Rwanda & Zambia – Sarah Smith (2013)

Traveling abroad can be an extremely rewarding and even life changing experience, but you need to be prepared in order to have a safe and enjoyable trip. Some basic safety tips which are important when traveling abroad are to learn about the history and the culture of the place before you go. This will influence the way you dress and the way you conduct your behavior over there. You don’t want to offend anyone by wearing shorts in an area where legs are considered inappropriate to expose. You also don’t want to say anything insensitive that could offend anyone so be aware of their religious and cultural beliefs as well as their relevant history. Avoid walking anywhere alone if possible (especially at night) as you are a much easier target that way. Keep your purse close to you and zipped up at all times to avoid pick pocketers. Try to always be aware of your surroundings. Trust your instincts. If an area feels unsafe, it probably means you should avoid going there. If you get a bad vibe from someone you talk to – trust your gut – it’s usually right. You need to be able to tell the difference between someone who is genuinely trying to help you and someone who is trying to deceive you. This can be difficult, but again – trusting your gut is the best tool. Don’t get into unmarked taxis. They may be cheaper, but they are run by people who are not registered and could be criminals trying to kidnap foreigners. Always register with the US Embassy so they know where you are and read their up to date safety information. Keep in close contact with your friends and family back home so they are aware of your whereabouts. Get the recommended vaccinations from the CDC website. Bring cipro (an antibiotic) in case you get travelers diarrhea. Drink only bottled water or boil your water before you drink it. Speak with the local people and find out what they suggest in terms of local travel safety – they will be the best informed about this.

This entry was posted on January 20, 2015, in Africa. Bookmark the permalink.