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Safety & Security

Staying safe and keeping your money and belongings secure is absolutely crucial and an essential part of have an enjoyable, meaningful and constructive trip overseas. We all know that travelling the globe can provide you with some of the most amazing friendships and memories, but as we are sure you are all aware, it can sometimes be all to easy to fall into a false sense of security and become a target for criminal activity.

Many crimes committed against those travelling overseas are simply opportunists looking to make a quick buck, however in some rarer cases crimes can be detrimental to your trip. There are many steps that can be taken by yourself to help you avoid being a target of criminal activity whilst on your trip, and it is important that you take note and try to adhere, so as not to come up short and end up having a bad experience on what should be the trip of a lifetime. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe whilst exploring foreign lands:

1. As we are all aware, crime increases during darkness hours, so we advise you not to walk around on your own at night, do not take short-cuts in unfamiliar areas (dark alleys, beaches, etc.) at night, and try to arrive in new destinations during the day to give you a chance to get your bearings during daylight hours.

2. Try not to make yourself stand out as an easy target for criminals. In poorer areas it is advisable not to show off expensive equipment such as cameras, phones and MP3 players, or expensive jewellery. (Keep your personal belongings safe at all times!)

3. Be sensible with alcohol, and keep an eye on your drinks at all times. Alcohol can be considerably cheaper when travelling overseas, but we do not see this as an excuse to drink more than your fair share. You become vulnerable when intoxicated, so make sure you know your limits, and take note of our Code of Conduct, so you do not breach any of the rules that keep our trips structured and successful.

4. Do not purchase or consume illegal drugs whilst on your travels. Changing Worlds has a no tolerance policy to drug taking, and you will risk being removed from your placement, trip or tour. Foreign laws can be extremely strict with regards to illegal drugs, so you may also be at risk of prosecution, a fine, a prison sentence or in extreme cases the death penalty can apply.

5. Make yourself aware of laws and cultural faux pas that may land you in trouble whilst travelling. Things that are readily accepted in your home country may cause problems for you in other countries. For more information on this, take a look at our Responsible Travel section.

6. Make sure you only travel in licensed taxis. Unlicensed taxis are not only risky, but they are likely to try and rip you off.

7. Avoid making deals with strangers whilst overseas. If it seems like a scam, it probably is!

8. Always secure or lock windows and doors in your accommodation at night.

9. Remember to stay in touch with those you have left at home. Family and friends, especially your Parents, will hugely appreciate regular communication, whether it is just an email to say ‘everything is fine and you are having fun’, it is a great way to let everyone know that you are safe.

All our Changing Worlds team members are seasoned travellers, and understand the risks that travelling, especially in certain areas, can pose to groups and individuals. Therefore, if you have any questions about staying safe whilst overseas then do not hesitate to get in touch and ask those burning questions.

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Testimonials
  • "Having the in-country contacts to work on my own photography stories was perfect. Thanks to all involved".
    James Burton , Art & Craft, South Africa
     
  • "This law internship gave me a unique perspective on law in Africa and has certainly widened my options within the law field".
    Andy Smith , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Thanks to all the Ghana team for making this law internship happen for me. Such an amazing experience and Ghanaians are sooo friendly."
    Jemma Mansfield , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "It was so interesting working into the law sector in Ghana and getting this experience. Such a great way to spend my summer doing something totally different."
    Mark Fulton , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Costa Rica is such a wonderful country and being able to help out on the care work project with the children was such a privilege."
    Lara Gillard , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole team in Costa Rica were awesome and really helped me make the most our of my time there both on the care work project and showing me the adventures of the country."
    Tom Smith , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "This placement gave me the mix of helping young children and also experiencing a totally different culture. My Spanish has really improved too."
    Kiki Jones , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "I am studying in animal welfare and this placement was perfect in getting real life experience relevant to my career".
    Gordon Bennell , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole experience was fantastic from the staff at the rescue centre, to Andy and his family. Thank you for looking after me so well."
    Ruth Eales , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • Fab way to start my week, our guide was awesome and gave us so many tips. Met an amazing group of people and the team in the office really help you sort your time out after you've finished the first week. Would really recommend to solo travellers.
    Emma Lowton , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • On arrival, I felt as unprepared as can be, knowing no one, having no plans nor ideas of how to get along in New Zealand really. The in-country team did it all for me. Organise my trip. Booking it. Coming from experienced backpackers you know what's going on and getting to know awesome people from all around the world and maybe even some mates to travel with.
    Sean Neitzel , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • Had the best time travelling around New Zealand. The team made it possible and can sort everything out for you with no problem. I would highly recommend them and will definitely be using them for my next adventure.
    Annie Frances Pritchard , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • The opportunity to coach and nurture the next generation of sportsmen and women in Costa Rica was an opportunity that I couldn't give up, and I am so glad that I didn't! I had a great time and made some lifelong friends!
    Jack Johnston , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • I had a such an inspiring and life changing experience coaching in Costa Rica. The kids had such an appetite for coaching and their enthusiasm was infectious. My fellow coaches and I worked well as a team and I developed some truly great friends as a result.
    Charlie Blaken , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • What a Blast! I can honestly say that I could not have had a better time in Costa Rica as I did. Everyone was so friendly, helpful and up for a laugh, all making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone, and might even come back at some point in the near future!
    Danny McVey , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • I had a really great time in Costa Rica, honing my Spanish linguistic skills, and I really improved over the 2 weeks that I spent out there. I would like to thank all of the in-country staff for all the effort they put in, it was an intense and thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience.
    Lewis Worthington , Languages, Costa Rica
     
  • This has been by far the most rewarding holiday I have been on. I'll be the first to admit that the idea of an educational holiday didn't at first appeal to me, but the improvements I made in the four weeks I spent out there means that my confidence in my Spanish has improved immensely.
    Charlie Jones , Languages, Costa Rica
     
  • Costa Rica is not only a truly stunning country with welcoming, hospitable people, but it is also where I conquered my 'phobia' of speaking Spanish, and for this I am incredibly grateful. Such a rewarding and exhilarating experience in a wonderful country.
    Max Foster , Languages, Costa Rica
     
  • Easily the most rewarding trip I have ever undertaken! To see the progress the local kids made in your time out there, under your tutelage, was so inspiring! Would highly recommend it!
    Joe Taylor , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • What a trip! Spending 12 weeks in the stunning Costa Rican countryside, would have been a reward enough, but the bonds I made with my fellow travelling companions will last a lifetime, and my pride in my class of kids at the local school and the progress they made is a constant source of inspiration.
    Brett McCallum , Teaching, Costa Rica
     

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