Some safety tips by professional travellers

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Travelling alone – It’s not a man’s world

  • Instead of taking taxis off the street, it is preferable to get them booked through your hotel.
  • Keep your relatives or friends informed of your itinerary. Keep them posted about where you have been and people you have befriended.
  • Do your research of the area where you are travelling to. Learn a few key phrases in the local language. Be informed about the local emergency contact numbers and procedures. Check out reviews of hotels and their neighbourhoods before you book them.
  • Keep yourself surrounded by people or at least carry the basics – pepper spray and flashlight.
  • Befriend people but keep your distance. Do not drink with someone unless you really trust that person. Trust your instincts. Don’t let anyone talk you into doing something you are not really sure about.
  • Keep digital copies and Xeroxes of important travel documents as backup. Store them in safe locations. Keep the Xeroxes and originals in separate bags.
  • Wear clothes in line with local culture. But if the local culture is very liberal, it is safer to stay a little on the conservative side.
  • Carry portable door/window alarms.
  • Do not wear both earphones while listening to music. It makes you less aware of your surroundings. You might miss important information or warning signs.
  • When lost, do not lose your calm and ask for assistance on the street. It is better to approach a busy cafe or store for guidance. Always be optimistic. Do not show fear.
  • Take picture of the license plates of your cabs before getting on them. Let the drivers know that you have sent the pictures to someone you know.
  • Firmly refuse people who keep badgering you and making you feel uncomfortable. Do not be afraid to say no or be considered rude.
  • Travel light. Do not overburden yourself with excessive baggage. It is okay to repeat clothes. More luggage also means there is a chance you may lose something and not even realise it is gone.
  • Minimise night travel, at least when you are alone.
  • When travelling in cars, keep your doors locked at all times for safety from carjackers.

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