There are lots of measures that you can take to make sure that youre as safe as possible while travelling, including:
When I told mum and dad that I wanted to take a gap year between college and uni and spend it travelling, they (of course) had some concerns. The first was for my safety. As three young girls travelling for the first time on our lonesome, it was important that we knew how to keep ourselves and each other as safe as possible (not least because, if not, dad threatened to put a padlock on my room door until my gap year was over).
Preparation really is key. Don’t spend all your time researching what to see, do and eat and neglect the really important stuff like how to get around on public transport and how to contact the emergency services. While printing off the Metro maps and working out your best routes may seem boring when there are nightclubs and bars to rank by order of ‘must visit’ it’s essential that you know how to get around your destination safely and with confidence.
Stay safe on your gap year
Travelling in a group is great fun and there’s also safety in numbers. Organise somewhere safe to meet up if you do get separated, especially when out at night when crowds and alcohol might conspire against you. Do not be tempted to go off on your own under any circumstances – particularly not boy related circumstances (I’m sure you know what I mean).
Use Your Phone
If you can arrange to use your phone abroad for a reasonable cost, do! Most network providers offers deals on using your phone abroad, so give them a call and see what you can do. It’s much preferable if you and your group can use your phones to stay in contact abroad, and a useable mobile phone is well worth paying for so factor it into your travel budget (or get dad to pay).
Stay safe but have fun!
You want to have fun during your travels but it’s vital to stay vigilant. You’re sure to be assaulting by new sights and sounds wherever you go, but don’t lose your awareness of what’s going on around you. La Ramblas in Barcelona is a good example. This famed Barcelona street is lined with street entertainers, pet stalls, bright flower stalls and other amazing sights, sounds and attention grabbing experiences. It’s also a pickpocket hotspot in the city – perfectly showing the importance of keeping your awareness of what’s going on around you.
Be Careful with Cash
It’s a fine line to walk with cash. Carry enough for the peace of mind that you won’t be left short and can get a taxi back to your digs at the end of the night if needs be, but not enough to draw attention to yourself. An emergency stash is a good idea, just in case the worse comes to the worst and you find yourself the victim of a pickpocket or, even worse, a mugger.
Put your mum and dad’s mind at rest and research how to keep yourself safe while away. Also, don’t forget to take out a good travel insurance policy to help you out should something happen. After you’ve done those two things you can then do all the bar and nightclub research you like!