Travel Safety Considerations

by Jessica Purdy

How to be safe on your trip

Joe is going on a short–term mission trip. He’s very excited. So excited in fact, that it seems he can’t focus on anything else. At the airport, he pays no attention to his surroundings and his teammates continuously must tell him what’s going on. He gets lost in his thoughts and doesn’t hear any of the things the team leader is trying to tell the group.

On the other hand, Joe’s teammate Nate, is hyper aware of everything going on around him. He’s paranoid about everything that could possibly go wrong. Like Joe, Nate can’t focus on what people are saying to him because he is so caught up in his own concerns. Nate is paralyzed by his fears.

What to do

Joe and Nate are two extreme examples of what can happen when safety is taken too lightly or too seriously. Safety is something all teammates need to be concerned with, but it is important not to become so caught up with safety that you miss everything else. If you follow basic safety instructions, you can avoid becoming like Joe and Nate. Make sure to listen to your team leader and your hosts’ instructions on safety.

For example, it is generally best to not go places alone and make sure someone knows where you are at all times. Work hard, but stay hydrated and don’t over do it and thereby put yourself at risk of getting sick.  Use hand sanitizer before eating especially if you’re in a cultural context where people eat with their hands. Keep valuables hidden or leave them behind if possible.

Although this is not an exhaustive list of safety tips, following these guidelines should be a good place to start. Remember to be cautious, but do not be paranoid.

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