Dreaming of taking a gap year but are worried about how safe it is? Think travelling the world is dangerous? Is fear of what may happen stopping you from following your travel dreams? Then this section is for you. This section has everything you need to now about putting risk in perspective, the risk of crime and scams when you travel and what you need to know about personal safety and local laws so you can reduce your own risk and travel with confidence.
If you listened to the naysayers who have never travelled or the mass media’s constant scaremongering reports of piracy, kidnappings, rape, murder, terrorist attacks and other terrible things happening around the world, it is hardly surprising that a lot of people can be afraid of travel. This is why one of the most common questions I get on this site is about personal safety.
I’m sure many of you reading this have the same concerns, and you are not alone. Many first time backpackers are genuinely scared about their personal safety and security before they go backpacking, and it even stops some from going travelling altogether!
The truth is travelling the world is overwhelmingly safe. Risk does exist and it is important to take steps to reduce that possible danger, but it is just as important to keep that risk in the proper perspective.
After 20 plus years of travelling the world, inclusing to some of the worlds supposedly dangerous hotspots, I am speaking from personal experience when I say backpacking can be very safe with basic common sense and reasonable practical precautions.
Travel safety is all about how you minimise your chances of becoming a victim. And that goes for both genders equally. So don’t let the potential risks of travel spill over into extreme paranoia or fear, and certainly don’t allow that to stop you from travelling! Be prepared, but don’t be scared.
Tips And Advice.
The trick to staying safe when travelling is taking practical steps to reduce risk as much as possible and the knowledge and experience to avoid and deescalate situations if they do occur. That, and keeping risk in perspective.
The absolute majority of people travel very safely and without incident, and the statistics for becoming the victim of crime when travelling are actually extremely low. There are risks out there in the world of course, just as there are risks in your home town, your own country and in every aspect of life, but with the right knowledge, the right training and the right precautions, you can minimise that risk to acceptable levels and travel the world safely and securely.
Use the advice and tips in the following pages to give you the knowledge and the confidence to help keep yourself safe, and then get out there and enjoy your travels!
Before You Go.
Risk management starts before you even get on the plane, and being aware of what risk is out there, what dangers to avoid or mitigate and what the official safety advice is for each destination is a big part of keeping yourself safe.
Basic Risk Management.
The principles of managing risk are all about identifying what potential risk is out there and modifying your behaviour or honing your skills so that you can avoid potentially risky situatuions, or mitigate or deescalate them if things do go wrong. Basic, common sense precautions can easily be incorporated into your behavior so that they become second nature, and when that happens you will make your travels much safer.
Safety Tips On The Road.
Keeping yourself safe often involves spotting potential risks before they even become a danger to you, and being aware of and ready for all the scams and troubles out there on the road means that they are much less likely to become a risk to you.
Safety Tips For Solo Travellers.
Solo travel is generally as safe as it is travelling with others, but not having that safety net of others watching your back does bring up unique factors that you should prepare for. When you do, there is no reason at all that you can’t travel around the world solo and perfectly safely.
Gender Specific Safety Advice.
Travel is overwhelmingly safe, for both genders. That is a fact. The experience of travelling as a man and as a woman is often different and that does involve some gender specific tips and tricks to reducing travel fear and managing risk which is what this section covers, but on the whole gender alone is not a risk factor in and of itself and the process and principles of reducing potential risk is exactly the same.
Theft And Personal Protection.
Theft of personal property is probably one of the biggest risks on your gap year, especially of your essential technology and valuables. The good news is that the biggest thing you have to risk is some money, which you can claim back off your insurance, and some inconvenience, and the better news is most of these thefts are opportunistic and there are a whole host of steps you can take to reduce potential risk and keep your stuff safe.
Travel And Terrorism.
Unfortunately terrorism is a worldwide threat and can happen anywhere at any time. Although the risk is extremely low in general terms and the risk as a traveller of becoming a victim even lower, there are a number of things you can do to stay alert, keep yourself safe and make sure you stay safe if the worst does happen. The biggest threat from terrorism is allowing it to win, allowing it to instil that fear in you and letting it stop you from travelling. The key is not to let that happen.
Get The Books.
One To One Travel Safety Advice.
If after reading this section you are still worried, you need more detailed information or if you want one to one safety advice from an experienced expert, then please feel free to use the Bemused Backpacker Gap Year Safety Consultation service.
You will get an hours consultation with dedicated one to one tuition designed to ease your worries, arm you with the knowledge you need to keep you safe and prepare you as much as possible before your trip so you can simply get on with enjoying your round the world adventure of a lifetime.
Covering everything from what you need to know before you go, how to stay safe on the road, how to deal with and avoid danger or difficult situations and what to do if something does go wrong, this consultation service is an absolute must for anyone about to embark on their first gap year or round the world adventure!