Most of the time I traveled I didn’t have an insurance. I was young, I thought I’m bulletproof, waterproof, and nothing could ever happen to me, and if it happens, I’ll get back home soon and everything will be alright.
Oh yeah, and the princess lived happy till the it will never happen to be happened.
No, it didn’t happen to me, but I got wiser and more conscience as the years passed by.
Here is a list of some basic safety tips every traveler should consider:
0. Check out the safety of the location you travel to
Before you even think about stepping out of your house, you have to be sure the place you go is safe. There are places in the world which are usually safe, but look at the recent Paris terrorist attacks. And there are places which are more unstable (eg: Kashmir). If it is not safe, don’t travel. You may lose money, but you may save you life.
1. Health Insurance
It can be private insurance or government insurance, but it has got to insure your health integrity where ever you go.
Now, dear European friends, our public system offers us an EU wide insurance, and we count that in as enough protection. No need of exaggerating and gifting money to the private insurance companies. Outside EU, I think there is only one solution: private insurance. And it has to cover everything from emergency rescue to repatriation.
Luggage, gadgets, and other types of insurances are nice to have, we don’t include them here.
2. Emergency contact number
In your phone, in your agenda, a small piece of paper in your wallet, every time the airline or somebody else asks for it, write down your emergency contact. And have somebody tracking your trip all the time. So in case something happens to you, and you don’t get in contact with that person for some time, that person will know to alert the authorities. Personally I speak daily with my mom.
3. The passport is your life
The most important thing in your traveler life, after your personal integrity, is your passport. That is something it should be the most taking care thing you have. Use copies, scans, and always keep it safe.
4. Watch out yourself and your belongings
You don’t want to get into troubles while abroad. Ensure you were indeed the last person who touched your luggage and nobody planted some drugs in it before checking it in. This does happen, especially for intercontinental routes.
Your super camera has a hand strap so it’ll not fall by mistake. Your wallet is kept in your inner pocket and so on.
5. The expensive things are left at home.
There is something called Montreal Convention signed by most of the world airlines. This convention says that for any lost/destroyed/delayed luggage you will be reimbursed a maximum of approx 1100 EUR.
To this we add the fact that luggage delays are the most common issue the airlines face (click for details). And now you have only 2 options to chose from: play it safe or not.
The other reasons you may want to leave home the expensive things are thieves and you may loose them.
Let’s spread the world: if you have any other suggestions of basic, common sens rules, any travel should follow, just leave a comment here.