Safety When Travelling

January 8, 2016

Many times in our planning and travelling, we’ve been warned off certain places due to apparent safety concerns.

An American couple tried to warn us off going to Guatemala as we were flying there… according to them, North Americans simply don’t head in that direction because of the numerous safety concerns.

Robbery in Bratislava, the risk of terrorism pretty much everywhere, the risk we run by carrying everything we have with us in our packs as we walk through cities at night…

And most recently, the lady that checked us into our hotel in Berlin told us a number of times to be careful with our personal belongings as we moved through the city.  She’d heard of a large increase in the incidence of pick pocketing and didn’t want a thief to have a better Christmas at our expense.

Not to mention the Munich underground being shut down on new years eve, just a couple of days after we moved on from the area.

The potential for danger is all around us, and perhaps, because of the media and speed at which information travels online, these concerns seem greater than ever.

I can’t help but feel as though issues can be encountered the world over.   Although it’s important to be conscious of what’s happening around you, bad things can happen in ‘safe’ places, and journeys to ‘unsafe’ places generally end up problem-free.

Whilst we’re based in the Middle East, we want to make the most of being closer to a different part of the world by exploring Europe and Africa, but I’ve also had my eye on some spots a bit closer to our new home… Jordan, Egypt, Iran, Palestine and Israel in particular but growing unrest in many of these areas is a bit of a worry.

How do you decide when to pull the plug on a potential holiday destination?  Of course there comes a point there the risk outweighs the benefit, but where do you draw that line?

All I know is that our trip to Guatemala ended without any cause for concern; we met a bunch of lovely people and despite our lack of Spanish, not one single person tried to take advantage of us. We felt safe walking quiet streets at night and would go back in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t it be great to tell the couple we met on the plane?  They may just have changed their mind about this beautiful country and it’s people.



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  • Reply Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi January 10, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I hear ya – crime is the world over and you just have to be careful!

    • Reply Sarah - Exploring Kiwis January 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Exactly. We’ve got to be sensible but at the same time, I have no interest in sitting at home in fear. Think we’re about to book Jordan in 😀

  • Reply Carola January 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    All I can say from my own experience: horrible things can happen to good people seemingly taking all the precautions, while nothing happens to stupid people behaving recklessly all the time.
    So at the end of the day all you can do is be mindful when you choose to go traveling and expect the best.
    On a more uplifting note: in my experience locals will always overly stress the possible dangers in their home town/region/country, which seems like a good thing to me because that means they’re more likely to take care of strangers, still silly enough to visit. That’s at least what I’ve found travelling on public transport as a single, white, blond female in several African countries.

    Cheers & happy, safe travels,

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