“Stealth” Travel Risks We Should Pay More Attention To

 

We all know things not to do when travelling that will inconvenient or put us in danger. Most of us will go all out to eliminate those risks. However, there are a few stealth travel risks out there where their apparent invisibility in terms of risk perception, can potentially lead us to the unawareness or underestimation of their consequences until it is already too late.

Be warned and do not let them catch you out!!

Booking Tight Flight Connections

Of course you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible, but be wary of the temptation to booking those flights with short connection windows. Some points to consider include:

  • Different airline connections may not let you check-in all the way through to destination, so double check before hand and leave ample time for a second check-in.
  • Check if the connections are in the same airport (Terminals) as there may be requirement to clear immigration and customs like in Manila where it can take hours to get from one terminal to another.
  • Unless you are on same airline connections, consider if you have left enough time between flights for your baggage to be moved from one flight to another? There are risks on very tight connections even with same airline connections.
  • Not considering the distances between gates is a common reason for most who have miss connecting flights.
  • Not knowing that there is a second immigration check at gate is another common reason for missing connections.

So, instead of feeling totally stressed and sweaty from all the rushing and ending up making it or missing it, the lesser evil will be better to spend an hour or so in a departure lounge sipping a cocktail instead.

‘Flaunting’ Wealth Unknowingly

Although wearing jewellery, having a few nice pieces of designer luggage or a top of the range camera might be the norm back at home, you may be setting yourselves up as potential targets for thieves once you reach your destination. 

While we may not consider ourselves rich by any means, the simple fact of being able to travel abroad, draped in electronics and jewellery (real or costume) imply significant wealth in some parts of the world. 

We are used to traipsing around visibly with our “fancy” watches, mobiles and a bulging back pocket at home without a thought but on foreign land, especially those that might not enjoy the wealth of western societies, it makes us a sure target for scams and thieves. So be aware, safeguard yourselves and your possessions by toning things down and keeping any valuables out of sight or at home.

Gradual Intoxication

For many of us, drinking and travels go hand in hand. Having a few drinks while travelling is fine, but there’s a big difference between getting buzzed and getting too intoxicated. Note that you do not need to get to the level of drunk to get into trouble, as the risks increases with the level of intoxication. 

A quick reminder of the types of trouble travellers can get into:

  • Lowered inhibitions makes you vulnerable to violence, getting in to fights or arrested
  • Easy target for crime
  • Susceptible to losing important documents and belongings
  • Not being able to find your way back to your accommodations
  • Travel insurance may not cover you for anything caused by over intoxication

We all know not to drink too much but be aware that gradual intoxication can be a common cause to excessive drinking. A couple of beers at lunch, a drink between sight seeing stops, a gin tonic at sunset and you may be surprised at how only a glass or two of wine with the food can tip you over the line.

Not Buying Travel Insurance

One in four people do not take out travel insurance and Benenden Health’s survey shows that the figure is worse for those travelling within Europe.

You might be the picture of health, but you never know what's going to happen on your trip. From ill health and missed flight connections to stolen property or medical treatment, never travel anywhere without having a reasonable level of travel insurance in place.

It is bad enough when bad incidences occur at home causing inconveniences. Consider the multiplied impacts and consequences when on foreign land. With travel insurances costing as little as they do nowadays, they are invaluable should anything go wrong.