Home TIPS Tips: Travel light, travel smart, travel safe
Tips: Travel light, travel smart, travel safe PDF Print E-mail

Great Wall of China

Tourist destination: The Great Wall of China

If travel to Europe, the Orient or other parts of the world is in this season’s itinerary for you, some simple rules can help make your trip safe and more enjoyable. Here are a few suggestions from experienced senior travelers:

1. Don’t make yourself a clueless tourist. The obvious one makes big ceremonies of showing money and loudly ordering everyone to do his/her royal bidding. Carry just enough money for that day’s activities, and for convenience and courtesy, make it the money of the country you’re visiting.

2. Dress simply. Leave your jewelry, passport and important papers in the hotel safe. Forget the flashy vacation clothing that mark you as an easy mark for pickpockets. Avoid crowds and people who may come close to beg or offer services. Keep wallets in inside pockets, and purses strapped snugly under your armpit. Keep cameras on straps. If small ones, keep them in zippered pockets.

3. Credit and debit cards are very convenient, but be careful where you use them. Before going to a specific part of the world, check with your travel agency on any recent news of fraud involving tourists’ cards. Keep your receipts in case of any later dispute about charges. Keep cards in safe places in your wallet or purse.

4. Respect local laws and customs. You’re proud to be from your nation, but as a visitor, be aware of dress, speech and other constraints that may affect your impressions on the local people. If headgear or long dresses are required, you will be less conspicuous if you conform to local customs.

5. Practice the buddy system at all times. Always travel in a group, or at least with one companion by your side. You may walk unfamiliar streets alone during the day if they’re busy and police are nearby. Never do it at night, nor venture into dark areas. Always carry a well-charged cell phone with local emergency and other necessary numbers set for just one click to contact.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.