International Travel Tips

Travel Safety

Learn the risks of adventure travel and cultural exploration, both at home and abroad, so you will be prepared on your next Backwoods Adventure.

Plan for Safety Before Your Depart

Many of the trips we offer require good physical condition. Be sure to check the details well in advance of your departure to see what we recommend for each particular trip. In addition, it's also good to follow these simple guidelines before you leave to ensure your safety.

  • Get a Physical Checkup: Unless you regularly engage in physical activity, a visit to your doctor for a checkup can ensure that you are healthy enough to travel abroad. Be sure to discuss the specific activities of your trip, such as backpacking, climbing, ziplining, or high altitudes so you can get the best medical advice.
  • Get the Appropriate Vaccines: Quite a few international destinations require vaccinations before your arrival. You can check with the CDC to learn about the immunizations you need before you go.
  • Leave an Itinerary with Family/Friends: Make sure those close to you know when and where you are going. The best way is to email the full itinerary to a few family members. Tell them where you are going, what your general plans are, and when you should be back.
  • Write Down an Emergency Contact: In an emergency situation you might not have time to thing straight or search for local police or ambulance services. Create an "emergency plan" document with the information and store it in a safe place.
  • Get Travel Insurance: Most of us never think we need it... until we do. You can get short-term travel insurance to alleviate the worries and expense of replacing items.

Be Safe During Your Adventure

All Backwoods Adventures are hosted trips - you won't be sent anywhere without a professional guide who knows the country, community, and safety procedures. However, some of our trips have free days where you can explore the local markets or towns where you may be away from your guide. Even when you are with your travel group you could get separated if you aren't aware of your surroundings, or you simply get lost.

Knowing what to do at night in your accomodations, while exploring the local towns and villages, and as you progress through the countryside can keep you safe.

  • Stay with Your Group: Single tourists (an you will look like a tourist) are targets for pickpocketing, scams, and potentially more dangerous crimes. Always walk with a group when you are in the market, headed out for a social gathering, or walking through towns and villages.
  • Make Electronic Copies of Your Documents: Having backup copies of your documents (passport, drivers license, visa, etc) can save you a ton of headache if you misplace or lose your originals. Make a copy or two of each document and store them in different bags. Leave one copy in your hotel room with your luggage, take another copy in your daypack, and keep your originals safe.
  • Food & Water Safety:Don't be scared of food when you travel. Eating new foods can be a highlight for many people on their adventures around the world, but there are some precautions that can keep you safe when eating out:
    • Eat at popular places. The lines and wait may be longer, but you are more likely to get fresh food.
    • Try to watch how your food is prepared. Most street food is cooked right in front of you.
    • Bring a translation card that has your allergies on it so you can easily ask if a delicious-looking dish is safe for you.
    • Fully-cooked food is always the safest. Only eat raw or undercooked food from a reputable location.
  • Stop Using Your Back Pocket: Keep your cash, documents, hotel key and other valuables in your front pocket or in a pouch designed to hold them. Plan ahead and store an emergency stash of funds, stored in a safe place.