Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Getting out and seeing the world has never been easier for humanity. Folks used to never stray farther than five miles from their place of birth their entire lives – now, as a species, we hit the roads, rails, and air lanes at a rate of billions of miles per year. Visiting unfamiliar cities, countries, and continents is one of the many factors contributing to a more interconnected global population. World security is all the better for this revolution in transportation and travel, but following safety tips is a must.

On a smaller scale, however, tourists and travelers are taking on risks when choosing to see the world. These risks require a rundown of proper safety protocol when going out of town. The seven tips are easy to remember and make it harder for travelers to be affected by confusion, crime, and misfortune:

Safety tips while traveling

Staying safe

Where to stay when traveling out-of-town is a fundamental issue to solve before heading out. Folks repeatedly visiting the same city are encouraged to look into a flexible timeshare vacation for a number of reasons. For one, a dedicated and familiar home away from home provides stability in case of any trouble. Secondly, it eliminates having to plan for lodging every year. Finally, co-ownership of local property affords “out-of-towners” a little more clout with the natives, which comes in handy if problems arise during the visit.

Thailand safety tips

Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

Cultural awareness

Arriving into a strange city – possibly in a foreign country – it’s hard not to be on edge. However, this attitude can lead to unnecessary overreactions due to a simple lack of awareness regarding local customs. Truth be told, things like smiling at strangers and kicking your feet up are no-nos in certain parts of the world. Without knowledge about the culture of your destination it may seem as though everyone is unhappy and the bouncer yelled at you for no reason as you were stretched out on a couch in the club – when in fact it’s just the way things work there.

Avoid illness

Not every foreign city’s water supply is off-limits to tourists, but it always pays to do your research ahead of time. Furthermore, moderation when sampling a new land’s wondrous edibles is important for preventing stomach aches and other pains that can inhibit the experience. In general, try not to touch your face after moving about a crowded urban landscape, museums, theme parks, and other places with large volumes of people from many different places.


Safety tips – Great to meet and hang out with locals to avoid street scams

Beware street scams

Street thieves and con artists thrive in every metropolis around the world. They’re highly skilled at telling apart tourists from the locals and prey upon them for a number of reasons, mainly because they’re preoccupied and overloaded with outside stimuli and, more importantly, they carry lots of cash. It’s important to be on guard at all times, especially when in close quarters with other people. Distractions are common tools used to pickpocket out-of-towners; meanwhile desperate kids will brazenly try and snatch phones, purses, and anything else off people.

Know where you are

Planning out a trip down to the hour suits some people, but where is the adventure and spontaneity? Sometimes it’s fun just to step outside your timeshare and start walking in a given direction. With that said, always have a way to know where you are, whether it’s a GPS-enabled mobile device or old-fashioned map. This way you can explore the new city at will yet constantly have your bearings relative to your home base.

Chiang Mai Thailand

Safety tips – Don’t dress like this fool and don’t wear a fanny pack

Dress to blend in

One of the easiest ways to avoid being the target of scammers and riffraff in general is to underdress when visiting new places. We have a tendency to want to wear our nicest attire when traveling – it is, after all, a rare chance to live luxurious – yet fine clothes are a beacon calling out to those who wish to exploit out-of-towners. Get a gauge on how the locals look and emulate it as a best as possible to stay safe.

Learn about the local sports teams

It may sound crazy and a little out there, but hear it out. Though, at the end of the day, your fears of being cornered by some rugged street gang after accidentally wandering into the wrong side of a strange city are statistically unfounded, these sort of things do happen from time to time around the world. If you’re worried about such a showdown, make an effort to familiarize yourself with the latest happenings of the city’s various sports franchises. Most troublemakers are teenagers and young men – who happen to also be the core audience of pro sports. Being able to talk about the recent trade of a star forward or the affects an injury will have on batting order puts you in the good graces of most tough guys, true story.

Humans have never had it easier when it comes to visiting exotic places. However, traveling is not without its risks. It pays to be privy to the ways in which we can afford running into travel trouble. It makes for more rewarding experiences and encourages additional trips taken in the future, further connecting an increasingly networked planet.

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).