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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 19 Nov 2010
Traveling abroad can be exciting. But if you are not careful, it can turn out to be distressing as well. The foreign culture, the unfamiliar people and places can add to the pain. Besides, you are far, far away from the comforts and security of homeland. However, an overseas trip need not give you ‘butterflies in the stomach’ if you plan your trip astutely. In one of the previous posts, we talked about “smart tips to travel abroad”. In this post, we will focus on the safety part of it.
1. Know the contact details of Indian embassy – For any reason, if your trip goes awry, say you lose your Passport or your valuables get stolen, knowing the contact details of the nearest Indian embassy can be really helpful. Memorize it, if you can.
2. Book a hotel in advance – If you plan to stay at a hotel, it is better to book it in advance. Scout for hotels online and at the same time; look for their reviews. The location of the hotel does matter! Once you check-in to your room, scan for any hidden cameras. In most cases, it is not the hotel management doing the mischief.
3. Learn about the local transport – Most foreigners find the Indian rickshaw intriguing. You might say the same thing about their transport system. So it is better to learn about it online. If you are still unclear about it, do ask in some discussion forum. Also, the city’s locals would be more than happy to help.
4. Learn the local customs and language – Be aware of the place’s language and a few do’s and don’ts. For example, it is illegal to chew gum in Singapore and in most Middle East countries, drinking in public is outlawed. The last thing you’d want in your trip is to be jailed for what you may think harmless behaviour. Beware while using gestures, they may convey something totally different from what you intended.
5. Keep a secret cash stack – Always keep a secret bundle of cash hidden. It is better not to keep the entire stack together, keep it in various bags. Have a bundle hidden in your socks or the inner side of your dress. Always keep some change to tip the waiter or pay for taxi, separately.
7. Always keep someone informed – Be it your boss abroad or your family at home, it is advisable to keep someone posted about your whereabouts all the time.
8. Dress modestly – Don’t display your wealth abroad. Dress modestly, the way local people do. Avoid expensive jewellery. This is the best way to steer clear of unwanted attention.
9. Be discreet about your plans – Never discuss your travel plans with anyone, except family. You may never know if the “friendly person” is being nice or has some vicious plans in his or her mind.
10. Take care of your Passport – It is better to keep important documents, such as Passport and other immigration documents at the hotel, unless mandated to be carried by the country’s government. Also, leave a photocopy of your Passport at home. In the eventuality that you lose it, your work will get done faster.
On a safer note, it is advisable to buy Travel Insurance online. Royal Sundaram’s Travel Insurance protects you from medical emergencies, accidents, baggage/passport loss, it even covers damage to your home in India when you are abroad. Click here to know more about it.
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