For many travelers, the continent of Europe is at the top of the most desired destinations in the world. With its rich history and cultures as vibrant and diverse, Europe offers a lifetime and a half of adventurous experiences.
However, as with traveling anywhere else in this great wide world, one priority should directly influence each decision you make while traveling: safety. A certain amount of risk is always involved with travel, and Europe is no exception.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to ensure your dream. Finally, a European trip as safe as you can hope for.
Below are the top ten travel safety tips.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
You may be used to the rhythm of where you hail from, but entering Europe is entering a world of its own. So even the most seasoned travelers are sure to keep a sharp awareness of their surroundings wherever they go.
Please pay attention to the traffic flow where you are, whether it’s feet or wheels. Keep your head up and watch where you are going. Be just as mindful of the oncoming car as you try to cross that Medieval cobblestone street.
Use Common Sense
The best way to sum up the art of common sense is this: the best way to avoid trouble is to avoid putting yourself into situations that invite trouble.
Travel with a group or in pairs as often as possible, especially at night. If you are traveling alone, travel in daylight and among crowds as much as possible. Try not to get drunk or do drugs in dangerous places. Never follow anyone to an unsecured location – follow the link to learn more.
Don’t Attract Unnecessary Attention
In short, always be polite and try not to draw too much attention to yourself. Europeans, overall, talk rather softly, so work on lowering your voice, if you naturally talk at a loud volume.
Not only does talking too loud make you stand out to potential pickpockets, but it also disturbs everyone around you.
Never Take Your Eye Off Your Belongings
This is crucial. Pickpockets are everywhere in Europe, and they are good at what they do. All it takes is for you to be distracted for one second, and they can nick your wallet. Therefore, always have an eye on your valuables.
Be Wary of Scams
The article has already brought up pickpockets a few times but know this: not all pickpockets are silent thieves who steal your belongings from under your nose. Sometimes they steal your stuff while smiling right in your face.
It is common for pickpockets to set up somewhat elaborate scams to distract you while they take your money. It’s kind of like street magic, except instead of you tipping them for the magic trick, them stealing from you is the magic trick!
Keep an eye out for strangers who seem a little too interested in your existence. Don’t go following people to isolated locations.
Learn the Local Languages
Europe has so many different languages and dialects and dialects for their dialects it can make your head spin. However, it is worth it to do a little pre-travel homework and learn the basics of whatever language(s) will be most common for your destination.
Learning simple but essential phrases such as greetings, requests, asking for directions, ordering food, and other similar means of communication can make your travel experience much smoother.
Not only that, but the locals tend to be thrilled when someone who is a visitor has bothered to learn even the basics of their home language. It’s a respect for the culture present and an excellent method to ward off getting lost in Europe and not knowing how to tell anyone. An app such as Duolingo can help you start learning any language.
Different countries have different current issues brewing within their boundaries. It only behooves you to do your research ahead of time to know what you are getting yourself into.
Be aware of the local geography of the population. Where are the safe areas and the and dangerous areas? What is public transportation like? Is it 24/7, or does it have a cut-off time? How do you contact local law enforcement should the need arise?
These are all questions to ask and answer, and many others like these.
Get Your Finances Ready
You do not want to be stressing about having the proper currency or your credit card freezing overseas. You can easily avoid these bad situations through careful planning.
Let your bank know that you will be traveling so they are aware and can know that it is indeed you who is buying pizza in Rome. Only exchange your currency for the local currency at banks or airports.
Get all of that squared away to where you don’t have to think about it after. Read this article to learn more.
Photo by Chait Goli