Travelers should know that the safety of the risks of a destination before they plan a trip, including where (and how) the local thieves can be aimed at unsuspecting tourists.
When it comes to travel, maybe some of us have encyclopedic knowledge of every country on earth — for example, the sights, possible problems, etc. — but most of us don’t.
In the interest of helping the people in that last group, heed these three simple warnings before you are on your way to an exotic destination.
#1. Don’t fail to consider threats for the health.
The U. S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a section for travelers; look for notices or alerts about such things as the Zika virus, or yellow fever outbreaks in the places you visit (both in the U.S. and abroad). The CDC offers a wealth of practical information for protecting yourself against a range of health problems — and what to do if you get sick while you are traveling.
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#2. Don’t have to think about the wrath of Mother Nature.
Unfortunately, bad weather can mess up flight schedules — blizzards and thunder and lightning right — it is a problem. Plus, there are plenty of other unusual natural events that crop with little or no warning, until we hear about them on the news, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions, and each can result in cancelled flights and closed airports. Before flying, double-check to make sure your airline has your contact information so that they can reach you at any alerts or updates. Better yet, follow your airline on Twitter, that may be the quickest method of communication, or to the airline’s website and search the posted travel warnings. Many airlines waive change fees ahead of time, that is your signal to change flights to another that suits your needs; you take no action, the airline will usually put you on the next flight, which may not be the one you want.
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#3. Don’t have to think about the potential for danger.
If you’re traveling abroad, check the travel section on the State Department’s website; it’s just a complete make-over, and it has all sorts of handy features such as a color-coded map with the world’s most dangerous countries (i.e. war zones). Or choose a country to learn more about specific issues, for example, in Yemen, “terrorist groups continue to plot and conduct attacks”, while in the United Kingdom, tourists are warned to “be vigilant, such as pick pocketing, mugging, and” snatch and grab ” theft of mobile phones, watches, and jewelry can prevent.” The road to Ireland, to be warned about distraction techniques at Atms in busy areas, where a local church can distract from a user after the PIN code has been entered, and “while the user is distracted, another person will quickly withdraw money and leave.” And yes, snatch and grab thefts and distraction attempts seen in the US. (More information about the safety during the visit of the US here.)
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Most of these threats are threats that you never have to worry about your chances of getting involved in a fender-bender on the way to the airport are probably about a zillion times higher than that in the yellow fever. Even still, it is nice to know that the information there is, so that if you have a problem, do you know how best to sort it out.
Rick Seaney is an airline travel expert and the co-founder of FareCompare.com an airline ticket comparison shopping website