Travel Tips for Dangerous Places

Different factors influence our view of the factors that would render a place dangerous. Media reports founded largely on the desire to get a selling story, government institutions keen on propagating their political and economic agenda, and unverifiable stories doing rounds form some of the sources of information for travellers keen on visiting perceived dangerous sites.

While the use of common sense is paramount for any traveller visiting perceived risky sites, several guidelines that can help while planning for the visit are:

Before your trip:

  1. Check your facts…and your fears

Ask yourself some fundamental questions about the country you are to visit. These will be centred on the information you know about the country, the source of this information, the reliability of the source thus the authenticity of this information  and the definition of danger and how it is calculated in this context.

A case is Puerto Rico which is not deemed a dangerous tourist destination yet it’s the fifth most violent country in the world because of high rate of gun violence.

  1. Read advisories and travel warnings and put them into perspective

Do not miss to go to State Department’s website and read the travel advisories. Additionally, learn more about the country’s history and present besides what’s there in the news or advisories.

Explore local publications such as magazines, newspapers and blogs particularly because locals present a more authentic and real perspectives of who they are than non-locals.

During your trip:

  1. Look at the locals

Observe the different aspects of the local people such as mode of dressing, religious practices and food habits. It is important to desist from doing anything the locals do not do.

  1. Let people know your plans

It is important to share your day to day plans with people you trust. This will make it easy to trace you in case of any danger. This can be a text message or an email message summarising the plans for your day.

  1. Keep an emergency contact card in your pocket, wallet, or bag

Your passport or driving license may not provide much helpful information in case of an emergency. Have a card written in English and the local language outlining your name, medical information such as blood type and allergies and emergency contact information. The information in the card should be updated as may be necessary.

  1. Use authorized taxi services 

This would require you to contact a taxi service in advance. Therefore in the case of travelling to a foreign land for long, it is important to have contacts of transportation companies and utilise the authorised transport services instead of utilising just any other taxi. This however applies even within the USA in places such as New York.

  1. Drink in moderation

World over, criminals are known to take advantage of the vulnerability of people intoxicated with alcohol. They see them as easy targets because excessive drinking impairs judgement and highly reduces decision making.


Therefore, if you are planning to travel to a destination which is declared dangerous or where you have never been, these are some of the top tips for you to go by and apply according to the location where you are.

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