The art of smart travel
The world is an amazing place. It can also be scary if things go wrong. Observing a few simple tips can improve your safety and enhance your trip no end.
Act like a local
Just because you are a tourist, doesn’t mean you need to act or even speak like one. Put away the flashy DSLR camera, your thick guide book and play it cool. Download a language app and pick up some handy phrases. If you’re in a sticky situation, locals will respond better if they know you’re making an effort to speak their native tongue.
For day trips, only take what you need. Leave any heavy items behind and carry less cash. Make sure you pick the right card that gives you the flexibility to travel around relatively cash-less. The HSBC Everyday Global Account is nifty because it lets you preload, buy and spend in up to 10 currencies on one account (not to mention that it also lets you make cash withdrawals without the hidden fees). 1 So, you can keep your spending money where it should be - in your pocket.
While your passport is your golden ticket, a copy of your passport should do the trick at most places (accommodation, tours etc.). And if that fails, a driver’s license. The key times that you’ll need your passport should only really be during transit. When this is the case, keep your passport close. A money belt makes this nice and simple.
Bag it up
Busy airports and busy stations are a pick-pocketers dream. Add to the mix that you’ll be under slept and probably (definitely), a little bit stressed. Make things easy for yourself. Keep your wallet with your passport in your money belt so it’s easily accessible and safe. Pick a sturdy bag with locks and if possible, some identifying features. Because let’s face it, finding your big black bag in a sea of big black bags is never going to be fun.
Avoid public WIFI
Many travellers fall into the trap of relying on public WIFI. But not only is it unreliable, but it also makes your phone or laptop information vulnerable to hackers. Why not rent a portable pocket WIFI? Most airports have these available for hire at an affordable price. Not having to rely on sporadic and unreliable public WIFI will offer peace of mind.
Trust your instincts
There’s normally a really good reason you’re feeling uncomfortable. If this is the case, go with that feeling. Switch train carriages or alter your route and take the busier, well-lit way.
When you’re in explorer mode, chances are that you might get distracted. We don’t blame you. Things are shiny and new. So, it’s important to keep in mind that life on the road is probably going to be different to life at home. Little things you normally wouldn’t have to consider, might become a top priority. Do your research. Learn about the safe areas and know the dos and don’ts.
Locals know best
Put your feelers out there. You never know who your friends might know. Perhaps one has a cousin living in New York who’s happy to give you insider tips for your upcoming trip. Or even better, let you stay in their guestroom. Not matter how tenuous the link, knowing just one person can make your experience 100% safer and more memorable!
Play it safe and keep your wits about you, but always remember to enjoy yourself.
1No ATM or transaction fees are charged by HSBC or Visa. Some ATM operators and merchants may charge a separate fee.
This article provides general advice only and doesn't take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Terms and Conditions before acquiring the product. A copy of the PDS and Terms and Conditions is available on hsbc.com.au, or by calling us on 1300 308 008.