Traveling is not always sunshine and rainbows. Behind the Instagram-worthy photos are a lot of bloopers, accidents and bad experiences. The reality is that there are always unforseen events, accidents and possibility of danger looming in the horizon especially when you’re traveling all by your lonesome. If you’re flying blind, you’ll end up missing out on an awesome trip and end up in a vacation from hell. It’s always best to be prepared so I’ve decided to compile my own list that will help fellow female travelers like me.
This list is a collab with my talented student slash copywriting intern Lisha Quinicot who helped me out with some of the stuff on the list.
Read up. Ask for advice. Don’t go to a foreign country without knowing where to go or what to do. Save time and money by creating an itinerary. Find out the climate and weather conditions, safety advisories during your travel dates. There are a million useful blogs out there from fellow travellers. Check them out.
2. Make a Checklist
This isn’t a hardship for me because I’m a compulsive list maker. Fact: I make lists of lists. But seriously, it helps you pack light (lugging around bulky bags makes you prey for scammers and pickpockets). Cut down on baggage fees and enjoy the sweet mobility of traveling without the enormous luggage. You can figure out exactly which items of clothing or how many pairs of underwear you need to bring with enough space to spare for souvenirs.
3. Bring a First-Aid Kit
Not all medicines are the same everywhere. Plus, it’s also more expensive in foreign countries. So bring your standard vitamins, allergy meds (I always have no-drowse Anti-Histamine and a Nasal Spray in mine), painkillers, paracetamol, cold and cough medicine, diarrhoea medicine, indigestion and hyperacidity medicine, band-aids, anti-itch ointments etc. Don’t forget the tampons. Sure you can get those in any drugstore, grocery or convenience store but they may not be the brand or variety you are used to. You know yourself and your illnesses best so pack what you need.
4. Make Copies of Travel Documents
Always keep physical and digital (both phone and online) copies of your travel documents in case of emergency, loss, damage, or theft. These travel documents include your passport, visa, credit cards, driver’s license, airline tickets, medical information, hotel confirmation, and travel itinerary. Pack along and stash the copies separately from the originals. Leave a copy with a reliable friend or relative before leaving on a trip.
5. Do as the Locals Do.
Try not to stick out like a sore thumb. Be Simple. Blend In. Ditch the flashy designer bag and jewellery. Keep a low profile and avoid looking like the stereotypical tourist to minimize the risk of being targeted by pickpockets and muggers.
Those are the basic advice, the most important one is use your common sense. Don’t go looking for trouble. I mentioned this in a previous post but I’m gonna repeat them anyway:
- Don’t go wandering down dark alleys at night.
- Stay away from creepy and dubious-looking guys.
- Don’t accept anything from strangers.
- Don’t do anything stupid.
- Don’t look lost, unsure and out of place.
- Don’t wave your money around.
- Don’t store all your cash and valuables all in one place. Don’t flash them around either.
Con artists and criminals prey on innocent tourists who are oh so easy to fool. Be smart. Look tough. Be observant. If you think someone is following you or trying to rob you, scream your lungs out. Have you seen the movie Taken? We can’t all have Liam Neeson as our dads.
For those who live alone without a home security system, and have no one to care for their house while away on vacation, our friends from SimpliSafe made these super useful pre-travel checklists that you can print out. Click here to download the printable version of Worry-Free_Travel_Checklist