When packing for CU domestic or overseas Excursions don’t forget to pack your common sense! Most of these safety do’s and don’ts below are based on common sense principles, plus a few tips learned by seasoned travelers along the way. Being safe takes a concerted effort such as being aware of your surroundings and making responsible decisions. Even in “safe” countries or places there are risks or threats that you can actively protect yourself against. Remember that when traveling you are far from home and it is foolish to assume that you can conduct yourself in the same way that you might at home.
Do's and Don'ts are useful for travelers around the world.
- Remain what you are – friendly, courteous, polite and dignified
- Travel in small groups – three to five persons with both genders present.
- Bring a book to read when using public transportation – you will not be the only person reading and it is an easy way to fit in.
- Make a photo copy of your passport and credit card numbers and keep them separate from your passport and credit cards – give a copy to your family.
- Bring your prescription drugs with you in their original containers – don’t pack them in your check in luggage. Also, bring additional contacts/glasses or your corrective lens prescription with you.
- If you require medicine containing habit-forming substances carry a doctor’s certificate attesting to this fact.
- Notify a foreign contact of any medical issues including food allergies.
- Carry some identification – a tag, bracelet, or card – if you have a medical condition that might require emergency care.
- Understand completely what your health insurance covers and does not cover while you are traveling. Chances are that you will have to pay for services and get reimbursed when you return home.
- Dial 101,100, 102 (India) / 911 (North America and some South American countries) for fire, police, and medical emergencies. (Check country wise Emergency Numbers.)
- For serious problems take a cab or ambulance and ask for the nearest hospital.
- Only take the credit / debit card(s) you need – you will not need all those other cards that you generally carry in India.
- Mark all your bags inside and out with your name and address – both home address and your foreign address.
- Bring two passport size photos and a photocopy of passport/other Govt. approved Identity proof, just in case you lose your passport.
- Make a photo copy of your flight tickets – keep separate.
- Keep a wallet-sized card with you that includes Emergency Phone Numbers, Indian High Commission Phone Numbers and other contact information.
- If you see an unattended package, move away from it and call the police.
- Avoid protest groups’ activities and potential volatile situations.
- Keep abreast of local and international news that might tell you of potential civil unrest.
- Know as much as possible about each country/place you plan to visit, including its history, religion, geography and government.
- Report any suspicious person in and around your residence to the Local Police Department.
- Ask permission before photographing strangers who you find “interesting”.
- Use common sense.
- Be decent, as you are representing your family, school & country to the people of visiting country/place.
- Do not wear any clothing with the “Disturbing Messages” logo or “Specific Belief” in print.
- Do not become the “ugly stereotype” – loud and or boorish.
- * Here are some positive and negative stereotypes associated with:
Outgoing and friendly
Loud, rude, boorish
Sure they have all the answers
Disrespectful of authority
Generous Pick out those characteristics that you would like to be remembered by, and avoid the others.
- Avoid attracting attention to you – that is, avoid traveling alone or in a large group of a dozen or more.
- Do not expect eye contact on the streets in certain countries – indeed, in some locations this may result in “unexpected or unwanted” invitations.
- Do not stand and/or plan to gather on the steps of your residence.
- Never, ever leave your residence unlocked.
- Do not draw attention to yourself when you are returning to your residence late at night.
- Do not pack your essential documents or medicines in checked baggage – luggage gets lost.
- Never carry large amounts of cash.
- Do not bring expensive jewelry with you.
- Most places are safe in most countries, BUT don’t wander down dark alleys or into areas that are known to be high risk.
- Do not show/handover your important documents to strangers.
- Women are sometimes targets of harassment – don’t become a target:
* Travel with some men
Do not agree to meet strangers in non-public places
- Don’t let your “natural friendliness” be mistaken for flirtations.
- Do not lose your passport, it will not be the end of the world, but it may seem like it is.
- Do not joke about bombs or about smuggled items – authorities will not find that funny nor will you.