How to Travel Safe as a Backpacker?
Backpacking around the world can be a mode of independent and less expensive travel. It involves using a backpack which can be carried for longer distances and could be handled easily when travelling in public transport vehicles. Backpackers could also look for cheaper forms of lodgings like hostels or lodges. A backpacker has the options of including local movement or wilderness adventures as a traveler.
One of the first backpackers in the world was the famous Italian adventurer in the seventeenth century, Francesco Gemelli Careri. Today, it is common for people in their twenties or thirties or even retirees to backpack.
Essential Backpacker Safety Tips
Backpacking needs to be safe and there are several backpacker safety tips that could be given so that these types of travelers could have a satisfying adventure and return back to their homes safely when they have proper knowledge and when they take the necessary precautions. These essential backpacker safety tips will help any backpacker minimize the risks of anything happening to him or her.
Most backpackers plan on shorter backpacking adventures every year and a majority of them do not encounter any problems, at all. Every backpacker needs to keep such a perspective in mind before traveling. It is always safer to acquire some local knowledge before traveling and do some research and preparation before a trip. It is beneficial to do some research on the places that you are going to as a backpacker. It gives a good knowledge about the places and their culture.
There has to be a backup plan available for a backpacker before he or she travels. This involves pre-trip administration and it is worth the trouble. A travel insurance plan is essential as it will cover all events connected with the travel such as wing-suit diving, bungee jumping or scuba diving. A backpacker has to make sure that all travel insurance plans and vaccination booklets are in order and up to date before undertaking wild adventures or travel to distant places or countries.
A copy of all necessary travel documents like passports has to be kept so that it comes handy when any original document gets lost. The easy way to do nowadays is to scan them and send an email to self or preserve them on cloud drives. These copies could then be accessed anywhere and at anytime. It is wiser to scan copies of the passport and visa pages, the front and back of the credit and debit cards and all other important travel documents. One set of scanned copies could be kept in the backpack and another in the pant pocket.
Medication that is carried could be split between the bag, backpack and the pocket.
A backpacker has to be wary that he or she does not get drunk and loses his or her senses when moving out. It is safer to have control of your senses. It is not wise to walk down dark alleys in the dark, especially when being alone.
A backpacker needs to avoid lifts from strangers and always needs to be mindful of various scams when strangers approach him or her.
It is better to keep an eye on the backpack. It is easy to be distracted in an exciting place and leave bags, cameras or laptops unattended. The backpacker has to be aware of the surrounding and of his or her luggage. The backpacker has to develop situational awareness. He or she has to stay extra alert and be aware of the surroundings. It is wiser to remove the earphones when outside and lift the head up from the smart phone’s screen and pay attention to the surroundings.
When getting up from a table or leaving a room, it is better to always check back if you have left behind anything. It is better to keep the mobile phone in the front pocket instead of leaving it on a table; the back pack has to be either on the back or on the knees when sitting down.
If a backpacker is carrying expensive equipment like a laptop or camera or cash or jewellery items, he or she needs to make sure that it is not flaunted around for people to take notice.
The safest thing is to blend in among the crowd and not attract attention of others. It is also important not to dress inappropriately to attract unnecessary attention. It is better to wear clothing that is modest and comfortable as it allows the backpacker to blend in with many people around him or her. If a backpacker shows that he or she is a tourist and acts lost, then he or she will be the target of scam artists and touts.
Separate the source of money that is being carried. If money is kept for a week’s travel, then carry what you may need just for the day on your person so that you do not have to take out large bills of currencies when you want to buy knick-knacks. It is better to keep some money in the wallet while the rest could be placed in a money belt. An emergency credit card and some extra cash should always be stashed and hidden carefully in the main pack so that it does not hurt when the wallet is lost or stolen. It is not safe to carry all the money and credit cards at the same place. It may be a good idea to hire a hotel or hostel locker to keep valuables and some cash and credit cards there.
It is advisable to go for a pacsafe. It is a steel wire net that covers a backpack; it has a padlock and a chain that can help secure the backpack on to something. It prevents people from forcing the backpack open or snatching it away. A pacsafe is worth it even if it takes up space or if it is heavy or expensive.
In today’s economic environment that is highly uncertain, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from other backpackers who have travelled cheap round the world. Some of these backpackers know how to travel in terms of packing bags that are ultra light in weight to finding accommodation and food when they travel.