Being a student, you have the freedom and adventurous spirit to go out and travel the world – but it’s still important to be safe while doing so. Because students tend to go to less mainstream destinations, and stay in slightly rougher or more communal digs, it’s important to take extra care while travelling. What’s more, young people either on their own or in small groups are a target for thieves and scammers the world over. You can still have a fantastic time, you just need to make sure you keep your wits about you and take the right precautions.
- Have a working cell phone. Most countries will allow you to simply pick up a SIM card, pop it into your phone and have access to a working number and internet data. It may be an extra cost, but it’s the single most important thing you can do for your safety while travelling. If you get lost, robbed from or harrassed, you have a direct line of contact for help. Learn the emergency numbers of any country you’re travelling in.
- Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. It’s essential that you have someone who can raise the alarm as soon as possible if it seems you’ve gone missing. Especially when hiking or tramping, but also even just when wandering around a city – it’s possible to lose your way and run out of money needed to get back. Keeping people informed of your plans is essential.
- Have extra money on hand. One of the worst situations is running out of cash and becoming stranded, especially if you have a flight to catch. Always keep a backup credit card somewhere, preferably in your luggage so you don’t take it out with you and lose it (but keep your luggage secure!)
- Use theft-proof bags. There are anti-theft pouches that strap across your body, where you can keep important documents such as passports and credit cards – these are good for countries where pick pocketing is common. Aside from that, use bags which have zipper closes, and keep your essential items in another inside zipped pocket.
- If in doubt, be cautious. You always hear of people’s amazing travel stories where kind locals welcomed them or gave them a lift. These are wonderful, but not every case turns out so perfectly. If you have any doubts at all about a situation, get out as fast as possible.
When travelling as a student, always be sure to take extra precaution to ensure your adventure doesn’t end in disaster.