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Safe Traveling

Traveling both in the US and internationally presents some increased safety issues for vacationers to be aware of. The main cause for concern is that travelers aren't familiar with the city or town they're visiting and don't know which unsafe areas to avoid. Travelers can also fall prey to those looking to steal money and personal items. When you look like a traveler it's assumed you may have more cash on you than others and thieves are more likely to pinpoint a tourist than a local.

Appearance
When traveling, keep your appearance on the down-low. Avoid the camera around the neck, big, shiny jewelry, a map in hand and an overall a-typical travelers appearance. Avoid wearing flashy clothes that will have people looking your way. Don't keep large wads of money in your pocket that you pull out at each stop. This can quickly draw the attention of a would be thief. Cameras are much smaller today and can easily be kept in a pocket or purse. Maps can also be maintained on a smart phone or stored in a pocket. Many people use money belts to store cash in while moving about an unfamiliar city.

Medical Needs
Should the inevitable occur it's important to think about your medical safety. Medical standards vary greatly from those in the US and can mean life or death for many. Be sure and confirm that your existing medical insurance will properly cover your needs in a foreign country or purchase additional insurance for the trip. Many country's hospitals refuse to treat a patient if, even if they are seriously sick or injured, if they don't have proper medical insurance.

Emergency Evacuation
Depending on where you're traveling and your health history you might consider getting emergency evacuation insurance. This insurance covers the cost of retrieving you from one country to send you to the next closest country, with modern medical equipment and training, should you be seriously injured or sick.

Money
Many travelers find that credit cards are a safe way to pay for many expenses while traveling. However, keep in mind that most but not all credit cards can be used out of the country. Call ahead to make sure you can use your credit card, wherever your travels take you, without being declined. Having some local currency is also smart should you want to take a taxi or buy something from a street vendor - just be sure not to flash a large stash of money while exploring a new city. Travelers checks have lost some of their glitz and glamour but are still a viable method for transporting cash overseas. Be sure and calculate your anticipated expenses, prior to leaving, and add 20% - 25% for safe measure.

Research
Familiarize yourself with any local customs to avoid a potential nightmare. Many websites exist that allow you to quickly identify what you should and should not say or do in a specific country and what areas to avoid.

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Passports In The News

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