Safeguard your health

One thing many people overlook when preparing to travel is their own physical health. We worry about getting lost or robbed or scammed, but often fail to consider the dangers inside our own bodies. For instance traveling anywhere, but especially abroad, can tax your immune system. Your body may not be accustomed to regional bacterias the way the locals are. That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated before leaving the country.

If you take any medications, make sure you have enough to last you the entire length of your trip. Let your doctor know you’ll be away in case you lose your medications and need to have them send a prescription to a pharmacy near where you’re staying. If you have special health needs, contact a doctor or hospital near your vacation spot to see if they can accommodate you. Depending on where you’re going, you may want to print off and bring a physical copy of your medical records, just in case.

Protect your valuables

It’s sad but true; sometimes you can’t trust other people. For predators and scam artists, nothing says easy pickings like a tourist. There’s also the possibility you just might plain lose something at some point. For these reasons, any possessions that are important to you should be kept in a secure place at all times, either on your person or in a hotel-provided safe. If traveling overseas, it’s especially crucial to keep your passport and other important documentation with you at all times. Making copies is also recommended.

It’s not just physical items that should be considered valuable, though. The most important thing you own is your identity. Be wary about using public wi-fi, which can be hacked so that others can see your online activity and even steal your passwords. It’s a good idea to check your bank account and credit card activity regularly to watch out for any suspicious charges.

Don’t go off by yourself

Sometimes the best safety equipment is your own family and friends. Traveling in groups of two or more means that someone is always there to watch your back. If you’re in a smaller group that’s splintered off from a larger one, make sure that everyone has a phone on them, that everyone has each other’s numbers, and that everyone knows where everyone else is going.

If you’re engaged in activities that will unavoidably split your group up now and then, that last detail is extra important. If you’re an extreme sports thrill-seeker looking to cut some powder on a primo piece of Whistler real estate, for example, it’s hard not to lose track of your friends while racing down the mountain. In that situation, you’d want to inform your companions about what ski resort you’re visiting, what slopes you’ll be on, and what you’re wearing. Keeping your phone charged and having its GPS active in case of an accident is also a good idea.

Zoe Kickhefer
zoe@everydaylifes.com