, and more of them. Many of us tend to have glamorous and romanticized visions of certain foreign cities and countries, even though we’re well aware of the good and bad in our own hometown. This is a dangerous indulgence when traveling abroad. There are good people and bad people wherever you go in the world, and you need to keep that in mind when planning your itinerary and accommodations. When we think of Paris, for example, we tend to think of the City of Light – home of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, charming sidewalk cafes, magnificent cathedrals, etc. While it is all of these things, it’s also got some very large parts of it which are squalid and dangerous. The same is equally true of London and other great cities around the world. In most places you’re pretty safe if you stay in the main tourist areas, but should you decide to wander off and do some exploring in out-of-the-way places, you could get into serious trouble. It’s always best in foreign countries, especially if you don’t speak the language, to stay with guided tours. Before embarking on your trip you should try to at least memorize some rudimentary phrases in the language, and take a translation or phrase book with you. No matter which language you speak, it’s best to avoid getting into sensitive discussions about politics, religion, etc. Foreigners are foreign, which means they’re different, and they won’t always agree with you. They may not appreciate you coming to their country and “blaspheming” their religion or “insulting” their leaders, even though you may have had no intention of doing so, and thought you were just having a friendly chat.

In many countries America and Americans are resented by some people, for various reasons. So play it safe, and avoid contentious issues. There are many travel guide books available from libraries and bookstores for almost any place you’re thinking of traveling, and it’s always best to consult one when making vacation plans. These guides cover these topics in more detail. It’s also best to check with the US State Department to see if they’ve issued travel advisories for the country where you’re considering traveling. If they have, take it to heart. Many parts of the world are very dangerous places. For instance, Mexico is a particularly dangerous place, and the State Department regularly issues strongly worded advisories about the many serious dangers of traveling there. Yet many Americans will visit such places and have no idea of the threats to their personal safety. Don’t be one of them. When it comes to foreign travel and safety, you can never have too much information. And if it sounds too risky, don’t go.

SHORTCUTS TO TRAVEL SAFETY ARTICLES:

Travel Safety And General Nuisances
Travel Safety And Getting Ripped Off
Travel Safety And Going Off The Beaten Path
Travel Safety And Skiing And Snowboarding Safety
Travel Safety And Your Home
Travel Safety And Your Valuables
Personal Safety While Traveling
Travel Safety: The Car
Travel Safety: Benefits of a Cell Phone
Travel Safety: Benefits of a Global Positioning System
Travel Safety: Lodging
Travel Safety: Safety in the Hotel
Hotel Safety: Elevators and Stairwells
Tips for Safe International Travel
Utilizing News Sources to Stay Informed