When you travel abroad, you are out of your comfort zone and regular routine. This may put you at higher risk for theft, fraud and other crimes of opportunity. Whether you’re a seasoned jetsetter or planning your first trip abroad, it pays to review these international travel safety tips before you get that new passport stamp.

Protect Your Documents

Before traveling, make a copy of your passport, identification and other critical documents. Leave these copies with a trusted friend or family member who can provide this information if you lose your paperwork while traveling.

While navigating another country, keep your passport safe on your person. It should be separate from your money and credit cards to deter potential thieves and not in an easily accessible location like a pocket. You can also purchase an RFID folder for your documents to protect the private information on the internal chip from theft.

In addition to your passport and ID, you should carry a copy of your local address, hotel contact details and a map wherever you go. Even if you aren’t traveling alone, you could get lost if you become separated from your group. Grab a few business cards from the front desk of your hotel and keep them in your wallet.

Stay at Restricted Access Properties

When you book your hotel, look for a few key security measures. Staircases should have locking doors at each floor. Hotel guests should be required to insert their key cards to access room floors by elevator, preventing unauthorized access by those who are not guests.

Research Common Scams

The U.S. Department of State maintains travel alerts and advisories to keep travelers aware of potential dangers when overseas. Use their database to research your destinations for information about common scams as well as health and safety advisories, details about local customs and other useful resources.

Register With the Embassy

Joining the federal Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is one of the most important safety tips for international travelers. Through this free system, you can make the details of your trip available to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your travel destination. You’ll receive alerts about potential hazards and safety conditions. If you are involved in an emergency, the agency can help notify your friends and family and assist them in reaching you.

You should also carry the contact information, including address and phone number, for the local Embassy or Consulate. If you are arrested overseas or otherwise run into trouble, get in touch right away for assistance.

Buy a Phone Plan

Make sure your smartphone will work overseas so you will have a way to contact the authorities and your family members in an emergency. Check with your provider about signing up for an international data plan, which will also make it easier to navigate the area where you’re staying. Having a data plan also allows you to check your bank accounts without public Wi-Fi (more on that later). That way, you can quickly report any fraudulent or unusual activity during your trip.

Learn the Language

Obviously, you can’t become fluent in a new language without years of study or immersion. You can, however, pick up a few important phrases in your destination’s main language. The better you can speak the native tongue, the easier it will be for you to get help in an emergency, navigate the city and avoid getting lost or disoriented.

Use Social Media Cautiously

Although posting photos of your fabulous vacation on social media is tempting, avoid the urge to share until you’re back in the United States. If the fact that your home is empty and unprotected is public knowledge, you increase your risk for home invasion theft. This is one of the most basic social media safety rules, but could spare you from a nightmare when you return home.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Even if you know to avoid public wireless networks at home, you might be tempted if you are traveling and don’t have access to a private hotspot. However, public networks leave you vulnerable to having your information intercepted. If you must use the Wi-Fi at your hotel, a cafe or elsewhere, don’t log into your bank account or other sensitive sites.

Use Common Sense

Many of the personal safety cautions you use at home also apply overseas. Travel with another person when possible. When traveling alone, avoid walking in unfamiliar or deserted areas at night. Avoid drinking too much, which can leave you less alert and more likely to be a target for theft or assault.

Stick close to groups when out in public, particularly if you receive unwanted attention or otherwise feel unsafe. If you are alone and you think you are being followed, avoid stopping until you get to a public place. Then, ask for help right away.

Keep Valuables Hidden

Don’t travel overseas with anything you don’t want stolen. Cash, jewelry and other valuables such as electronics should be kept in your hotel safe. Consider leaving sentimental items such as your wedding ring at home. Research common targets of theft in your destination. For example, Apple products are at higher risk for being stolen in some locales.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution when in an unfamiliar place. With these precautions, you’ll be able to travel safely abroad.

How Can You Go About Staying Safe Traveling Overseas?
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How Can You Go About Staying Safe Traveling Overseas?
how-to-stay-safe-traveling-overseas A lot of people want to know how to work on staying safe traveling overseas. The problem going somewhere new is you may not know what the laws are, how to speak the language, or what to expect in general. Get to know here what you need to do to prepare to be safe when you travel. Customs are very different in new areas that you are traveling to. You cannot just say or do what you want like where you come from thinking that everyone will be fine with it. One example of an offensive gesture is making a peace sign at someone, with two fingers making a letter v. In some countries, this is like the middle finger. You should also learn about laws and what you can and cannot do legally so you don't end up in a bad situation where you can't leave the country for a long time. Look to see if you can find any travel alerts for the area you're traveling to. In some places, you'll have to watch out for things like gunfire from fighting from time to time and there will be a warning about traveling there. There are a lot of different problems that can happen, especially in this day and age where problems like terrorism are very real. While a place may be safe usually, showing up at a bad time can make it hard to get out of the area if something goes wrong meaning you will be unsafe. See if you can find any information on common scams in the area. For some places, there are a lot of pickpockets or there may be people on the street that try to scam you out of money. If you are going to a new place, keep your wallet in your front pocket if possible, and don't have a purse that you have hanging from your arm. There are people that can easily just cut the straps of it or grab it and run off. Pickpockets usually can get to you very easy in a place like a bus, so keep your belongings close and keep an eye on them. Staying safe traveling overseas can be difficult your first few times. But, once you take the time to research everything that has to be done you will be less likely to have a bad time. Be cautious and you won't be as anxious about it. ABOUT US Beau Dietl & Associates is a premier Private Investigator NYC Company with offices in New Jersey, Florida and California. We have affiliates in every large city across the United States through our unique network. We also have partners around the world in almost every country. These contacts were developed from over 30 years of experience in the private investigations and security sector. We can help you with any problems you may be facing. Address: 1 Pennsylvania Plaza, 50th Floor, New York, NY 10119 Phone: (212) 557-3334
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