The world is always changing and with those changes come new challenges of staying safe while travelling. As recently as 50 years ago, people still routinely picked up hitchhikers, stayed at random motels on the side of the highway and drove for days without really knowing where they were. The times have definitely changed and here are five tips to travel safely in 2018.
Use your map app
Smartphones burst onto the scene in 2007 and the world will never be the same. Today, for the first time in human history, we can pinpoint our exact location (within a few metres) almost anywhere on the planet. Free and accurate GPS mapping in the palm of our hand is nothing short of revolutionary, yet, in 2018, some people still use paper maps to navigate.
The number one way to travel safely in 2018 is to use your map app. You can input your exact destination and receive detailed instructions instantaneously. With a map app, you have no excuse to get lost or end up down a dark alley late at night. You can also take advantage of numerous other apps that make travel safer and easier.
Make reservations ahead of time
Likewise, make your hotel reservations ahead of time – preferably before you leave home. Doing so allows you to research your hotel and memorize its name or address before arriving at your vacation destination. Memorizing the hotel name allows you to easily find your way to your accommodations and stops you from falling victim to a “helpful” taxi driver whose friend owns a hotel.
Read the reviews
Not all hotels are made equally. Rather than picking the first hotel suggested by Google or Expedia, consult hotel review websites like TripAdvisor. Reading reviews are a great way to protect yourself from bad experiences or service. Today, many people will read product reviews before purchasing a new vacuum cleaner, so it only makes sense to do the same amount of research when spending much more on a vacation hotel.
Look at the caution section of WikiTravel/check advisories
Beware of common scams at your travel destination and check the Government of Canada’s travel advisories page. If you are travelling to Paris, for example, beware of pickpockets and people who try to distract you. Across the world, people will “give” you a bracelet, or a shoe shine, or a photo and then demand a large payment. Knowing these scams ahead of time lets you put up your defences before you find yourself in a tricky situation.
Buy travel insurance
Finally, buy travel insurance. Although travel insurance might seem like a frivolous expense, its cost pales in comparison to the cost of your vacation. What’s more, travel insurance is invaluable if you find yourself needing a hotel room because of a delayed flight or if you need to repurchase the entire contents of your suitcase because it went to Bora Bora and you went to Mexico.
Although you might have been a well-seasoned traveler in your youth, times are very different now and the travel rules have changed. Whether you plan to head abroad or are looking at a vacation destination a little closer to home, use these five tips to travel safely in 2018.