Traveling Abroad? Use These 6 Tips to Travel Safely

Embarking on a new country can be the adventure of a lifetime. Experiencing new cultures, seeing new terrain and trying new foods are just a few of the benefits of venturing out into uncharted land, but it’s important to stay safe as well. Here are six tips to keep you safe will traveling abroad.

1. Check the US Passports and International Travel Website for Information 

The United States government maintains a website that informs Americans citizens of current safety and security travel concerns. It details the locations of every U.S. embassy and consular office, as well as travel alerts, warnings, advisories, and things to be mindful of.

2. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a service that allows United States citizens and nationals to register their travels with the nearest embassy or consulate. Doing so will automatically enroll you to receive updates on safety information, and allow officials and your family to contact you in the case of an emergency or natural disaster. 

3. Share Travel Information with Friends and Family

Before leaving for your trip, inform your close social circle of your travel plans. While it is unwise to notify social media right away (where strangers and robbers may be lurking your statuses), your family and friends can help keep you safe. Send a quick text with your flight details, your room accomodations (address, room number, etc.) and let them know when you’ve arrived safely. Throughout your trip, check-in with your social circle with short messages or calls about your plans for the day. Although these updates may seem unnecessary, when you’re far away from home, they are the only way anyone can be sure you’re ok without assuming.   

4. Safety In Numbers

It’s always safer to travel in groups. Whether leaving the hotel to grab a bite to eat or checking out the sights, remember to grab a buddy (or two) and stick together for maximum safety. If you plan to venture into crowded areas, stick with your group closely and plan meeting spots in case someone gets separated. For extra safety, wear the same colors or an easily identifiable article of clothing to help you reconnect with your travel mates if you lose each other in a crowd.

5. Make Copies of Documents

Passports, travel arrangements, confirmation numbers, boarding passes, licenses, etc. are all vital documents that can make or break your trip. Instead of relying on digital or original versions of such items, make extra paper copies as backup. Place backup copies in various places to ensure that if your luggage is lost or stolen that all your documents won’t be gone as well.  

6. Don’t Be the Center of Attention

As a tourist, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. Avoid flashy jewelry, wear clothes that blend in and assimilate with the culture as respectfully as possible. Behave politely and avoid conflict when possible. When on foreign soil, it’s difficult to know every law (both written and implied). To protect yourself and make it home safely, it’s best to fly under the radar by being as invisible as possible while enjoying your trip. 

Traveling is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It can change the way we look at the world around us, the way we look at ourselves, and the way we look at others. But even as we set out on such important soul-changing journeys, we must keep safety first. Prepare with these six safety tips and you’ll be able to enjoy your travels without worry.  

Brad and Julie DuncanTraveling Abroad? Use These 6 Tips to Travel Safely
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Three Cool Adventures to Try During Winter Months

Feeling the chilly weather, experiencing early sunset, and craving for hot dishes – these are just a few signs that winter is coming. The cold breeze in the air can indeed tempt you to curl up in bed and stay home all day. On second thought though, winter is a wonderful season that only comes a year. It would surely feel like an awful waste to spend it holed up indoors. Despite the freezing temperature and thick snow to deal with, winter is no way short of fun activities to try. Winter even offers unique adventure ideas that you cannot experience during other seasons. The following are some suggestions:  

Try snowmobiling or snowshoeing.

Winter landscape is a sight to behold and one thing you can do to easily explore the gorgeous scenery around is snowmobiling. This activity may let you discover that staying outdoors is a better way to spend the winter as you can conveniently ride a sleek motor sled that is specifically designed for the snowy road. 

If you want to flaunt your skiing skills, you may have more fun while snowshoeing. Instead of a motor sled, special footwear will help you traverse the snow-filled ground. Since you will practically walk and cruise along the road, snowshoeing may prove to be a better way to exercise. You can check out hiking trails to make this activity more challenging. Snowmobiling and snowshoeing are worth a try as both are activities you can enjoy with the whole family. 

Book a winter getaway. 

For homebodies who want to spice up their weekend during the winter months, booking a stay in a cozy cabin is a lovely option. There are plenty of log cabins to choose from depending on the amenities your desire and your budget. To make it even more exciting and memorable, you can choose a location that you will be visiting for the first time. Staying in a beautiful cabin during the cold days may just give the total relaxation you are looking for in a vacation. 

Winter camping 

If you want a taste of what it is like to be living an intense cold, winter camping is the way to go. It would be a great experience to set up a tent on the snow where you will sleep, eat, and hang out. A warm bonfire in the middle of your camp sure sounds something for the books. This activity would need thorough planning and preparation. You can join groups that are trained to organize this kind of outdoor activity or organize a winter camping of your own. Winter camping is not for everyone so make sure you are ready for it before attempting to brave the harsh weather.

Reminder:
As with any adventure, it is advisable to observe safety measures to avoid any untoward incidents. It is wise to do necessary precautions before setting out for an adventure such as donning appropriate attire and bringing winter gear. Winter can get so extreme as well so do not forget to monitor the weather bulletin before heading outdoors. You may also want to keep a copy of hotline numbers you can contact in case of an emergency.

Adventures are not exclusive to sunny days and fair weather. In fact, people always longing for new experiences can see opportunities for adventure in everyday life and in every season. So for a happier and more memorable winter this year, start planning your winter adventures today

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Cool Adventures to Try During Winter Months
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