Travel advice comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s garnered from an unfortunate event – even from a tragedy. There are experiences that make us take a second look at things we seem to take for granted. This Travel Tip Tuesday, Stephanie has written a travel essay as an important reminder of why it’s important to stay safe and be aware while traveling.
In the middle of November 2009, the death of Robert Stone brought Marist College to its knees. I still remember when I opened the email on a Saturday morning after having a fun, carefree college student Friday night. Covering my mouth as I read that my classmate Robert Stone had died from falling down the stairs at Santa Maria d ‘Aracoeli in Rome, Italy, I couldn’t stop myself from saying out loud “Oh my God,” in a disbelieving stupor. For the next few weeks, I kept thinking of how Rob had been abroad in Europe for the semester, having the time of his life, and that all he had been doing on that day was sightseeing with his roommate.
I realized from this tragedy just how easily an excursion could turn into a nightmare, and that something like this did not even seem preventable. Some tragedies can’t be avoided, even with the purchase of travel insurance. How do you stop yourself from a miss-step or being bumped by another tourist and falling? But upon reflection, I think I can see that Rob’s death, though it could not have been prevented, does give us an important insight: that when we are on vacation and exploring new places we are not invincible.
It may seem like a preschool redundancy, but I think that no matter where we are, we should try to remember how to keep ourselves safe, especially while on vacation. I know that when I go to new places I am never thinking about looking both ways while crossing the street, being aware of my surroundings outside of their aesthetic value, and making sure I am not in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though freak accidents are hard to prevent, being aware is the most we can do for ourselves and there is a lot of value in that.
Potential accidents are not the only things that can encroach on our safety while travelling. There are still the problems of criminal activity to try to prevent from affecting you. While on vacation, you should definitely make sure that your hotel is in a safe area and that you always lock the door behind you, even if just briefly leaving the room to go down the hall. To combat the problem of pick-pocketing, which is a real threat in Europe, hold your purse or bag close to your body, and try to use something with a zipper so that it is harder for the pickpocket. If you plan to drink, try to set a specific limit of intake so that you are not too drunk in an unfamiliar setting, making it easy for immoral people to take advantage of your state.
All of these points may seem like common sense, but I think we all need to be reminded about the realities of certain situations. A safe trip is a good trip, in my opinion, so let’s all try to keep this in mind while visiting new places.
How do you stay safe while traveling? Care to share something that may have happened to you while traveling- and what you learned from it?
Don’t forget to check out My Bella Vita for more travel tips today!