How to Travel Safely in North America
North America is one of those destinations that attracts so many people from all over the world. The countries found on this part of the world are not just highly developed, but also they do have some of the best attractions in the world – in some cases, they have one-of-a-kind attractions. But visiting countries like USA and Canada may not that be very easy, especially when it comes to the visa requirements.
On this, the United States seems to be stricter than Canada and you will always be subjected to thorough scrutiny before you are allowed into the country. Canada also has nearly stringent visa requirements, but if you are from visa exempt countries, then getting into Canada is one of the easiest things on the universe. All you have to do is fill in the Canada ETA form while on your flight, or just before you board, and you will be ready to gain entry into the country after you land.
These are just about a few of the challenges you will have to deal with when planning for a trip to North America, however, you will also have to be very careful about your security and personal safety. It is true that Canada is one of the safest countries in the world, but the same can’t be said about the United States, and in any case, you never know what dangers you may be faced with at any given time of your trip and due to that, you must never lower your guard on your personal safety. Here are a few tips to help you out-:
Don’t have your cards and your money in the same
Rather than keeping all your cards and money in the same place, think about keeping your cards and just a little bit of the cash on your person while the rest of the cash in a suitcase. The simple reasoning for this tip is that so that you lose your wallet, you won’t have to lose all your money. Again, when you are keeping the cards, keep them spread out evenly in the same area to avoid them from appearing conspicuous to alert any keen looker that you have them on you. One of the worst things you can go through when traveling to North America is to lose your cards and your money all at the same time.
Scan your passport as well as other travel documents
You don’t want to be traveling without any backups for your important travel documents. You never know when and how you may lose them and that would be the beginning of a real nightmare, especially in the United States where they are reigning hard on people without proper travel documents. It is highly recommended that you scan all your travel documents, including passports, identification cards, and reservations and keep them in the cloud or just send them to your email. In this manner, if you lose them, you can report to the authorities and you will have a good point of references in helping you get custom documents to help you go ahead with your journey.
Get travel insurance
So many people tend to ignore travel insurance, but they don’t just know how important this document is. It is what you need to bail you out when you face ugly emergency situations that may compel you to dig into your pockets for more funds. For example, if you fall sick, you will require medical attention and this will cost money. Your flight may be delayed forcing you to miss another connecting flight and this will imply that you will spend more for the additional tickets.
Again, you may be compelled to cut short your trip due to a family emergency such as a death in the family or an accident to a loved one, and for such, you will be buying new air tickets. These and many other situations will make you spend money you didn’t intend to spend, and which you can always avoid by just having a simple travel insurance. Don’t be careless and ignorant to take your next international trip without a travel insurance.
Don’t carry stuff on your back pocket
North American countries may be safe, but this doesn’t mean that there are no petty criminals in their cities. Crimes like pickpocketing are universal in nature and the same way you risk being pickpocketed in the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, is the same way you can be pickpocketed in Miami, Florida.
Items in your back pocket will attract the immediate attention of some of the bad guys sprawling the streets, and if you are not careful, you when or how you lost your wallet. The last experience you would wish to have on the streets of North America is to lose your money and cards in this manner. Consequently, keep everything you would wish to have in the back pocket on your front pocket, and if they can’t fit, just keep them safely inside your bag.
Let friends and family known where you will be
It is not a bad idea to let just a few friends and family know your whereabouts, especially if you are going on a solo trip to North America. It is understandable that some people may not want others to know about their travel plans, but find a friend or a family you can trust with such plans and let them know where you will be, and if possible, also give them your itinerary. Also make it a habit to talk with them once in a while, telling them about the progress of your journey.
Be careful with your ground transportation
The public transport system in North America is quite advanced, but this does not imply that it will always be smooth sailing. Be careful about bad guys when you are using the metro, trains or buses. If you have to walk on the streets, avoid suspicious alleys, and don’t venture out alone at night unless you will be using a taxi to move swiftly and safely from one place to another.