Traveler’s DOs and DON’Ts

Before leaving:

  • Check visa requirements.
  • Consider vaccination against TBE and HAV.
  • Get insurance for your belongings, life and medical treatment (including transportation to your home country in case of emergency).
  • Learn numbers and a few basic phrases in local language. Especially a nice greeting!
  • Learn about cultural differences and any behaviour that might be considered offensive.
  • Make a research on timetables and tickets – plan your journey ahead.
  • Get offline maps, a compass and learn basics of navigation without support of any of these.
  • Print out pictures of most important locations. Google Maps satellite images are priceless for finding landmarks. Print them out too.
  • Get colour copies of your documents (passport, ID, driving license).
  • Check weather conditions and climate of your destination. If possible, start your journey in more difficult conditions, it’s better to run out of energy at the end.

Food safety:

  • Never leave your food and drinks unattended.
  • Don’t drink unsafe water (and don’t ask for ice cubes).
  • Street food safety is proportional to the number of local people visiting.
  • Adapt for a few days before eating local fruits.
  • It is useful to know how to find water in the area where you are going, and how to purify it. Just in case.

Personal safety:

  • Ignore street vendors.
  • Avoid unofficial guides, unless no other choice.
  • Reduce number of valuables you carry.
  • Be aware of surrounding. If you feel someone is touching you or pushing a little bit, turn around. This is the way thieves check how much “electrified” you are.
  • Never put anything valuable in your back pockets.
  • Don’t be scared, be prepared. The more you are afraid of being a victim, the more likely you will become one.
  • Avoid discussing local politics. If asked about opinion, change the subject.
  • Don’t share you home address and avoid giving any personal information.
  • Don’t believe every word officials tell you.
  • Do not take pictures of any installations, especially military and energy.

Transport:

  • Always consult your travel plans with local people.
  • If asking for assistance, never ask people who may have business in guiding you.
  • Don’t fall asleep when travelling alone.
  • If you can’t resist falling asleep, keep your documents and valuables as close to your body as possible and attach your backpack in a way it would be tricky to open it or steal.
  • When travelling by train try to lock your compartment.