When planning our trip around the world, people often asked us, “Aren’t you concerned for your safety?” We’ll admit we had some trepidation but after traveling through 33 countries across six continents, we know the world is a pretty safe place when you take the right precautions. In 675 continuous days on the road we were never robbed or even threatened, and that’s not luck. While we don’t have the geopolitical status on every destination in the world, we can tell you these seven travel safety tips that helped us stay safe in every country we visited.
1. Research and Register with Travel.State.Gov. Cross-reference your desired Glamping destinations on Travel.State.gov for warnings and a slew of useful travel info. For extra peace of mind, you can join their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to get safety updates and be on file at the nearest U.S. embassy in the event of an emergency.
2. Talk to Travelers. Talk to your Facebook community and visit country-specific travel forums like Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree or Fodor’s Travel Talks to get reviews and advice from people who have personally traveled to your future destination. Check out a few blogs of long-term travelers like: Legendary Adventures of Anna, Mapping Megan, Travel With Bender, Digital Nomad Travel Blog & The Planet D.
3. Get Adventure Travel Insurance. For around $50 a week you can pick up travel insurance that will cover emergency medical, missing baggage, trip cancellation costs, and nearly every possible Glamping activity—from ziplining to dog sledding. We recommend World Nomads for their extensive coverage and great customer service.
4. Pack and Dress Modestly. The fewer flashy items you wear or carry, the less of a target you’ll be. As for electronics, it’s fine to bring a smart phone or SLR camera, just be mindful about when you use them in public (ie. not in crowded areas, rougher neighborhoods, etc).
5. Create a Safe Wallet System. Carry a simple wallet or “throw-away wallet” with enough money for the day in local currency, one twenty dollar bill, and one credit card. When you need to make a big purchase or you are going to the ATM, wear a hidden wallet like Eagle Creek’s Undercover Hidden Pocket that attaches to your belt and flips inside your pants. In the rare event you are robbed, much less will be at stake with this system.
6. Learn a Few Words in the Local Language. Even though English will get you by in most places, speaking a bit of the local language will do wonders for good will. Key words to learn: Hello, Please, Thank you, No Thank You and Delicious (this one is sure to bring a smile to every meal on your trip!)
7. Get a Local SIM Card. A phone plan for making local calls is a useful tool and great piece of mind for independence, making last minute changes, or in the event of emergency.
Our overall take away from our HoneyTrek is to be confident and, even more importantly, be friendly. If you go into a situation with a smile, people are more likely to be kind and helpful…and there is nothing better than a safe and memorable journey.