Last Updated on by Lohanna Reis
Vacationing is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable time. Everyone should have the experience of traveling abroad, experiencing new cultures, and seeing new sites. However, if you’re not careful, traveling can easily turn into a bad experience.
Before you travel, there should always be some level of planning that includes health and safety considerations. Unfortunately, not all destinations are ideal for everyone. This can be because of health concerns, your identity, or political beliefs, as well as driving dangers.
This article will look at some risk factors that travelers should be mindful of when planning their next vacation and some of the best destinations to travel to this year to have a safe and fun trip.
Health and Safety Concerns to Consider When Choosing a Travel Destination
After the past couple of years with the pandemic, public health concerns have grown significantly. Travelers are much more cautious now, as they should be. The last thing you want when traveling abroad is to discover you’re stuck in a location that is struggling to contain illness and infectious diseases.
However, while health is at the top of our minds these days, it should not be the only thing you plan for when traveling. Driving can also be an issue that puts you and your family at risk if you are not careful. Not all destinations are ideal for renting and driving a car.
If you are unfamiliar with a country’s driving behaviors and practices and don’t know where you are going when driving around the roads, you could end up putting yourself in precarious situations.
Your personal identity and political beliefs can also be an issue in some destinations. Not all countries or cities are welcoming of those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, for example. So it’s important to make sure you plan your trip wisely to ensure you don’t find yourself in an unwelcoming and dangerous environment.
- Disease & Illness
Your health should be one of your main priorities when you travel. Traveling always comes with a risk of getting sick, no matter where you are going. This is because traveling can mess with our immune systems and put us in contact with more people in close quarters, like on a plane or in a hotel.
However, a mild cold or upper respiratory infection is not the only thing to worry about. Traveling to certain destinations can also put you at higher risk of coming into contact with more severe illnesses and infectious diseases. So before you travel, it’s important to take precautions to avoid falling ill, especially if you are traveling internationally.
Before leaving home:
- Check travel warnings and avoid choosing a destination where infectious disease is a concern. This is especially important now with the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s even more crucial to avoid certain places when you are traveling with children or other family members who may be more susceptible to getting sick.
- Once your trip is planned, check out a travel health clinic to get specific health information for your chosen destination. Health care professionals can inform you of what medications to take with you, how to avoid getting sick, and what travel immunizations you should get to avoid contracting a serious disease.
During your travels:
- Wash your hands as often as you can and use hand sanitizer. You should also try to avoid touching your face, mouth, nose, and ears too much before your hands are cleaned.
- Depending on your chosen destination, tap and well water might not be safe. So be sure to check on this and if you aren’t sure, always opt for bottled water that is sealed.
- You should also drink other beverages out of their original container instead of having them poured into a cup or glass. Make sure to wipe the top of the container off as well, or use a travel straw that you know is sanitized.
After returning home:
If you feel under the weather when you return from your travels, see your healthcare provider or go to urgent care as soon as possible. Even if the illness feels mild, you never know how it could develop over time. Make sure you tell your doctor that you just returned from traveling and where you were, as this could give them insight into what you might be suffering from.
2. Driving Safety
While some destinations are perfectly safe to rent and drive a car around, others are not. Don’t just assume you can rent a car and get around without any problems, even if rental car options are advertised to you when you are planning your trip.
Driving in another country can be unsafe and put you in danger if you aren’t familiar with their roads and driving practices. You might also need a special license or insurance to drive in another country, and being caught without these things could be bad.
So before renting a car for your trip, make sure you:
- Check if your license will be accepted overseas or if you will need to get a temporary one.
- Look into driving practices and road safety. For example, some places in Europe are very easy to drive around, whereas other destinations might be more confusing. And some cities are just completely unsafe for tourists to drive around.
- Check on fees, taxes, or any other rules or laws about driving in another country that you may be unfamiliar with.
- Look into parking options. Just because renting a car and driving around in a certain city is easy does not mean they will have accessible public parking.
If there are too many barriers or negatives to renting a car in your chosen destination, it might be best to forget getting a car altogether and choose a place that is easy to get around without one.
3. Teen Safety
Traveling with your teens can be great. They don’t require constant supervision like younger children and they’re old enough to enjoy and appreciate the trip. However, this means that teens may want to do their own thing, which isn’t always ideal when safety is concerned.
Keeping your teens involved with fun activities, rather than allowing them to find their own fun, is a great way to keep them both safe and entertained. One destination to consider traveling to is Central Florida, where they offer a wide variety of activities for both you and your teen to enjoy. Choosing a location that has variety is a great way to keep the entertainment going, get involved in activities you can both do, and remain safe.
4. LGBTQ+ Safety
While anyone should be free to travel the world and go where they’d like so long as they are mindful of cultural customs, not all countries or cities are accepting of members of the LGBTQ+ community. A country’s political and religious beliefs and practices can mean that it is unwelcoming and even dangerous for someone who is LGBTQ+ to be there.
However, this does not mean you can’t travel all over the world as a member of this community. For all the places that aren’t safe, there are so many more that are. It just takes a little extra planning and consideration.
For example, some places might not have issues with your identity but more with how you dress. So as long as you abide by their cultural practices and preferred clothing choices, you should be fine.
- Check local policies, political beliefs, and religious customs.
- Be mindful of the clothing you choose to wear in certain locations.
- Seek out places that have their own LGBTQ+ community.
- If you do choose a destination that is potentially anti-LGBTQ+, have a plan and look into safe spaces you can go if something happens.
Safe and Healthy Travel Destinations
To help you with your planning, below are lists of some of the best places to travel, keeping in mind the above concern.
- South Island, New Zealand
- Paris, France
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Tahiti, French
- London, England
- Rome, Italy
- Phuket, Thailand
- Tokyo, Japan
- Las Vegas, NV
- New York City
- Kauai, HI
- Costa Rica
- Los Cabos, Mexico
- London, England
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Cape Town, South Africa
For a car-free vacation, check out these destinations:
- Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Zermatt, Switzerland
- Venice, Italy
- Sark, Channel Islands
- Rottnest Island, Australia
- Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
No matter who you are and where you are traveling, it is always wise to be mindful of your health and safety. So, before planning your next vacation, make sure you take health precautions, research local customs and policies, and have a good plan for how you are going to get around.
The more planning and preparation you do ahead of time, the more likely you are to stay safe and have a good time.
Planning your next trip?