Photo from Cagnan at Pexels.
I love to travel. I've traveled all over the world, and in my opinion, the world would be a much better place if people would get out more and experience different cultures.
I wanted to put together some random travel tips for you...
Pick-Pocket Proof Pants.
When you travel, you want to enjoy yourself. You want to get lost in the moment and focus on the sights, the people and the food. You don't want to have to constantly think about keeping an eye on your valuables, and you certainly don't want to end up with a stolen wallet or passport. If this happens, your trip is ruined. I love my Pick-Pocket-Proof Pants. If you use them right, you will be able to not worry (as much) about your valuables. I consider these to be a must! (Use this link for $15 off.)
A VPN is a MUST!
When you travel, don't even think of getting online without using a VPN, which stands for a "Virtual Private Network". I've talked about VPNs a number of times in the past, but they are especially important when you travel. A VPN is software that you load on your computer or phone that encrypts your online activity. Don't do anything unless you know that your VPN is active and it's working, but even with your VPN, I would be very careful about doing anything sensitive, such as online banking. This is the VPN that I use and recommend (click here).
I keep my credit cards and passports in Silent-Pocket wallets because these wallets protect thieves from stealing your data by scanning them, which they can do from a distance. All they have to do is walk by you with a scanner, and BAM, they stole your info. UNLESS your wallet is shielded. Silent Pocket produces high quality RFID shielded wallets and handbags. Go to Silent Pocket's site here to learn more. (use coupon code "socratesgold" to receive a discount).
Bring Toilet Paper.
Believe me, you will thank me for this suggestion. Anytime I travel to Latin America or Asia I always carry a travel-pack of Kleenex and some anti-bacterial gel.
Don't Drink the Water.
Don't drink the water if you are traveling to a developing country, or anywhere in Asia, Africa or South America. Drink bottled water, and preferably an imported bottled water from Europe. Make sure the cap is the right kind of cap and that it is properly sealed. When in doubt, choose sparkling water because the carbon dioxide makes for an inhospitable environment for bacteria, plus it's harder to fake. When in real doubt, drink bottled beer. Also, as an extension of this, be careful with salads and drinks with ice.
Don't Tell Social Media That You Are Traveling!
I never post on Facebook or other social media while I am traveling, because why tell people that I'm not home right now. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Instead, if I'm going to post pictures about my trip, I wait until I get back from the trip and then talk about the trip in the past tense.
Don't Go To Prison.
In a way, Americans are often quite ignorant when they travel. I remember being in Mexico on Spring Break when I was in college. I got lost, and then saw a couple policemen. So I went up to them to ask directions, because that's what I would do in the USA. They looked at me menacingly, and then I realized that regular Mexicans had been giving the police officers wide berth. At that moment I realized that I wasn't in America anymore and my assumptions about the police being servants of the people may have been off the mark. Then I watched the show "Locked Up Abroad" a few times, and that show will make you wary of ever stepping foot outside of the USA. I saw an interview of an American lady who was thrown in jail in Mexico. She didn't know why. No one ever told her. She had been in jail for 6 months and never had a hearing. She didn't know when she'd be released and the US Embassy was powerless to help her. In the USA, we take our rights for granted.
Don't Necessarily Wait for the Ambulance.
When I lived in Malaysia, I learned a very sad truth. While the city looked like a modern city, even more modern in some ways than the USA, what really matters is the unseen infrastructure, such as having a reliable ambulance service. At the apartment complex we were staying at, there were about 30 people at the pool one day. Someone looked over at one point and a girl, about seven years old way floating face down in the pool. Someone jumped in and pulled her out, and then she was given mouth to mouth. She survived, but never regained consciousness. Someone called the ambulance immediately, but after waiting half an hour for the ambulance, the parents took the girl to the hospital in their car. I don't think the ambulance ever came. I'm not sure what happened to the girl, but I believe that the delay of emergency care would certainly have hurt her permanently.
Upgrade the Security Settings on your Phone.
This is a great graphic from Consumer Reports that shows you the basics that you need to do...
What tips do you have? Please tell us in the comments. Also, if you know someone who is about to travel, share this article with them.
Questions? Ask in the comments.