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Stay safe during your trip!

No matter where you are going and whom you are going with, being safe is essential. Check out these tips and make sure your journey abroad doesn't take a turn south.

1. Mind your health: remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. You can download the free EHIC app to help you contact help services in the country you are visiting. If you are going outside Europe, or to a country not covered by the EHIC, make sure you get a travel insurance. You should also bring along a basic first aid kit with bandages, iodine, alcohol packets, etc.
 
In case of an emergency in any EU country, dial 112 from any phone, free of charge. Operators speak a variety of languages, depending on the country.
 
If you are travelling to an exotic location, visit your doctor before you leave in order to get all the relevant vaccinations and learn what health precautions you should follow.
 
2. Know your rights: no matter if you are travelling by rail, air, bus or ship in the EU you have passenger rights to protect you in case you experience delays, cancellations or have special mobility needs. You can also download a mobile app on passenger rights.
 
3. Don't keep all your money in the same place: while you're travelling, don't keep all your cash and bank cards together, leave at least one card and some cash in a different place, preferably not on your person. If one of your credit cards gets stolen or lost, make sure you report it to the police and contact the issuing bank as soon as possible to cancel the card.
 
4. Don't keep your wallet in your back pocket: to avoid being pickpocketed, keep your wallet in one of your front or inside pockets, especially one that can be buttoned up.
 
5. Save your documents online: scan your travel documents, such as ID, passport or visas and email them to yourself. This way, you can always access them in case you lose the originals. If you lose your ID card or passport, or if it's stolen, go to the police and contact the nearest consulate or embassy.
 
6. Pay attention to unknown persons: set some limits to how much you trust strangers, like going with them into a risky area of town, accepting food or drink. Also, don't accept packages or gifts from strangers at any cost.
 
7. Don't show off wealth: it almost goes without saying that wherever you are, but mainly in an unknown place, it's not advisable to display expensive jewellery and clothes or carrying a big fancy camera around your neck. So try to avoid attracting any unwanted attention and making yourself a target for thieves.
 
8. Don't leave your things unattended: it's also pretty obvious that when you are in public spaces you shouldn't leave your bags at your feet or hanging from the back of chairs. You should put your name and contact on your luggage bags and don't abandon your luggage until it's checked.
 
9. Don't fight back: in the unfortunate event that you are mugged, give up your wallet, watch, phone, etc. If you try to fight it you run the risk of getting injured.
 
10. Watch where you use your credit card: public computers, such as the ones at internet cafes may have software that records your key strokes, so that your passwords can be used by someone else.
 
11. Stay connected: make sure you check back regularly with your family and that they are aware of your itinerary. This way, if something happens to you they will know where to look. With cheaper roaming charges and internet connection available almost everywhere, staying in touch has got much easier.
 
12. Do your research: read about your destination to make sure you are informed on safety concerns, local customs, neighbourhoods to avoid, etc.
 
13. Be smart on public transport: be careful in crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, marketplaces and any other places with large amounts of people. Keep a low profile and don't look as if you were lost, try to appear confident even when you're indeed actually lost.  Also, it is not advisable to take unofficial taxis.
 
Apart from all the safe travel tips, don’t forget the most important one: don't leave your common sense at home!