It’s holiday season and scores of international students will be travelling across the globe, either going for a holiday or heading back home.
Some students may be going off to university for the first time to start their courses in the January semester.
If you’re one of them, don’t forget to keep yourself safe and secure while travelling. Here are some important tips to remember.
Keep your documents with you at all times
Not having your passport, visa and other important documents with you when travelling overseas could pretty much ruin your whole trip. Make sure you keep them organised and in a safe bag with a zipper.
Never leave your bag unattended or with a stranger. Keep it with you at all times – even when you go to the bathroom.
It’s also a good idea to keep copies of your documents in a separate bag if possible. Also, keep electronic copies of them in a Cloud drive or e-mail them to yourself so you can print them out if needed.
Be wary of theft and other crime
Sometimes, terrible things such as robbery and pick-pocketing can happen while you’re travelling and there’s not much that can be done about it. However, remembering a few simple tips can go a long way in preventing yourself from being an easy target.
Always be alert of your surroundings and keep your possessions safe. If you’re going to stay in a hostel with shared accommodation, make sure you have a combination lock on your bag and keep your things stowed away in the lockers, which are provided by most hostels.
Another good tip is to separate your cash and cards in different bags so you always have a backup in case something gets stolen.
Stay away from dangerous areas known for robbery and avoid walking around in the dark by yourself. Don’t get drunk if you’re with people you’ve just met or don’t trust, and especially not if you’re alone.
Meeting new people can be exciting and interesting but always be careful of strangers – especially if they seem ‘too nice’. Keep yourself guarded and don’t divulge too much personal information too soon.
If you get your valuables stolen, head to the nearest police station to file a report.
Also, don’t forget to apply for travel insurance so you’re covered in case anything goes wrong.
Do your research
If you’re headed somewhere new or travelling at a time of the year when weather is particularly bad, make sure you plan ahead and do your research. Check out train routes, weather forecasts, traffic conditions and the news reports in the area you’re going to.
Doing so can help prevent surprises on your journey such as bad snowstorms, riots or highway closures that could delay your trip.
Let others know of your plans
This is important – especially if you are travelling alone.
Make sure your parents and/or close friends know of your travel plans. E-mail them a copy of your itinerary and flight details so they have all the information.
Inform them of the address of the place you’ll be staying, as well as sending contact phone numbers in case your mobile phone doesn’t work. Tell them what time you’ll reach your destination so they can expect to hear from you.
If you’re able to contact them, be sure to inform them of delays so they don’t worry.
Visit the doctor
If you suffer from frequent illness and allergies, you should see the doctor before you leave. Inform them of where you’re travelling to so they can advise you on vaccinations or medicine you should take with you.
If you’re a chronic sufferer of jetlag and/or motion sickness, talk to your doctor about what you can do to make your journey smoother.