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Safety DOs and DON'Ts for Foreign Travel

Written by ESLI
Published on 2018-01-03
Travel. It’s on all our minds as the new semester begins. It is on MY mind not just for the students we in Admissions help travel to the US all year long, but also because I am planning a river cruise in Europe with my mother for 2019.  Exciting, right! We’ll visit 5 countries and see cities I’ve dreamed of for many years.

So we just get our passports, hop on a plane, and meet our boat in Bucharest, right?  But a quick Google search tells me that this is not the smart way to travel. I visited a website for US travelers and took their travel safety quiz to see if I’m as smart a traveler as I think I am. There were 10 questions, and I have traveled in Europe before, so it’s easy!

Not so fast. I got a 4. And 2 of those I really had to reach for. That definitely makes me think!  I have a lot to learn about visiting a foreign country in 2019!  Luckily for you, you have all of us here at ESLI and we have a list of travelling DOs and DON’Ts to help you get here safely!
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DO know how to ask for help. If your plane is stopping in Tokyo or Amsterdam, for example, do you know how to ask for help in Japanese or Dutch?  Will English be useful? You can use the internet before you leave to help you learn some useful phrases and write them down if you are worried about speaking out loud in a language you do not know well. Simply show the written question to an airport official for help—on paper or on your smartphone or tablet.

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DON’T keep all your money in one place. Put some in your wallet. Put some in a FRONT pocket. Put some in your socks or under your clothes somewhere. If you carry your phone or wallet in your back pocket, STOP. It is very easy to steal a wallet or phone from a back pocket!  If you carry a purse, ladies, use one with a long strap you can wear across your chest; don’t wear your purse over your shoulder. Take a look at this infographic for more information about what to carry in your wallet
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DO keep all your things in front of you always. Your purse, computer bag, backpack, carry-on. Make sure that when you are eating lunch in the airport, your bags are right there in front of you.  That said, make sure you look down and back when you leave a chair or the restroom, and make sure you are not leaving anything behind! 

DON’T accept anything from someone you do not know. Do not let a stranger leave their bag with you, or give you something to eat or drink. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, tell an airport official right away

DO keep expensive items hidden. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, or wave your fancy new tablet or laptop around in the airport. This lets people know you have expensive things.  And if you find yourself talking to someone, don’t tell them about the things you are carrying with you.

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DON’T forget something warm to put on when you get to the US! It’s COLD here this time of year, and you don’t want to freeze on the way to your dorm room!

DO carry your passport, visa, and other important documents with you.  But make sure you have also saved electronic copies on your phone or tablet in case something is lost. Then you have proof that these documents exist, and can get help in obtaining new paper copies.

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