Outsmarting Pickpockets and Thieves: Staying Safe While Traveling Abroad

While Europe has little violent crime, petty theft, pickpocketing and phone snatching are all too common in tourist hotspots. By taking some basic precautions and staying aware of your surroundings, you can avoid becoming a target and enjoy your travels safely.

While Europe has little violent crime, petty theft, pickpocketing and phone snatching are all too common in tourist hotspots. By taking some basic precautions and staying aware of your surroundings, you can avoid becoming a target and enjoy your travels safely.

Protect Your Valuables

Be Prepared

Before you go, take steps to minimize potential loss by making copies of key documents, considering theft insurance for expensive electronics, and leaving flashy jewelry at home. Luxurious luggage might attract thieves, so opt for something modest.

Safeguard Your Phone and Data

Install a “find my phone” app, back up your data, and enable password protection. While traveling, use your hotel’s Wi-Fi to back up your phone and photos each night. If you’re unfamiliar with syncing your data to the cloud, learn how before you leave.

Wear a Money Belt

Store essentials such as cash, cards, and passports in a money belt tucked under your clothes. This will keep your valuables out of sight and secure.

Secure Your Belongings in Your Room

Leaving valuables like laptops in your hotel room is safer than carrying them around. Although some rooms have safes, you can simply hide your belongings in an inconspicuous location. Theft from hotel rooms is relatively rare.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Stay Vigilant in Crowds

Crowds provide thieves with plenty of targets and opportunities for escape. Be on alert in busy areas, particularly on public transit and at flea markets. If there’s a commotion, it could be a smokescreen for theft.

Be Cautious in Train Stations

When arriving at a train station, you may be burdened with luggage and disoriented by your new surroundings. Maintain physical contact with your bags and belongings and be on high alert on crowded buses and subways.

Establish a “Don’t Lose It” Discipline

Travelers are more likely to lose their belongings than have them stolen. Stick to an unpacking routine and run through a mental checklist every time you pack up again. Before leaving a hotel room for good, conduct a quick overall search of the premises.

Leave Clues for Honest Finders

Tape a tiny note with your email address or travel partner’s phone number to any item you really don’t want to lose. This simple tactic can greatly increase your chances of recovering lost items.

Keep Material Losses in Perspective

If you do fall victim to theft, try to maintain a positive attitude. You’re fortunate enough to be able to travel, and the loss of an item shouldn’t ruin your entire trip. And remember, nearly all crimes suffered by tourists are nonviolent and avoidable. Limit your vulnerability rather than your travels and enjoy your adventure!

Travel Smart: Staying Healthy and Saving Money on Your Adventures

Traveling is an experience that most don’t get often. Juggling time, money, and responsibilities can be a challenge. But fear not, fellow travelers! We’ve got some tips to help you plan the perfect trip without breaking the bank. In addition, we’ll also discuss some common travelrelated illnesses, their symptoms, and how to stay safe. Grab your avatar shoes, wear a bracelet with a watch for a classy look, and let’s dive in!

Traveling is an experience that most don’t get often. Juggling time, money, and responsibilities can be a challenge. But fear not, fellow travelers! We’ve got some tips to help you plan the perfect trip without breaking the bank. In addition, we’ll also discuss some common travel-related illnesses, their symptoms, and how to stay safe. Grab your avatar shoes, wear a bracelet with a watch for a classy look, and let’s dive in!

Book Cheaper Flights

Airfare can be a significant part of your travel budget if you don’t know where to look. To find the best deals:

  • Book flights well in advance
  • Choose the cheapest day of the week to fly (usually weekdays)
  • Check local airline companies for better rates

Choose Hotels with Lots of Amenities

When selecting a hotel, consider more than the price. Paying a little extra for amenities could save you money in the long run. For example, hotels like Grafton on Sunset in West Hollywood offer rooms with a wet bar, mini-fridge, and free Wi-Fi. Free breakfast is another perk worth looking for.

Find Affordable Activities

You don’t have to splurge on expensive tourist attractions to enjoy your vacation. Look for destinations with free or low-cost activities, such as:

  • Tours
  • Museum admissions
  • Outdoor events like concerts and fairs

Explore what locals do for fun, as it can be more affordable than sticking to tourist hotspots. Discover hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path adventures to enrich your trip.

Eat Cheap

Skip five-star restaurants and search for affordable dining options. Local hole-in-the-wall eateries and online reviews can guide you to tasty, budget-friendly meals. If your hotel offers free breakfast, take advantage of it to save even more!

Use Public Transportation

In many destinations, rental cars aren’t necessary. Major cities often have mass transit systems, like buses and trolleys, that are more affordable than renting a car. Even rideshare services like Uber can save you money on transportation.

Staying Healthy: Common Travel Illnesses and How to Avoid Them

Traveling can expose you to new environments, which can sometimes put your health at risk. Here are some common travel-related illnesses, their symptoms, and how to stay safe.

Traveler’s Diarrhea

Traveler’s diarrhea is the most common travel-related illness, caused by consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms include:

  • Frequent, watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea

To prevent traveler’s diarrhea:

  • Drink only bottled or purified water
  • Avoid uncooked or undercooked meats and seafood
  • Be cautious of street food and raw fruits and vegetables

Malaria

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions. Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue

To avoid malaria:

  • Use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants
  • Sleep under mosquito nets in high-risk areas
  • Talk to your doctor about malaria prevention medication

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness can occur when traveling to high-altitude destinations. Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

To prevent altitude sickness:

  • Ascend slowly, allowing your body time to acclimatize
  • Stay well-hydrated
  • Consider taking over-the-counter altitude sickness medication

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is common during car, boat, or plane travel. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweats
  • Vomiting

To reduce motion sickness:

  • Focus on the horizon or a stationary object
  • Choose a seat with the least motion (e.g., over the wings on a plane)
  • Avoid heavy meals before traveling
  • Consider over-the-counter motion sickness medication

First Symptoms: When to Seek Medical Help

If you experience any of the following symptoms while traveling, it’s crucial to seek medical attention:

  • High fever
  • Severe headache or neck stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional if you’re feeling unwell during your trip.

So, there you have it! By following these guidelines on booking flights, choosing hotels, finding affordable activities, eating cheap, and using public transportation, you can enjoy your travels without breaking the bank. Plus, by being aware of common travel illnesses and their symptoms, you can stay healthy and safe as you explore the world. Happy travels!

Conquering Jet Lag: Tips for a Healthy Trip

Jet lag is a common issue for travelers flying through multiple time zones. It can mess with your body’s internal clock, making it difficult to adjust to the new time zone. But fear not, fellow travelers! With these tips, you can minimize the symptoms of jet lag and make the most of your trip.

Jet lag is a common issue for travelers flying through multiple time zones. It can mess with your body’s internal clock, making it difficult to adjust to the new time zone. But fear not, fellow travelers! With these tips, you can minimize the symptoms of jet lag and make the most of your trip.

Start Your Trip Well Rested

Begin your journey well-rested. Stress and fatigue can exacerbate jet lag, so ensure you’re relaxed and refreshed before leaving home. Try setting a “false departure date” two days before your actual departure, giving you time to pack and prepare without being rushed. This way, you’ll be physically and mentally ready for your adventure.

Use the Flight to Reset

Treat your flight as an opportunity to reset your body clock. Catch some sleep during your transatlantic flight to help you stay awake after landing. Once the pilot announces the local time at your destination, reset your wristwatch and your mindset. Forget about the time back home and focus on adapting to the local time.

Stay Awake Until Local Bedtime

Resist the urge to take a nap upon arrival. Instead, plan a walk or some light activity to keep you awake until early evening. Fresh air, daylight, and exercise are enemies of jet lag, so use them to your advantage. Aim to stay awake until a reasonable local bedtime to help your body adjust to the new time zone.

Embrace Early Mornings

Chances are, you’ll wake up early on your first day. Instead of trying to force yourself back to sleep, embrace the morning. Take a walk and soak in the sights and sounds of Europe as the city comes to life.

Consider Jet Lag Remedies

Some travelers use sleep aids like Ambien (zolpidem) to manage jet lag. These medications may help you get a good night’s sleep during your trip, allowing you to adapt more quickly to the local time. Remember to consult with your doctor and follow the directions carefully, as sleep aids can have side effects and may be habit-forming.

Melatonin, a hormone that aids in adjusting your internal clock, is another popular option. However, it’s important to note that melatonin is available over-the-counter in the US but may be illegal in some European countries.

Jet Lag: Don’t Let It Ruin Your Trip

Jet lag can be an unwelcome visitor during your travels, but it doesn’t have to ruin your trip. By following these tips, you can minimize the symptoms and make a smoother transition to the local time, ensuring that you enjoy every moment of your adventure. So pack your bags, reset your clock, and get ready to explore!

5 Hacks for Getting Quality Sleep on a Plane

Flying can be a lovehate relationship for many, but it’s often a necessary part of travel. For those who prefer to sleep through the inflight experience, catching some Zs on a plane can be quite a challenge. In this article, we’ll share five hacks that can help you sleep better during your flight.

Flying can be a love-hate relationship for many, but it’s often a necessary part of travel. For those who prefer to sleep through the in-flight experience, catching some Zs on a plane can be quite a challenge. In this article, we’ll share five hacks that can help you sleep better during your flight.

Understanding the Challenges of Sleeping on a Plane

Sleeping on a plane can be difficult due to various factors, such as the lack of muscle tone during REM sleep, increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, noisy environments, dry air, and anxiety. Knowing the challenges can help you find effective solutions for a peaceful slumber in the air.

1. Embrace Mindfulness

Identify the main obstacles preventing you from sleeping on a plane. Recognize your personal needs and preferences, and address them accordingly. You might need noise-canceling headphones to block out the sound of crying babies or a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm and comfortable.

2. Pack Essential Supplies

Bring your own travel pillow, blanket, and other comfort items from home. They not only provide familiarity and comfort but can also help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Other essentials can include noise-canceling headphones, an eye mask, and warm socks.

3. Tire Yourself Out Before the Flight

Increase your adenosine levels by engaging in physical activities before your flight. This neurotransmitter induces sleepiness, making it easier to fall asleep on the plane. For early morning flights, consider staying up a bit later the night before to increase your tiredness.

4. Opt for Relaxing Beverages

Avoid alcohol and caffeine before flying, as they can dehydrate you and make it harder to sleep. Instead, choose calming herbal teas, such as chamomile, lavender, or passionflower, to help you relax and stay hydrated.

5. Consult Your Doctor

If you experience severe anxiety during flights, speak with your doctor about potential solutions. They may recommend short-term medication or over-the-counter sleep aids, such as Dramamine, melatonin, antihistamines, or insomnia medications like ZzzQuil.

Improve Your In-Flight Sleep Experience

While some people can easily sleep on planes, others need a little help. By employing the hacks mentioned above, you can increase your chances of getting restful sleep during your flight, and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for your adventures.