Safety Tips for Holiday Travel
By Sumonto Chatterjee.
It’s holiday time! Time to unwind. Time to spend quality moments with family and friends. It is time to go on a much-awaited tour. So, pack your bags and book your tickets to relaxation.
But be careful not to let your holiday turn into nightmare and arrive back home more distressed than ever. A small flaw in the planning can mar your holiday. Overlooking a small matter can become a major problem to the enjoyment of you tour.
India is a safe country. But the unwary tourist often gets caught in problems or become the target of frauds and misses out on the pleasures of a trip. Take safety precautions when planning a tour. Here are some tips for a safe travel:
1. Gather information: Gather as much information as you can of place(s) you wish to visit. This includes information on accessibility, weather, trains and buses, hotels, places of interest. The powerhouse of information – the internet – can be a useful tool in this matter.
2. Plan your itinerary well: Just don’t fix the dates of your onward and return journeys. Plan the whole tour carefully. Then there would be nothing vague about the trip, and your trip will be more enjoyable. You will also not be spending more than your budget.
3. Book your hotels in advance: Yes, book your hotels in advance, especially in the festive season, when there is always a demand for hotel rooms. It is also not safe to reach a place with your family in the middle of the night and start hunting for a hotel. Touts could give you a raw deal. Search the net, many sites offer good discount. Stay in a good hotel for your safety.
4. Book your tickets in advance: Book your tickets – air, trains or buses – in advance. Never wait till the last moment. Don’t fall prey to touts. Go online.
5. Remember to take your medicines: If you are on medication, don’t forget to take your medicines. Your health is important. Neglect may lead to serious trouble.
6. Travel light: Take only the essentials. Travel comfortably. Avoid paying for extra luggage. Light baggage makes transport a lot easier. But don’t forget to take clothes that the weather demands you to wear.
7. Handling valuables and money: Don’t wear valuables and invite trouble. You are on a tour to relax and enjoy yourself and not to showcase your jewelry. Keep them safe at home. Be careful with your money and Credit/Debit Cards. Don’t flash your cash. Divide your money and keep them in different pockets and bags.
8. Beware of strangers: Beware of people who are over friendly. Never accept food or drinks offered by them. Those may be spiked. Nothing can be more stressful if you wake up to find your belongings gone.
9. Take care of Children: If you are travelling with your child/children, be extra careful. Make your child/children memorize your address and phone number. Better still, make an ID with name, address and phone number. If necessary, accompany your child/children to the toilet/lavatory. Hold their hands in the crowd. Avoid people trying to be over friendly with your child/children. You cannot judge a person’s intention from his/her face. Be over-protective, if necessary.
10. Documents: Carry copies of EPIC Card/AADHAR Card/Driving License and ID’s for children. You will need to submit ID’s for each member of your family for hotel bookings. Scan or photocopy these documents and produce when needed.
11. Itinerary details with friends and family: Leave your itinerary details with you family and friends. This will be of immense help in case of an emergency.
12. Secure your home: Secure your home before you leave. You don’t want to return after your tour to a house cleaned by burglars.
13. Avoid drugs: Don’t indulge in taking drugs while on your tour. The result may not be good for you or your family. Use your discretion in the use of alcohol. Don’t destroy your vacation.
14. Use Technology: Also use technology for you safety. Use Safety apps (Android & iOS). These Apps provide you with solutions for monitoring your safety as well as capturing your exact geo-location. They help you to send emergency signals with critical information to authorities and emergency contacts. Such a Safety App installed in your phone will give you added advantage.
So enjoy your vacation. Mix with the people where you go. Know the traditions and culture of the place. Drink in the sights. Savour local cuisine. Be alert, Stay safe!