10 important safety tips for travelers

Travel can be exhilarating but also scary at times. When you’re venturing into the great unknown, follow these 10 safety tips to protect yourself and ensure a happy and secure journey.

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1. Choose your ground transportation wisely

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. citizens abroad. Whenever possible, travel in a vehicle that is in good condition and offers working seat belts. Research the safety records of bus companies, and avoid using less-safe vehicles like rickshaws and mopeds.

2. Check in with the State Department

Did you know that the State Department provides updated safety information for every country in the world? You can search the website and get trustworthy details about wherever you’re visiting. Find out everything, from which vaccinations you need to the local laws to any travel warnings (including crime and security warnings). While you’re on the website, head over to the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) page, where you can register your travel plans. In the event of an emergency (whether it’s a natural disaster, an emergency back home or civil unrest), they will be able to contact you.

3. Review the escape route in your hotel room

Let’s be honest — when you check in to a hotel room, you’re more focused on scoping out the amenities than studying the map on the back of your door. But before you get too settled in, you should take a quick look at the emergency escape routes. You’ll be glad you did if an emergency arises in the middle of the night.

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