July 19, 2014
It is a fact that most Backpackers will at some time travel solo, to help keep you safe we have asked others that have travelled the road before you to provide a shortened list of Does and Don’ts
Things you should always Do
Ensure that you have checked the latest travel warning advice for all of the countries or regions you plan to fly into, things change very quickly especially in third world countries so do keep abreast of what’s happening and where.
What to do if you come in contact with wild animals snakes or insects. (Bear in mind even domesticated dogs can revert to the pack instinct and can attack if they believe they are threatened) see more on those you can expect to find in Thailand
You should learn a few basic words of the local language, such as help, a courteous greeting, left and right, you will find all of these will come in handy and in the main welcomed by the very people you want to know more about. You should also get to know what are the common phrases or words used, this will allow you to recognise when someone is using abusive or offensive language and a good time to leave. An example is the word Farang, in Thailand it is used widely and some westerns believe it to be a slur, which it is not but used with other defamatory words or simply said with a sneer it can be less than friendly.
Keep a list of important telephone numbers and web addresses with you. Ensure you have your hostel and the country’s emergency services details.
Obtain a laminated copy (you can reduce the page by 50% of its normal size) of your passport (picture only page) and your driving license, do note it is a legal requirement in most of Asia to carry ID but it is a pain to lose them, carry the laminated copies instead of the originals.
- Contact details of family/friends in case of an emergency
- Your travel insurance details Provider name, tele No and policy No
- Return home flight details
- Copy Land page form (TM card) you completed on arrival
Secure your information
Back up of all your important information and research set up a folder on line and add copies of everything to the file including air tickets, passport, visa’s etc.
Things you should never Do
Keep everything to yourself
Tell someone you trust or someone in authority e.g. the hostel receptionist or manager, what your plans are for the day especially if those plans are based on you hiking into the wilderness or near known tourist black spots
Ignore the sun
We all know that we should use plenty of sun cream and block but you should also be aware of when the sun goes down, finding yourself miles from the hostel and in a poor lighted area just because you were not aware when the sun goes down brings with it all manner of problems. Buying a flash light once you land will prove to be a great investment.
Do not be taken in by over friendly people
You will meet lots of genuine people on your travels, but scammers use an over friendly approach to lure you into a false sense of security, so as they can take advantage of you or your possessions, always be aware of where your important items are, never carry more money or and credit cards that you need for that particular day and never leave valuables unattended.
Do not make yourself a target
Avoid using words that demonstrates you are alone, use words such as “We” and “Us” in conversations instead of “Me” and “I” this gives the impression to others that you are not alone.
If you are travelling with a smart phone be careful where and when you use it, if you are fore ever on it in public areas, you can make yourself a target for pickpockets, keep the wearing of jewellery to the minimum.
If you need to ask for directions, don’t make the mistake of making people aware you are lost, ask for directions in a different manner, “I was thinking of going here next, can you tell me the best way there?” or “I am interested in seeing this place, what’s the safest way to get there?” Try to come across as confident even if you are not.
‘Be vigilant not paranoid’
If you have your own suggestions we would love to hear from you
For more ideas on keeping yourself safe see our post what to do once you land