Travelling is a great adventure. Not only will you have a great time exploring Asia, you’ll learn a lot about the world and yourself. It’s an exciting time. But it also exposes you to new risks. You’re travelling to a destination relatively unknown to you, where the rules might be different and opportunistic criminals look to take advantage. To make sure you stay safe when travelling in Asia, pay close attention to these safety tips:
1. Know about the common scams
In Bangkok, for example, it’s common for Tuk Tuk drivers to offer you a tour around the city for what seems like a reasonable price. But once you’ve climbed aboard, most of your stops will be in local stores where you’ll feel pressured into buying some knock-off item for a lot of money – some of which will go straight into the pockets of your driver, as commission for bringing you there.
2. Get your vaccinations
You also need to look after your health when you’re abroad. It’s likely you’ll need to get some vaccinations at least six to eight weeks before travelling to Asia. Book them in with your doctor early so you’ve got one less thing to worry about.
3. Be careful with your belongings
Petty theft is one of the most common crimes experienced by tourists. Always keep your belongings on you and be vigilant. As this Thailand guide explains, opportunistic thieves are becoming increasingly bold and this isn’t just in Thailand. Across Asia, there has been an increase of drive-by bag snatching by thieves on motorcycles. When walking near the roadside, always have your bag or purse facing away from the road otherwise they’ll swipe it from you and drive off into the distance.
4. Don’t take anything you’re not willing to lose
Sometimes, there is little you can do to stop someone taking your bag if they’re determined to steal from you. To avoid unwanted stress, leave your valuables at home when you’re travelling and only take things with you that you can afford to lose. Make use of secure safes in your hotel, and leave essential items – like money and your passport – there.
5. Don’t leave your drinks unattended
When you’re travelling in Asia, it’s likely you’ll attend a few beach parties. You’ll have heard about the notorious buckets of alcohol and dangerous party activities such as jumping over a rope that’s on fire with a bunch of other drunk idiots. Of course, you want to have a good time. But keep your wits about you. First and foremost, this means never leave your drink unattended and never accept drinks from strangers.
6. Let your loved ones know when they should expect to hear from you
The last thing you want is to cause unnecessary panic at home. It’s important to set communication expectations before you set off. Find out where you’ll have Wi-Fi and let them know you’ll contact them. Otherwise, you could miss a call or text due to the time differences. Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, iMessage and Facetime, as well as Facebook and Skype are all suggested apps for keeping in touch. (Read: 10 Travel Tips for a Cheap Getaway in Southeast Asia)
Have you travelled to Asia? Share your safety suggestions with us.
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