One of the biggest concerns of students today is keeping themselves - and their belongings – safe when travelling. But did you know that some common safety tips can actually help save you money along the way?
Below, is a list of top tips that will help keep you safe while saving you money, wherever it is in the world you decide to go and whether or not you require cheap car hire:
- Schedule check-ups before leaving. Before embarking on your study abroad adventure, schedule a check-up with your physician. Let he or she know what activities you plan to do on your trip and make sure they feel you’re healthy enough to participate in them. If your holiday will be several weeks long, you should also schedule a dentist appointment. If you have any issues that have gone untreated, they’ll be much more expensive to treat when you’re in a foreign place.
- Do your research. Check to see if the area you’re travelling to has any medications or vaccinations that are required for entry. Be especially aware of this in tropical locations and developing countries. For example: Some countries require you start anti-malaria medications up to six weeks before you depart. Failing to do this is not only expensive, but can be deadly.
- Carry important paperwork with you. Keep your passport, driver’s license, and credit cards close to your body to keep them safe. Before leaving, make a photocopy of your passport and drivers license and store it in a safe place at home. Replacing a passport can be quite expensive.
- Take medications and first-aid supplies with you. Things like aspirin, antihistamine tablets, sunscreen, and anti-diarrheal medicine should be carried with you at all times – you never know when you might need it. These items are sometimes hard to find in other countries, so having it with you from the beginning will save you money.
- Bring along bottled water. If you have room in your suitcase, pack a few (sealed) bottles of water from home. Tap water shouldn’t be consumed in many areas of the world, so it’s always nice to have a backup supply. And, if you don’t drink enough water, you’ll quickly become tired and your energy will be zapped. A good rule of thumb is to always drink before you’re thirsty.
- Invest in a comprehensive guidebook. These books usually cost $15 - $20 up front, but are definitely worth it when you’re navigating a new city. They’ll tell you the best restaurants and pubs, top attractions, and the best ways to get around so you don’t spend a fortune on taxi fares.
- Be smart with your money. If you plan to carry local currency, keep it close to your body. Carry one credit card with you and keep another locked in your hotel room.
- Use a credit card (instead of debit). Although credit cards usually charge a 1 per cent fee when using overseas, they’re much safer when it comes to fraud and unauthorized charges. If you find something on your account that you didn’t charge, your credit card company can help you dispute it and get your funds back.
- Don’t wear fancy jewellery. Even if your grandmother’s necklace is one of your prized possessions, leave it at home when exploring a new area. Pickpockets look for signs of affluence, like expensive watches and jewellery. If you do wear them out, keep them concealed as much as possible. It’ll be much more costly to replace them later.
These nine tips can go a long way toward helping keep you safe – and saving you money on your study abroad experience. We hope you’ve enjoyed them!
About the Author:
Laura Murphy has lead the eclectic vagabond life, traveling here and there and now has settled into the perfect gig for the perpetual itinerant: writing for the cheap car hire site NovaCarHire.com! She's learned a thing or two about saving money on travel and hopes you follow her on her quest to share her lessons with folks who have a traveler's heart, if not the budget.