World Travel: The Potential Risks You Don’t Know About

December 1, 2021

Traveling in the first place is a risk. After that, there is nothing to worry about because the sun, sea, sand and people will keep you safe. Opening up to the world and new experiences is rewarding and everything else falls into place. It’s worth taking because this is when you have the time of your life and do things you’ll never forget. Everything else isn’t worth caring about. You’ll cross that bridge as and when it appears.

Sure, this is the traveler way, the attitude most people have when they set off to explore the world. And, it’s a good one in a lot of ways as it encourages you to leave your comfort zone behind and try new things. As humans, we’re sometimes scared due to the unpredictability, but once you leap, you find it’s never too bad.

Of course, opening up doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road risk-wise. When you land in a country you don’t know very well, there are always hazards. The majority of them are easy to spot, such as theft and safety, yet others go under the radar. They are the most dangerous ones as they leave you unprepared. For your information, here are the travel threats you don’t know about.

Walking Barefoot
The sand is golden and the water is crystal clear – surely there isn’t anything lurking under the surface? Usually, exotic hot spots are well maintained and conservationists make sure there is no litter, but they aren’t machines. Some things bury themselves into the sand where they can’t be seen. Many a broken bottle has stopped a trip short because it has cut deep and left people needing medical treatment.

And, it doesn’t stop there. Even in the sea, there are razor sharp objects which will dig deep into the skin and cause you to scream out in agony. Urchins are very spiny and use their outer surface to protect themselves from predators. They won’t think twice about sticking your foot if it comes within half a meter. Plus, don’t forget about open wounds and infections. Whether it’s on the beach or in the shower, bacteria can get into the body via a tiny scrap and lead to a bigger issue.

Walking barefoot, then, isn’t a wise move. Always carry a pair of flip-flops or sandals with you to stop anything from ripping your feet to pieces. If you’re going to be in rockier terrain, sneakers are the best bet.

Buying Drugs

Okay, this sounds like a bad idea from the beginning yet there are excuses. One is that some drugs aren’t illegal in the USA. Dozens of states have legalized weed to the point where you can have a couple of plants for personal use. From California to Colorado and Washington, plenty of locals are taking advantage. Obviously, the strong stuff is off the menu but there’s nothing wrong with the herb, right?

The answer is it depends. Countries don’t follow the same rules and their laws differ. Countries in Asia, particularly Indonesia, have a zero tolerance policy on drugs including weed. Anybody caught smoking it might end up in jail. The Philippines is even worse as they have the death penalty. Essentially, buying narcotics of any kind isn’t worth the risk unless you know it’s above board. Stick to alcohol and cigarettes and enjoy yourself the normal way. Otherwise, the trip might get cut short.

As a rule, turn down anyone who offers you drugs. They can be sketchy or they can look professional, yet it’s not a good move either way. The bona fide dealers might use the fact you’re a tourist to their advantage and rob you on the spot. Meanwhile, the less sketchy people could be the police undercover. Say no and carry on walking.

Going Hard For The Party Scene

Alcohol is legal pretty much everywhere so it isn’t an issue. Technically, this is true – the police won’t raid a pub unless you’re in a country where it’s banned. Muslim nations in the Middle East spring to mind. As long as you do your research though, you should be fine and enjoy a drink without fear of repercussions. At least, that is, from the authorities anyway.

Parties happen all the time on the traveler scene and you’ll attend your fair share. It’s not rare for people to get a taste and to come back home with an addiction. Even if it doesn’t go that far, overindulging doesn’t do your health any favors. Alcohol detoxification is the answer, yet so is regulating your drinking in the first place. While it might seem far-fetched, lots of travelers come back and feel a void and then turn to booze for comfort. Or, it might be an effort to experience the same high again.

Everyone enjoys getting buzzed, but getting wasted is a different thing. Not only are there long-term health complications, but it leaves you vulnerable. Shady characters will take advantage by slipping something into your drink and then stealing your wallet. Always be on alert and protect yourself at all times.

Showing Off Your Wealth

Some people don’t understand why they get targeted in the first place. It’s simple: you’re an easy mark. Thanks to the combination of too much alcohol and plenty of wealth on show, they’ll try their best to slip in and out unnoticed. Others are left alone because even though they are tourists, they don’t flaunt their money as much. Sure, thieves can make an educated guess, yet it’s less hassle to pick on someone who has assets.

It doesn’t take much to flaunt your wealth in a foreign country. Depending on the area, a nice watch might be enough to encourage a stranger to make a move. Back home, people don’t think twice about a timepiece, yet this mindset changes if you’re in an impoverished place. From accessories to clothes, how you dress and carry yourself says a lot about your budget.
With this in mind, try and dress down and don’t be overly flamboyant. Leave the silver watch behind and strap on a plastic Casio for practicality purposes. Regarding your phone, don’t pull it out every five minutes and alert robbers. Keep it in a pocket which is preferably very tight or has zips. Also, split up your cash and credit cards in case of an incident. It’s hard to stop a robbery and you shouldn’t try and be a hero. Instead, report the incident and be thankful that you left half of your cash in the hotel safe.

Booking Tight Connections
Booking direct flights via the airline is a surefire way to overspend. Downloading apps to your phone is a great way to save time and money. You may find when you look to cost private jet that it is something you can afford and is a safer more comfortable alternative. Splitting tickets is the best way to save money and find the best deals. Yes, there are delays and layovers to consider, but it’s not hard to time them so that you’re not waiting for hours on end. Sixty minutes here or ninety minutes there isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, especially when you get to save hundreds of dollars. Let’s face it – it’s a no-brainer.

However, booking a connecting flight isn’t as straightforward as choosing the times that match. You’ve also got to factor in delays as taking off thirty minutes after schedule can ruin your entire plans. One minute you’re jetting off around the world and the next you’re stuck in an airport without a clue what to do next. It happens regularly, which is why it’s essential to leave plenty of time between flights.

As a rule, three hours is enough for delays and to get through security with time to spare. Anything under that is a risk and might cost you more money in the long run. Once you miss a connection, you need to pay for new flights and a place to stay. For travelers on a shoestring budget, this is very dangerous.

Not Having Proof Of Onward Travel
One of the reasons people love to travel is a sense of freedom. You book a one-way flight and only buy a return when you’re ready to come home, which is never. Still, a couple of grand goes so far so you have to come back to earth with a bump sometime!

Unfortunately, immigration officers don’t always see things from your point of view. Anyone without proof of onward travel won’t get into the country and your trip will be over before it begins. Even worse, you’ll get deported and won’t be able to return. On top of that, you will be liable for the costs. The risk of not visiting a place and never being able to go back should snap you into focus. All it takes is a cheap flight to nowhere to make sure you meet the requirements. And, this option won’t tie you down either.

For those who don’t want to waste money, Expedia has a 24-hour cancellation policy. Buy a flight, cancel it, and use the confirmation email as evidence of departure.

Traveling isn’t a walk in the park. By all means, enjoy yourself but please don’t do anything reckless as the smallest things can escalate.

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