Lately the most common, travel-related question I receive is whether the destination I visited is safe. Of course, most of the time the question concerns countries outside Europe, but sometimes people have concerns for even Paris or Athens.
The good news is that most destinations in the world are fairly safe, with the exception of countries that are at war or politically unstable. The rest just require good preparation to avoid (as much as possible) unpleasant surprises. That's why I have the 10 most basic tips that will definitely make you feel better about your upcoming trip.
-Research, research, research:
It's the first and most important step you can take when planning a trip. There are now so many ways to learn everything you need to know about the place you are going to visit: travel books and magazines, online articles, blogs, vlogs, the resources are countless. Through online platforms you can even chat with people who have recently traveled to the same destination or find people who live there and want to share their experiences with you. It's something I do quite often and it has helped me, especially in the most "difficult" destinations.
Check the necessary vaccinations and hygiene tips for travel outside Europe.
Inform yourself or even better plan a visit to a travel medicine practice. Depending on the destination, the season, the conditions and the duration of your stay, experts will advise you on whether you need vaccinations or any other preventive treatment.
-Try not to have your equipment in public view:
As a tourist in a new country it is always better to keep a low profile and any equipment you carry with you to be stored immediately after use in a pocket, bag, backpack etc. Camera, smartphone, drone or anything else you need to capture new images, they make you stand out more easily and consequently become a potential target. Somehow they stole my cell phone from my hands in northern Europe (indeed!) as I was captivated by the excitement of my new surroundings.
-Clothing that respects the culture of the country, without exaggeration:
For both women and men, it is wise to adapt clothing to your travels based on the values and perceptions of the local community, especially in countries of different religious beliefs. Even if it is not prohibited by law, in some areas you can attract unwanted looks if your clothing is considered provocative.
-Do not walk recklessly in unfamiliar neighborhoods in big cities:
Of course, the best way to explore a city is to walk it and get "lost" in its streets, discovering all its aspects. But you should always be aware of exactly where you are as not all neighborhoods and suburbs are safe and it would be good to avoid them. Especially when you stand out a lot from the locals and it is obvious that you are a tourist. This of course applies even to large European countries such as Paris, London, Athens, etc.
-For nature and adventure lovers:
You need to be very careful if you decide to go camping, mountaineering or even hiking on trails in uncontrolled areas. As exciting as it sounds in some countries it may not be as safe as you think and maybe it is better to do it with an organized group.