Travel Tips

A Traveler’s Guide to Food and Drink Safety

I’ve only had food illness a few times in the past 10 years, after traveling to over 50 countries and consuming a wide variety of foods.

When you travel, don’t be afraid of the food! The experience of trying new meals from around the world is often one of the highlights of a travel itinerary for many individuals.

According to my foodie friend Jodi, here are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • Eat at well-known restaurants with big waits.
  • Try to keep an eye on the preparation of your food.
  • Pack translation cards so that you can communicate your food allergies in other languages.
  • It is always best to eat food that has been cooked thoroughly.

Avoid bacteria by only eating fruit that can be peeled.

In addition, I strongly advise you to purchase a water bottle with a water filter. It’s common to find safe drinking water in many urban cities around the world, but not everywhere.

Plastic trash is a major environmental issue, so you may keep buying bottled water wherever you go. Why not buy a single, long-lasting filtration bottle?

It’s a win-win situation because it saves money and the environment.

Use ATMs Cautionally

When using an ATM, you may have been instructed to put your palm over the keypad to protect your PIN number. If you’re concerned about others peeking over your shoulder or secret cameras recording your pin, this is a useful piece of caution to keep in mind.

The ATM machine should be examined before usage. Use your finger to gently press on the card reader’s button to activate it. Is there any evidence that it’s been tampered with? If this is the case, visit the bank and ask for a member of the staff to verify it (and then use another machine, regardless of what happens).

Try running a finger down the card slot of an ATM machine that looks to have devoured your card to see if there is anything protruding. It’s called the “Lebanese Loop,” and it’s basically a scam where the burglar snatches your credit card out of your wallet while you walk away from the machine.

Consider where other people are when you’re using a machine. Is there a way for someone to peek over your back? Is it possible for them to seize the money and flee?

If that’s the case, look for a different ATM. Being on the safe side is always preferable to being sorry. As far as transactions go, don’t let anyone else “assist.”

Stop Putting Your Pocket Money in Your Back Pocket

When it comes to dealing with the perils of having a back pocket, it’s essential to avoid using it at all costs.

And if you can’t stop placing money in your jeans’ back pockets, stitch them shut with a needle and thread!

It’s much more difficult to steal from your front pockets while you’re not looking.

A money belt is a good idea if you’re particularly concerned about pickpockets or intend to visit a city where they’re commonplace. I’m not a big fan, but I know people that do.

Traveling in Groups

Your belongings are more likely to be stolen if there are a lot of people near you.

In addition to having a more frightening physical presence, a group serves as a deterrent to all kinds of predators. You’ll be more secure than if you try to figure things out on your own in a foreign nation.

It’s always a good idea to go exploring with a group if you’re traveling alone.

Staying in a backpacker hostel is a great opportunity to meet new people. There are likely to be other lone travelers there who share your interests.

However, I’d like to stress the need of being cautious when it comes to trusting new people. Travelers in search of companionship on the backcountry trek are sometimes preyed upon by con artists.

Don’t leave your valuables in the hands of someone you’ve only just met. Even if they appear to be friendly.

Prepare a First-Aid Kit

Regardless of how attentive you are while traveling, accidents might still occur. As a result, it’s always a good idea to pack a basic first aid kit while traveling.

While you don’t have to go all out and carry your own needles and scalpels, it’s a good idea to keep some basic first aid supplies on hand in case you or anybody else in your group is hurt.

I prefer a simple first aid pack for outdoor adventures that is waterproof and has a couple of my own additions:

  • Sunscreen in a little tube
  • Salts for re-hydration
  • Tablets of antihistamine
  • Scissors, little pair
  • Additional narcotic painkillers (Ibuprofen)
  • Blankets for emergencies in space
  • Petroleum jelly in a little tube (helps prevent blisters)

Always Go With Your Gut Feelings!

It’s easy to miss this one, but it’s critical.

You are a surveillance system on the move. Your body takes in far more information than your mind can ever comprehend. The ability to detect danger is what we’ll term your “spidey sense.”

Your body may be able to tell you something is wrong before your brain does.

As a result, it’s important to pay attention to your gut feelings! If you’re worried about something but don’t know why, don’t dismiss your feelings as illogical. Stop what you’re doing and take a closer look at the situation. Is there anything you can do to help?

Self-doubt is an easy way out of any situation. Never think of them in that way. Humans have relied on their instincts and gut feelings for millennia.

Women’s Travel Security compared Men’s

It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman when it comes to traveling safely. Gender should not be a factor in one’s capacity to travel safely, in my opinion.

Even in the United States and Canada, women are frequently assaulted and raped. Taking a trip does not always increase the risk, but rather shifts it to a new area.

To avoid being harassed or abused, women may prefer to go out in groups to a nearby nightclub or street fair. This is especially true if the condition is widespread.

A safety whistle and a door stop alert are common travel companions for women who are traveling alone.

Men, on the other hand, have to be aware of their own egos, which might put them at risk. Like being provoked into a violent altercation that isn’t necessary. The other option is being conned by an attractive woman.

In order to travel safely, you need to be aware of your surroundings, be ready for anything, and limit your exposure to potentially dangerous situations while visiting a foreign place.

A Few Thoughts on the Subject of Risk:

You can’t escape risk if you want to go on a trip. No matter where you go in life, you will never be completely protected from danger. Adventure necessitates taking risks.

This indicates that if you travel, you’re going to get conned at some point or find yourself in a difficult situation. We’ve all been there.

You can’t escape risk, but you can manage it so that you can keep yourself safe.

How do most people learn about events taking place in other countries? Usually, it’s in the media. Even while politicians would like you to believe that the media is objective, it isn’t.

Unusual occurrences are covered by the media (most often negative ones). Because they occur so infrequently, certain events garner media attention. That’s what the term “newsworthy” means.

When it comes to world events, 99.9% of news reports would say something like, “Today in Namib-istan there was nothing scary to report and everyone had another great day.”

The news media exaggerates the level of danger that other countries face. According to data collected by economist Max Roser and psychologist Steven Pinker, the world appears to be increasing safer every decade.

The implication here is not that horrible things don’t come about. For the most part, it says this is an inaccurate depiction of reality.

The hype is exaggerated. Traveling is more secure than it’s ever been. So get out there and enjoy your trip with the confidence you gained from your newfound information.

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