For the most part, travel safety is pretty similar for everyone: do your research, watch your stuff, be careful who you trust. However, the Millennial generation has some unique travel concerns to think about. Here are some tips to make sure you return from your next vacation with yourself, and all your stuff, in tact.
Invest in Travel Insurance
When you’re young, healthy, and on top of the world, it’s hard to imagine anything truly bad happening to you. Unfortunately, travel has a way of destroying assumptions, and if the worst does happen, you’ll want to be well prepared. Before you leave, make sure you have travel medical insurance, so that you won’t be stuck with a huge bill if you come down with terrible food poisoning or break your leg surfing. Also, make sure to insure your most valuable possessions against theft.
Be Careful About What You Put Online
Part of the fun of traveling is bragging about your trip on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Think twice about what information you post publicly, particularly if it gives away your exact location or the fact that you’re alone. There have been cases in the past of people robbing homes when they knew the owners were away (thanks to social media) or harassing women traveling alone. Share your photos, but keep your personal info private.
Protect Your Data
Many people don’t consider the risk that travel puts not just on your physical belongings, but on your important Internet data. Public Wi-Fi networks are susceptible to hackers and keyboard skimmers who can steal your personal passwords and banking information easily. If possible, avoid visiting sensitive sites while on public networks, and if you must, use a VPN to keep your information encrypted.
Watch Your Phone
One of the most common and easily preventable crimes across the world is phone snatching. Most people have their smartphones in their hands constantly, and it’s ridiculously easy for an athletic thief to grab your phone out of your grip and take off. This is particularly an issue in big cities and on public transportation (where the snatch and dash is sometimes whimsically called “apple-picking”).
To keep your phone safe, only take it out when necessary and don’t flash your device around unnecessarily. Keep your phone secure in an inner pocket or sealed purse and don’t leave it lying on the table while you eat.
Stay Alert in Social Situations
Meeting people and enjoying good nightlife is a highlight of many trips, but is also a time when you’re susceptible to bad people with bad intentions. Drunk tourists are an easy target for would-be thieves or worse. You shouldn’t approach all social situations with suspicion, but it’s important to be aware and careful.
If possible, always go out on the town with a buddy, and keep tabs on each other. Don’t accept drinks from strangers and always keep an eye on your own beverage to prevent being drugged. Also, have a solid plan for getting home at the end of the night.