• Matthew Waters

Travel Shouldn't Scare You

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

“If it is doing that to your bottle imagine what it is doing to your brain”

These lovely words were uttered to me on a flight to Barcelona by the lovely person who sat on the plane next to me. She saw my massive two litre water bottle in my hands crushing under the pressure in the cabin and said these words to me and was obviously nervous, so I hid the bottle. But, it got me thinking... Travel shouldn’t be scary! It should be one of the most enjoyable experiences of any person's life, but so many people get scared to take the leap and do it. Don’t get me wrong travelling can sometimes be scary as you head into the unknown it can arouse a sense of anxiety among some people. But, I must say the thought of the unknown excites me. I am yet to have a bad experience in terms of safety when I have been on the road and feel like there are definite steps you can take to stay safe while travelling. Here are some tips I have picked up and would recommend.

I can’t say I have been to many ‘unsafe’ countries, so I will hopefully pick up more tips as I go and let you know more about.

Padlocks

Locking up your stuff is a must when you are travelling. Especially valuables! I mostly do this for my own state of mine when I am in a hostel. Knowing my stuff is safe means I can go out and not have to think about going back to keep checking on my stuff. I don’t do this because I don’t trust people I am in a hostel room with, most of the people I have roomed with are amazing, kind and friendly, but it does stop me worrying about people from outside the hostel coming and taking my stuff. Not that it is that valuable anyway, but still would be a massive pain. Also helps to know exactly where your passport and reserve money is. Lockers are great for this especially with your own padlock.


Get yourself some travel buddies

It is like a thunder buddy, watch Ted, but with travel. This is someone you trust to look out for you no matter what, kind of like how J.D trusts Turk in Scrubs. I personally don’t enjoy travelling alone because being with someone gives you an extra security barrier, someone who can watch your back incase something goes wrong, I am not saying they will be fighting for you but just making sure no one is stealing from you or that you aren’t getting sick. Also, the real best thing about having a travel buddy is it gives you someone to share the experience with.

Don’t carry too much CASH!

Instead of carrying cash I personally choose to carry a currency card, I would recommend the Sainsbury's card as their website is very good and easy to find how your accounts are looking. Carrying a currency card makes you a lot harder to rob as well as having security over all of your money if it does get stolen. Also, who wants to carry around a massive wedge of money instead of a little plastic card! The only problem with these are not everywhere accepts card, especially in less developed countries, so check this before you head out.


Do some research and understanding travel links

I suffer from anxiety from time to time whenever I have to do new things by myself. This was really effecting my ability to travel to the places i wanted to go too, leaving me following what other people wanted to do. But I took the jump and challenged myself and headed to Ghangzhou in China by myself. This was a scary experience for me and to be honest not the most successful. I ended up missing the train from Guilin but blagged my way on another one, then when I arrived I had no idea how to get to my AirBnB, then when I got there I couldn't find the AirBNB and the host wasn't replying, this meant I had to stay with a friend for the first night in the end, before finding a hostel I could stay in, embarrassing. This did not fill me with confidence for the rest of my trip. But it taught me one thing. If you are deciding to travel along be prepared and know how to get to places and there will be no stress. I put that into practice when travelling to Hong Kong and everything was a dream. When you decide to travel alone it is certainly more freeing and you can do your own thing all the time but make sure you are prepared. I still prefer travelling with my buddies personally.


Never feel embarrassed about your own safety

Your safety is your safety and don't let anyone change your mind. If you want to strap your passport around your stomach with a D-lock then do it if that is what makes you feel safe and at ease. I have a few weird things like that myself, I get to airports as early as I can, like 6 hours early. I always check where my passport is every time I come back to my accommodation, or leave it, even though I know it is in the locker or in my padlocked section of my bag. No matter what makes you feel safe and at ease you've got to do it for your own pease of mind.

So basically what I am saying is TRAVEL SHOULDN’T BE SCARY. You can definitely make yourself feel safe by following your own safety steps and dare I say maybe following some of mine. As long as you feel at ease, and as long you are having fun it shouldn't really matter. Travelling is meant to be fun after all, do whatever it takes to make it fun for you.

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