Travelling in the US will open your mind, fill your Instagram with amazing photographs and give you stories to tell to your grandchildren. No matter which state you visit, you can be sure of an amazing adventure.
But travelling comes with its risks, no matter where you go. Here are four essential ways to stay safe when you travel in America:
1. Make sure you’re insured
In the US, the average hospital stay costs £8,006 a day. Could you fund that out of your own pocket? Making sure that you have the right travel insurance could save you from a very expensive healthcare bill if you’re ill or injured on holiday. We all like to think that it won’t happen to us, but it has to happen to someone. In fact, 3% of all travel insurance policies end up with a claim and 54% of those are medical.
Check your policy terms very carefully. Pre-existing conditions can cause issues with some insurance providers, while others will be happy to cover them. Also check exactly what your policy offers, to make sure that you’re not left without cover when you need it.
If you have an existing medical condition, it’s recommended that you carry medical ID when travelling. This might be a necklace, bracelet or medical card, including emergency contact details and information about your condition.
2. Have a working mobile phone
Your mobile phone, or cell phone, is essential in the US. Roaming charges may be off-putting, but you’ll need to know that you can call the necessary people in any type of emergency – including a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere.
If your existing provider charges too much, buy a cheap US phone to use on a no-contract plan.
3. Plan your accommodation in advance
Are you a spontaneous type? Avoid last-minute decisions when choosing overnight accommodation.
Spend a lot of time researching places to stay in the US, and book your travel in advance. While an unplanned adventure sounds exciting, it leaves you at risk of choosing unsafe overnight accommodation or being completely unable to find a last-minute room.
By booking in advance, you will have time to thoroughly research the best accommodation and to explore reviews from previous guests.
4. Hiring a car? Think about where you stop
If you’re driving around the US, it’s important to think carefully about where you’re stopping your vehicle. This is particularly true at night.
If you look a little unsure on the roads or are carefully following US road rules to the letter, you may stand out as an easy target to a local that knows the roads well.
If you feel like you’re being followed, or if someone else bumps into your vehicle, make sure that you travel on to somewhere that’s well-lit and relatively busy. Though they’re rare, ‘Bump and Rob’ attacks do happen.
Most people travel to the US without any issues at all. They enjoy a healthy, injury-free holiday without being victims of crime. Unfortunately, there are always an unlucky few.
Situations can’t be avoided completely, but by following the four essential rules above you’ll stay as safe as possible. Plan ahead, and travel happily.