10 Tips for Staying Vigilant When Traveling to a Dangerous Country
Even those who love walking on the wild side don’t really ever want to actually find themselves in a dangerous situation. Sure, strutting along the fine line between adrenaline and danger is fun but when you lean a little too close to ‘danger’, the fun adrenaline quickly turns into uncomfortable angst and anxiety. So, how do you travel to a dangerous country without actually putting yourself in danger? You must stay vigilant! Oh, and having an RFID armor carbon fiber wallet and passport cover definitely helps.
Trust Your Intuition
It sounds cliché but your intuition is truly your best travel companion especially when traveling to a dangerous country. So, if you get a bad feeling that something isn’t right, it likely isn’t. Pull out your tactical pen (just in case) and abort mission.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Remaining vigilant while traveling to a dangerous country is just as simple as that. Be aware of your surroundings. Try to avoid getting distracted when in large groups of people, refrain from wearing headphones to listen to music, stop looking down at your phone and keep looking around.
Show That You’re Confident
Sprained your ankle while trying out a new stunt on your bike? You might want to push your trip to a dangerous country back until you’re fully healed. Criminals often prey on the weak. If you look injured, scared or vulnerable, you’re significantly more likely to become a target.
So, walk with purpose. Be confident, aware, and focused. Just like criminals have an eye for the weak, they also have an eye for people they should avoid and you want to make sure you’re part of the latter.
Be Aware of Threats of the Area
When trying to a dangerous country, it’s imperative to conduct a thorough amount of research on the specific area(s) you’re traveling to. This will help you prepare for any possible situations or threats that may present themselves, and more importantly, how to get yourself away from any threats as soon as possible.
Most authority websites will list the reasons for issuing a travel advisory. Some will be due to electronic pick-pocketing or assault, others will be due to terrorists’ attacks or protests, and the list goes on. So, do your research and know what to be aware of in the dangerous country you’re traveling to.
Know Self Defense
If you are willingly walking on the wild side in a country that has been listed as one of the most dangerous countries to travel to, you’ll want to know or have some form of self-defense. This can be as simple as having a tactical defense pen with you or taking some self-defense classes leading up to your departure.
Sit Facing Entrances
Watch any gangster or crime flick, and you’ll see that the “bad guys” are almost always sitting facing towards the entrance. This is because it allows them to see everything, thus making them less vulnerable to an attack. And while we don’t recommend becoming the bad guys you see in the movies or taking any advice from movies – period – this is one we can endorse.
When traveling to a dangerous country, you need to be able to see what’s going on at all times. So, whether you’re sitting in a local café, having dinner or sitting on a bench out front of a park, choose a spot that gives you an advantage. You want to be able to spot danger before danger spots you.
Discuss Your Escape Plans
Always have a plan – a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, D, E, F…. The list goes on. Discuss with your travel companion what you’ll do in different situations. Perhaps it’s a kidnapping, a hostage situation, a suspicious backpack left on the ground, an assault, a robbery, or electronic pick-pocketing.
Discuss your escape and backup plans for any situations that could potentially happen in the dangerous country you’re traveling to.
Having a RFID armor protected carbon fiber wallet is a good start that’ll eliminate the possibility of being electronic pickpocketed. A tactical pen will also be a nice travel accessory to bring with you.
When in Doubt, a Second Opinion Can Help
Not all potential threats will give you the time to get a second opinion. Remember, every second counts and if you think there is a potential threat, it’s crucial to get out of there as quickly as possible and to contact local authorities.
However, there are some situations where something isn’t happening but things look suspicious. Perhaps someone looks like they’re trying to scan people’s pockets or are following a certain individual around. Get a second or third opinion, whether from your travel companion or stranger nearby. At the very least, it’ll bring other people’s attention to public safety.
Make Quick Decisions
This tip for traveling to a dangerous country may seem contradictory to the prior, but just hear us out for a second. Even if you’re looking for a second opinion, it’s important to act fast. The body naturally freezes when presented with danger. Some people will then fight; others will flight. Knowing what your reaction is likely to be will help you act quick on your feet because you won’t be pondering whether or not you should get involved or should just go with the flow.
Additionally, having those backup plans already discussed will help you make quick decisions.
Know How to Contact Local Authorities
Most countries follow the 9-1-1- system; some don’t. You’ll want to know how to contact local authorities wherever you’re traveling to. Additionally, your phone likely has a silent emergency option that allows you to reach out for help quickly and silently if you’re in imminent danger. Be aware of these quick keys and make sure your phone works in the country you’re traveling to.
You take a risk when traveling to a dangerous country but all types of travel come with some level of risk. Fortunately, by following these travel tips, you can decrease your risk and increase your confidence while wandering around in an unfamiliar location.