Many of you, like myself, are probably going to venture out of the country this spring break.
Especially since the majority of the country is filled with ice, being in the Caribbean doesn’t sound too bad right now.
In case this may be your first time going outside the country, there are several things you should be aware of to keep yourself safe.
Never travel alone
This is stating the obvious and the reason is common sense: tourists can be noticed a mile away and many of the residents take advantage of that.
Do not allow yourself to be deceived by an attractive resident asking you for money, to buy things or do something you are uncomfortable doing.
Go with a group of friends you can trust and that you know will be dependable. Being in another country–because it’s foreign–is no joke.
Of course you can do research about the traditions within the country you are visiting, but there is only so much the internet can teach and tell you. The best knowledge is gained through hands-on experience so make sure to experience a new culture or place with people you know and trust.
Always let people know where you are
This goes for your family at home as well as the friends who you are travelling with. If you keep everyone informed, you can be positive that if you don’t arrive at a certain time or some kind of problem arises, people will know something is wrong and they will be searching for you.
And that’s what you want: a solid team who you KNOW will be concerned enough to call a search team, your parents, or the authorities.
Do your research
Like I said, there is only so much you can learn through the internet, but at least you will be ahead of the game, even if it’s a little.
You also do not want to go into a country that has a lot rules that you aren’t familiar with. For instance, in countries that have a large Muslim population, public display of affection or women showing their skin in public is not appropriate. They will interpret you as disrespectful, even if you are unaware.
So doing research will never hurt. It will actually make your stay a little easier; find a way to relate to the people and you will have a better time.
Always keep your list of contacts with you
Yes, it is 2011 so people rarely walk around with a phone book because keeping everything in our phone is a lot simpler, right?
But what happens if you set your phone down and someone steals it? Or if you forget it somewhere? The last thing you want to do is be stuck somewhere foreign without ANY phone or the numbers you need to call someone for help.
Expect the best, but PREPARE for the worst. Keep a list of contacts with you at all times.
Be safe during your trip and have a great time!