Known for its comparatively low crime rate, Singapore is a safe haven for tourists in Southeast Asia. Pick pocketing and muggings are relatively rare and we’re as politically stable as it gets around here.
Aside from the recent Little India riots, not much in terms of violence goes on in our little island. Therefore, when locals go traveling abroad they can often forget the differences and assume they’re surrounded by the same level of safety as when in Singapore.
For those travelers and as a general reminder due to recent political events in some popular travel destinations, here are some precautions one can take to stay safe while traveling in a foreign country!
Tips to stay safe
- Do your research before you travel. Read online reviews of the area you will be visiting and the accommodation you will be staying at. User reviews are priceless and there’s nothing like hearing the opinions of people who have gone before you. Keeping up with the news is a good idea too. This way you can be forewarned of things such as political unrest etc.
- Consult with your hotel/motel/hostel. Before heading out each day be sure to ask questions of the staff if you are unfamiliar with the area you are heading to. Locals know best.
- Blending in with the locals. In general it’s a good idea to avoid standing out like a sore thumb. Learn some local words or lingo, try not to stare at everything you see, etc. This helps you to blend in and the locals will be more welcoming of you.
- Don’t display your wealth. An expensive camera around your neck spells ‘tourist’ as well as declares your income level. Walking around with sparkly new headphones is probably not a good idea too. Don’t place your bulging wallet in your back pocket where it’s easy for someone to access. Using an old spare phone while you’re on a holiday might save your a huge headaches should it ever get stolen or lost.
- Do self checks. Simple things such as patting yourself down to make sure your wallet isn’t half falling out of your pocket or checking that your backpack is zipped up will help you through the day. And if the worse has happened it’s better to realise sooner than at the end of the day.
- Let a loved one know of your whereabouts. If you’re traveling alone or in a group, perhaps leave a message with the reception of your hotel or motel.
- Careful when you celebrate? Getting drunk out of your mind is one of the best ways to get mugged and taken advantage off especially if you are female. If you are bent on getting wasted, make sure you have friends around you.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and the people around you. Walk with confidence. Being lost in your own world or engrossed in reading your map or phone spells ‘easy target’ for pick-pockets and muggers. One can’t always blend in to look like one of the locals but being aware as opposed to oblivious of your surroundings can greatly help you to stay safe!
- Be respectful of local customs, traditions etc. Best way to get the locals annoyed at you is if you go to their country and disrespect them by either being rude about or ignorant of their customs/traditions. They might be used to tourists but it’s always good to read up about the ‘to-dos’ and ‘not to-dos’ before you travel.
- Purchase travel insurance! There’s nothing like having your personal belongings taken from you leaving you stranded and worst still, physically hurt. Insurance is after all, a safety ‘net’ for unexpected situations that you might land yourself in.
All in all, these tips should help you stay safe while travelling but there is nothing like taking precautions, being alert and aware and keeping your wits about you. For more information on our travel insurance plan, head on over to DirectAsia.com to find out more!