According to a Travel Guard insurance poll about medical emergencies while traveling, 43 percent of consumers worry the most about finding adequate medical facilities during a medical emergency.
Another 31 percent are concerned about needing a medical evacuation. Meanwhile, a poll by TheStreet shows that one in three Americans are afraid of international travel and flights.
It’s wise to stay proactive about your safety while traveling, but there are ways to have a safe and smooth trip without grappling with fears and anxieties. Proper preparation and diligence are key in protecting yourself whenever you’re traveling, especially somewhere new. Here are some tips to follow with safety in mind:
One of your best defenses while traveling somewhere new is keeping connected. Give friends and family a copy of your itinerary, including your transportation and lodging info. Let them know when you’ll be back, so they can raise the red flag if you’re delayed without getting in touch.
To make it easy to stay connected, use an app like BSafe to set up a network of friends and family. The GPS-enabled service sends notifications of where you are and keeps track of your whereabouts in real time. Set up an automatic alarm to alert your network if you don’t check into appointed locations. Instead of relying on a smartphone that can easily be snatched from your pocket or a restaurant table, sync a smartwatch, like the Samsung Gear S or Moto 360 Black, to send texts, launch apps, discreetly get directions and take photos.
It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of your new location and lower your guard. If you feel something is wrong, trust your intuition and react quickly. That includes leaving a bar where you feel uncomfortable, passing up the opportunity for a free tour from an oddly friendly local or checking out of a hotel with shabby windows and locks.
Pack a React Sidekick to get help with the touch of a button. If you find yourself injured, unable to get in touch with your network or need help fast, the panic button sends out an alert to reach a wide network. Instead of carrying around the pocket-sized React, use React Mobile to turn your smartphone into a panic button. A “Follow-Me” feature lets you share your location with friends and family, so they can track your whereabouts in real-time and follow along until you’re safe.
Protect Your Wallet
Stay self-aware and protect yourself and your valuables whenever traveling somewhere new. Give your wallet a boost and switch to a smart wallet. The Wocket Wallet replaces your entire wallet with a single smart wallet card. Program in your credit cards, loyalty cards and membership cards in the included card reader. When you’re out and about, take out your Wocket Wallet card and swipe at any retailer.
Unlike a traditional wallet that holds vulnerable credit cards any thief can use, the Wocket Wallet encrypts your data, so your cards and other personal info is secure. A biometric lock means only you can access it and makes it nearly worthless for anyone else to steal and try to use.
Research Your Destination
Feeling spontaneous and free on a vacation is part of the fun; however, traveling somewhere new still requires some research. Write down the addresses and numbers of local police stations, United States embassies for overseas travel, hospitals and local transportation. Use sites like TripAdvisor to scour reviews and find out which accommodations are in safe areas and what neighborhoods to avoid. If you’re traveling abroad, remember that laws are different in every country and if you break them, you may find yourself subject to fines and jail time.