Belles on Location

5 Tips for Avoiding Stress When Traveling Abroad

Going on a foreign vacation ideally should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment.  When things do go wrong it can be incredibly stressful, especially if you don’t speak the local language. The savvy Travel Belle can minimize these risks with some trip planning and  common sense.

Research your destination

Different cultures have different customs and laws. Be sure to pick up a guidebook and familiarize yourself with local customs and laws.

All cities and towns invariably have certain areas where it is not considered safe to wander around alone at night. Be sure to stay well clear of them.

Don’t look like easy pickings

Many tourist hotspots are also hotbeds of crime. Pickpockets and scam artists make a living by preying on well meaning, but ill-prepared tourists. Minimize any risks by leaving unnecessary expensive items either at home or locked in hotel safes when you are not using them. When around town secure your belongings, wearing them close to your body as possible and zipped up in a bag with zippered compartments worn across your body.

The same rules apply to your cash. Make sure you only take the amount you need with you and reserve your credit card for emergencies. Before your trip check with your credit card company to see what the current fees are for using your credit card abroad. Options such as the Aquacard Advance card have 0% foreign exchange fees, which makes them an ideal as a credit card for travel. You can find out more about this credit card option online.

Keep your wits about you

Please remember when you are gazing with abandon at a city’s beautiful architectural highlights, you are especially vulnerable to being targeted by pickpockets. Always be aware of your surroundings and the movements of people around you.

Know how to contact the authorities

Before heading out to go sightseeing, take a few minutes to investigate the best way to contact local police and emergency services. Don’t forget to bring along a phrase book! Additionally learning some basic phrases such as “please” and “thank you,” in the local tongue may prove helpful.

Go with your gut

We all have some sort of sixth sense whereby a certain situation just feels wrong; it might be a pushy street vendor or it could be a dubious looking taxi. That sixth sense, or gut instinct, is important and entirely natural, so always trust it. If something feels wrong, there’s a good chance it is.

Although you can never be one hundred percent safe anywhere, you can take steps to minimize risks. Planning and research is key to this so put in that little bit of extra work and enjoy yourself on holiday!

Today’s post appears in association with Aquacard.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Krista

    Very good and sensible tips for sure! I think I’ve employed all of them on my travels. 🙂

  2. Justine de Jonge

    Such a sound and sensible article. Everything here is so true – simple yet effective tips!

    It’s good to research whether the country you’re visiting readily accepts credit and/or EFTPOS cards. There are a few countries, particularly in South East Asia and the Middle East, where cash is king.

    It’s also handy to take a rescue pack of some every-day medications for pain relief, tummy bugs, sunstroke, seasickness, etc. You just never know when any of these ailments can strike! Just make sure all medications are clearly labelled and acceptable by the laws of the country your travelling to 🙂

  3. Ian Smith

    Thank you for your well written and thoughtful article, if I could be so bold as to add two small thoughts. The first is to be sure you don’t have any of your credit or debit card passwords in your mobile phone. If your handbag is stolen as happened to my wife at least you are sure the thief can’t access cash.

    Secondly have all your telephone numbers to cancel phones and cards somewhere safe like in your hotel room, and if you have to carry the passwords then ensure they are in a totally different place than on your person.

    Thieves and pickpockets work in groups. My wife was asked for directions by a man in a car blaring loud music and whilst he distracted her his accomplice opened the passenger doo and made off, without her hearing anything.
    Also keep a photocopy of the main pages of your passport somewhere safe.

    Thanks for the article

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