Safety & Security
Staying safe and keeping your money and belongings secure is absolutely crucial and an essential part of having 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 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:
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.
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 or expensive jewellery. (Keep your personal belongings safe at all times!)
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.
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.
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.
Make sure you only travel in licensed taxis. Unlicensed taxis are not only risky, but they are likely to try and rip you off.
Avoid making deals with strangers whilst overseas. If it seems like a scam, it probably is!
Always secure or lock windows and doors in your accommodation at night.
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 or WhatsApp message 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.