7 Safety Considerations Before Traveling Abroad This Summer
It’s finally summer! Which means it’s probably travel season for you and your entire family. You may have been planning this summer excursion for weeks, months, or even years, but have you worked out all the fine details?
It’s estimated that roughly 1.4 billion people travel domestically and internationally every year. Some may be wondering if international travel is open and safe after a devastating pandemic, which would be a valid concern. While many countries have reopened with endless ebbs and flow in COVID-19 cases, there are still several health guidelines you must follow to stop the virus’ spread. The CDC has a travel map available with specific recommendations before traveling to almost any country in the world.
It’s vital to remain health-conscious, in general, not just while traveling. Still, before you cue up DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s 90s classic Summertime and let the travel playlist commence, there are some important safety considerations to note (and implement) before traveling abroad this summer.
1. Send Copies of Important Documents to Loved Ones
We all have that one friend or family member who is the most dependable person in the world. They keep records of everything, including important documents from years ago. After all, who knows when they’ll need it in the future. Trust this person with digital copies of all your travel documentation, passports, IDs, itinerary, and more. Send this information to your loved one (who isn’t traveling with you this summer) in a secured or encrypted file over a secure private network.
2. Inform People You Trust of All Your Travel Plans
Remember Mr. or Ms. Reliable we talked about above? This person will also be the keeper of your travel plans and updates during your trip. Putting safety first means informing the people you love of your stops along the way. We love spontaneity, but it can prove dangerous in an unfamiliar area, especially in international territory.
3. Stay Alert & Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Traveling this summer should be all about relaxation and letting your guard down—to an extent. You should feel free to let loose and destress, but that doesn’t mean putting yourself in unsafe situations by being too trusting of strangers and people with seemingly good intentions. Always stay alert when in unfamiliar locations and have a handle on all personal items. In fact, it may be better to leave large bags or purses with valuable items in your hotel room to avoid them being lost or stolen.
4. Avoid Any Public Wi-Fi or Hotspots
While public Wi-Fi and hotspots can be lifesavers, they can also prove extremely unsafe and expose your personal information to everyone. When traveling this summer, invest in a VPN (virtual private network) that encrypts your information and internet searches to protect your online identity. Companies like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark have easy app downloads with in-app purchases to access the digital protection you need while traveling aboard or domestically.
5. Research the Area First
Traveling without a few set destinations can be exciting but also put you in compromising positions and leave you vulnerable to issues while traveling this summer. You should always research your destination(s) to ensure you know:
Nearby medical facilities
The location of a U.S. Embassy
6. Learn Important Phrases & Words in the Country’s Language
Let’s say you’re sightseeing with a group and get sidetracked looking at souvenirs to bring back to family and friends. When you look up, you don’t see anyone you recognize. Uh oh! This is just one situation where knowing simple phrases in the country’s language can help.
We recommend learning the following phrases:
“Do you speak English?” – Asking this first may save you an awkward and choppy conversation in another language.
“Can you help me find…” – Many locals are willing to point you in the right direction if you know how to ask correctly.
“I need help.” – Similar to the phrase above, this may be more straightforward, especially if you don’t know the word for your destination.
“I don’t speak your language well.” – This phrase may come in handy when someone is trying to offer you an item or service you don’t want. You can easily escape an uncomfortable situation by stating that you don’t know the language.
“Hello,” “please,” and “thank you.” – Being polite is key when you’re visiting another country. People are usually more accommodating when you show respect and appreciation. This also works great in your home country.
On top of learning these important words and phrases, ensure you learn local customs and understand what’s considered respectful and disrespectful in a foreign country.
7. Purchase Travel Insurance
Ah, the age-old question, “Should I buy travel insurance or not?” As proponents of safe and smart traveling this summer, we say absolutely purchase travel insurance. We know it can be easy to nix this seemingly unimportant aspect, but it is a protective measure that can save you a lot of heartache, frustration, and money in the long run.
Most airlines give you the option to purchase travel insurance for your flight to ensure refunds and compensation if there’s an issue on the airline’s end that causes travel delays or cancellations. Travel insurance also protects you if something happens before your trip and forces you to cancel it. You can buy travel insurance for your entire trip through third-party lenders, including AIG, Nationwide, USI, and TravelSafe.
Traveling Aboard? Perfect! Let Merry Maids® Get Your Home in Order
There’s almost nothing more irritating than going on an amazing trip overseas only to return to a space in disarray. You should return home after a long and eventful trip knowing your sanctuary is clean and sanitized so you can decompress. Our cleaning professionals at Merry Maids® offer various pre- and post-travel cleaning solutions, including maid service, green cleaning, specialty cleaning, detailed cleaning, and enhanced disinfection services, to help you get organized before and after traveling this summer.
Let us help you get started today! Find your local Merry Maids and request a free quote.