Sometimes its is truly hard to believe other people in other countries want to hurt us. And yes, we often time do not want to believe that, but there are bad people everywhere. No where is perfect. When you travel, you cannot go with your head in the clouds. Sure you want to let your hair down and have fun, but you have to also be aware.
Your country’s Government – I know most people have this thing where they don’t want “the government to know where they are” so they do not advise their government of their location outside of the country. Sure they know what country you’re in because you have to swipe your passport and they ask you all these seemingly invasive questions when you’re leaving the country and returning so they DO know where you are. The thing is you should go to your government website and let them know you are leaving the country, where you’re going and when you’ll be coming back. (this applies to Canadians that I know of) Why do this? Well, if for example a civil war breaks out in the city where you’re visiting the Canadian Government need to know where you are so they can send some charming men in uniform to rescue you and bring you home safely. Now this is an out there example and rarely ever happens but you never know.
**Make sure your family or a trustworthy friend knows where you’re going, who you’re going with and when you’ll be back.***
Photocopy your passport and ticket: This may not seem like a big deal, but before you go, photocopy your passport and ticket and leave the copies with someone you trust (your mother, best friend, husband etc). This is because if you lose these items you can send home for them to send the copies.
Emergency Number – Not every country uses 9-1-1. Learn the code for the country and city you’re visiting.
Extra Passport size Pictures – These are not expensive. And once you have these and proof you’re a Canadian citizen you can report to the Canadian embassy in the country you’ve lost your passport in, show them proof and hand them the pictures for the issuance of a new passport. See how easy that was?
Next of Kin – I know, this is a bit morbid but have a list of numbers for family and friends from back home. Have your doctor written down on this list and carry it always on your person. This is another place you should have the Canadian Embassy’s address, phone number and email written down. This is a just in case you need it kind of deal.
Money – Do not go flashing wads of cash around. Keep your money tucked in a safe place. If possible, single money out and put them in different areas so when you need to take money out, simply reach into that area and take out a specific amount rather than all of it at once. Carry small bills if you have to. Sometimes its easier to use the smaller bills anyways because then you don’t have to worry about change.
Bring Extra money – I know. Money is tight everywhere but always ensure you have at least $100 extra, tucked away for a “just in case” scenario. If you don’t need it, don’t use it.
Partying – This is one of the main reason we travel. If you went to Vegas and not go clubbing it’s like going to Cuba and not go to the beach. It just isn’t done. Vegas is party central! But there are draw backs. When you go partying always go with someone else. Do not wander off.
Drinks and Drugs – Do not partake or hold or carry anyone’s drugs. It is illegal. If you get caught you will be tossed into prison. But for drinks, if you buy one carry it everywhere with you. Do not leave it on some random table to go dance then come back and drink it. We don’t want you getting drugged.
Strangers – Ever since we were children our parents always told us not to talk strangers. Often I joke with my adult friends to not talk to strangers unless they have candy but take this seriously. I know you want to be outgoing and you should. And interacting is a main reason you travel, but be careful who you associate with.
Travelling: Don’t do it by yourself – especially if you’re going out of the country. Some countries you can travel alone but don’t make a habit out of it. Ensure at least one other person is with you. Like they say, safer in numbers.
Vaccines: I know. No one hates needles more than I do. But when you travel you have to be safe healthwise as well. I had the typical shots, tet A and B, Rabies, and one other one I can’t remember right this moment but ensure you are fully immunized. If you aren’t there are medical centres specifically geared toward giving you your shots for travelling. Just google “Travel Medical Centre” for your area and bam!
Safe Sex: Because you’re not at home doesn’t mean the condoms go out the window. While I do NOT recommend relations with someone in a foreign country since you’re not going to live there, you’re just on vacation, if you feel the need or the urge please be safe. The airport security will not stop you if you have condoms on you, so toss a few into your carry on and if you are going to have sex, use them.
Canadian Embassy: No matter what country you’re going to, find out where the Canadian embassy is. Get a little notebook and write down the address, phone number, email address and if possible a contact person in the embassy. We’re planning for worse case scenarios but its better to be prepared.