16 tips for staying healthy and safe while you travel

Whether you’re going out to a neighbouring province for a weekend or travelling around the world, below you’ll find some tips that will keep you and your possessions safe and sound.

Take practical care to protect your possessions

First, we’re going to look at keeping your possessions safe in foreign areas. The best way to prepare mentally is by researching the place you’re going to: how religious is the area? How politically stable? How safe? How close will you be to help should you need it? Is there a lot of crime or theft?

These are all quick things you can look into before you depart. Knowing small facts about a destination never hurts, and will put you at an advantage when it comes to navigating certain social dynamics once you land.

While researching this post, I read something really unnerving about hotel safety:

 “Keep your wits about you and watch out for people standing too close [to you] or who appear to be listening in on your conversations. They might be trying to find out which room you are in and whether you are travelling alone. If they see you later on in the restaurant or by the pool, they will know your room is unoccupied.”

Here are some tips for keeping your things safe:

1. Be wary of where you leave your unlocked luggage until you are checked into a room. Don’t leave it anywhere when you’re going to the bathroom, going to exchange currency, or going up to a desk to book a hotel room.

2. Separate your valuables and keep important items in your carry on.

3. Avoid hotel rooms on the first floor.

4. Once you get into your room, check all locks and peepholes. If anything isn’t up to standard, request a new room.

5. Keep your wallet on your person at all times when you go out day-tripping, avoid your back pocket.

6. Make electronic copies of your important documents and email them to yourself (passport, insurance, itinerary, etc.).

7. Leave your flashy electronics, clothing items and jewelry at home.

8. Avoid purchasing or booking things online on open WiFi networks abroad; hackers can do anything.

9. Avoid travelling by road at night. If your taxi doesn’t have a seatbelt think about finding another ride.

10. Check a reputable travel guide that takes stock of social conditions that relate to travellers that identify as LBGTQ2; you can receive a safety index in this way.

Health, your greatest gift

Preparing ahead is the best way to avoid illness abroad. No one wants to ruin their trip for something that could’ve been prevented. This means you should have up-to-date vaccines that match the potential risks associated with your destination, and having your insurance coverage in order before you depart

Here are some health tips:

11. Maintain your vaccinations and get new ones if your destination requires more. Talk to your doctor at least two weeks before you depart.

12. Make sure you have enough of your prescriptions before you travel. Make sure they are all in your name.

13. Be aware of the food you eat and the drinks you consume. Stay away from raw meats and find out if tap water is safe, especially in hot areas with limited access to refrigeration.

14. Watch out for travel advisories that relate to your destination. Advisories notify travellers of health and safety concerns over a certain period of time.

15. Pack a basic travel health kit so you can treat bug bites or protect yourself from the sun, among other risks. Make sure the items are particular to your location and climate.

16. Don’t get into trouble with local law enforcement, you will be treated differently as a foreigner in another country.