Safety tips for traveling off the beaten path

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 

  1. Be cautious Danger often lurks in less populated areas, so avoid desolate spots that don't seem safe.
  2. Pay attention to your surroundings Keep an eye on your stuff so you don't become an easy target for a pickpocket.
  3. Try to blend in Even if you're wearing a daypack, try looking as non-touristy as you can.
  4. Be confident Act like you know where you are and what you're doing.
  5. View maps discreetly Don't study your map in the middle of a sidewalk. Pop into a café.
  6. Be polite Practice good manners. Learn how to say "please" and "thank you" in the local language.

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