Safety tips for traveling off the beaten path
May 23, 2018
If you're ready to say goodbye to endless lines, stuffy tour buses, and crowded beaches, take a trip to a lesser-known destination. Whether you’re looking to connect with people from different cultures, lose yourself in a remote corner of the world, or embark on an adventure, stepping off the typical tourist trail can offer a deeper, more fulfilling experience you'll talk about for years to come.
But out-of-the-way places can carry their own risks, from lack of customary services, to specific disease risks, to difficulty in finding medical care if you need it. For safety’s sake, it’s a good idea to take these steps before you leave.
See your doctor
Schedule a doctor appointment 4 to 6 weeks before the trip to get any recommended vaccinations.
Get your documents in order
Having copies of your passport and other important documents can make it easier to get a replacement, if needed. Store copies in the cloud so you can access them online in an emergency.
Share your itinerary
Leave a copy of your itinerary with family. This will make it easier for your loved ones to contact you if a serious event occurs.
Buy travel medical insurance
A good travel medical insurance policy that includes both medical and traveler’s assistance offers an added layer of protection when you’re traveling. For instance, a SafeTrip Travel Protection plan from UnitedHealthcare Global includes access to 24-hour emergency service that can help you find appropriate medical care wherever you are and make emergency travel arrangements, including medical evacuations, if needed.
Good practices for out-of-the-way places
- Be cautious Danger often lurks in less populated areas, so avoid desolate spots that don't seem safe.
- Pay attention to your surroundings Keep an eye on your stuff so you don't become an easy target for a pickpocket.
- Try to blend in Even if you're wearing a daypack, try looking as non-touristy as you can.
- Be confident Act like you know where you are and what you're doing.
- View maps discreetly Don't study your map in the middle of a sidewalk. Pop into a café.
- Be polite Practice good manners. Learn how to say "please" and "thank you" in the local language.