Travelling alone can be a fun venture. It’s an opportunity to cultivate an open mindset towards situations and people. You experience a new culture, food, and people. It’s like a pure form of education where you learn about history in a new and exciting way. Nigeria is rich in culture and fun historical places. It would have been wonderful if we didn’t have to worry about travel safety tips.
Unfortunately, safety is something we must consider before going exploring Nigeria. Especially with the unrest in Nigeria from Boko Haram, bandits, and the get-money-quick people. It’s a little scary that you have to be more vigilant than ever. Travel safety tips have never been more critical.
I remember travelling to Lagos for the first time for a seminar and getting robbed. That really marred my travel experience to Lagos. If I had known some of these travel safety tips, maybe I could have avoided them.
14 Travel Safety Tips to Hold in Your Palms
Use public transport registered under a company
Many Nigerians are guilty of this, myself included. To beat time and spend less money, I sometimes use what we call ‘along’ or ‘sole.’ These are buses or cars you enter on the roadside instead of going to the park with registered buses. If I had observed this number one travel safety tip, it could’ve saved me the pain of robbery.
Don’t keep all your money in one place
Many things can go wrong when you don’t have money. I learnt this the hard way. I couldn’t get another means of transport because my handbag in which I kept my money and phone was gone.
Imagine not having money or a phone and totally relying on a stranger. It was not a pleasant situation. I could have been stranded if not for the kindness of a girl who boarded the same bus with me. By the way, she was also a robbery victim.
You are wondering how she did it, right? She had a hidden pocket with extra cash, just in case of situations like that. Of all the travel safety tips, this is one of the smartest.
Make sure you have multiple payments options
If you want to wash plates and be embarrassed, prepare for different payment methods. Make sure you have cash, debit card, and access to mobile transfer. As always, keep them separately in a secure place.
Find out about the place you are going to
As they say, Google is your friend. Research about the culture/tradition of wherever you are going. For example, in Kano, females are expected to dress a certain way. Knowing about the culture of your destination prevents you from unintentionally disrespecting others and attracting unnecessary attention.
Also, inquire about the security situation of your intended destination to help you make the best decisions regarding travelling.
Read also: Experience tourism in Nigeria
Make sure you arrive during the daytime
This is one of the travel safety tips that is impossible to over-emphasize. Arriving at your intended destination during the day gives you ample time to feel up the place. If you don’t feel safe there, you will have the option to search for a better location. In my case, I travelled late at night, so I couldn’t decide to change location even if I had the money.
Trust your instincts
If you feel uneasy, it’s a sign that you should either leave entirely or search for a location that puts your mind at ease. I ignored my instinct because I didn’t find any tangible threat and, unfortunately, lost my possessions.
Make sure your accommodation is safe
When booking a hotel, ensure that its location is a safe environment. If you get a room to yourself, make sure the door lock is functioning properly. Also, before letting anyone in, use the peephole or ask continuously until you’re sure that you’re safe.
Watch your drink
I know you love to party, but you should also know your limits. You don’t want to ruin your vacation because of one mistake. You need to be vigilant. Don’t trust strangers easily. Yes, it’s great to socialise, but keep an eye on your drink so that nobody drugs you. It doesn’t happen only in movies.
Always have a plan
Plan ahead on how you intend to get to your accommodation. Are you going to order an Uber? These are things to consider while travelling. Usually, I order an Uber before I get to the last bus stop because I don’t want to wait for a long time.
Try to blend in if you can
This is a common safety tip for travelling that I observe. In some places, if they believe you are one of them, they are less likely to pull a fast one on you. You could pretend to know the place you are going to or subtly ask questions from market women.
You can also use your Google map, but don’t be too obvious about it. Be vigilant about your surrounding while you use your phone. An old trick is to use my headphones and pretend I’m listening to music, so it does not look weird if I keep looking at my phone.
Don’t dress flashy
Wearing a gold chain and designer cloth in unfamiliar places is like tempting the devil. It defeats the essence of safety tips for travelling. Dress simply. If possible, dress like the locals in that area. You can always change your style after you’ve become a part of the town.
Avoid lonely areas
Staying where the crowd is may not save you from pickpockets but can reduce the chances of being a kidnap or robbery victim. Hold your bag tightly. If you’re in a lonely area and it’s dark, spend that extra cash and get a taxi or Uber. Don’t take chances just to reduce costs.
Carry a valid means of identification on you
You would need this in case you meet law enforcement, and they ask you for identification. Keep a copy of your important documents and keep them in separate places. If you lose your original, you will have proof of ownership of the document. It would also simplify the document recovery process.
Share your location with your loved ones
Be accountable to someone. This is one of the vital travel safety tips that many people ignore. Apart from easing the minds of your friends and family, it gives you a background feeling of assurance. So, be accountable, and keep in touch with them from time to time.
There you have it. The travel safety tips that can protect you at home and abroad. If there’s an important point missing, feel free to share it in the comment section better still join our Insight.ng community via our WhatsApp community.
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- Chidinma Nwosu is a freelance copywriter and content writer. She writes compelling articles about entrepreneurship, personal development, and lifestyle. She enjoys reading as much as writing. You can find her on Instagram and LinkedIn.
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