Staying Safe in Southeast Asia: Tips for First-Time Travelers
Southeast Asia is a vibrant, diverse and endlessly exciting place to discover, but if it’s your first time traveling to this part of the world, there are a few things to look out for to help make your visit a safer and more enjoyable one.
There’s a wealth of information and helpful tips that can prepare you for your first time in Southeast Asia. From places to avoid and travel scams to the apps to download, each country in Southeast Asia has its own quirks, characteristics and safety precautions.
Carry essentials only
Southeast Asia is filled with tiny lanes, charming old towns, beautiful beaches and shopping streets. You’ll find yourself doing a lot of walking and exploring, so carry only things that you absolutely need, preferably in an anti-theft bag such as the Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft 45L Carry-On Travel Pack. It includes a puncture-resistant ToughZip feature that keeps your valuables safe from slashes and cuts.
Be alert to your surroundings
Being somewhere new can be distracting, as you take in all the sights and sounds that excite you. In the midst of all this excitement, remember to always stay aware of what’s going on around you. Experienced pickpockets work swiftly and stealthily, often targeting obvious tourists who are busy taking photographs, haggling or sightseeing. Safeguard your belongings in the Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Backpack, which is versatile, spacious and kitted out with anti-theft features including TurnNLock security hooks and the Roobar™ Style locking system.
Learn the basics of the local language
In some larger or more cosmopolitan cities of Southeast Asia such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Manila, English is widely spoken and understood. However, English proficiency may still be lacking in many areas of Southeast Asia. Try picking up the basics of the local language to be on the safe side. For example, learn how to ask for directions, where the nearest police station, pharmacy or hospital is, or simple words to describe people and places.
Trust your gut
Sense of danger is universal. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, out of place or threatened, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as you can. If you’ve just walked into an alley that feels menacing, turn around. If you feel unsafe in a cab, you have every right to ask for the driver to stop and let you down. At the end of the day, rely on your instinct. For easy mobility while traveling, the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 15L Backpack is compact and slim yet packed with safety features including lockable zippers, eXomesh® slashguard and RFIDsafe™ blocking pockets and material to prevent scan scams.
Respect local customs, beliefs and protocol
Different countries have different protocol and customs. It is easy for travelers to take some things for granted such as dressing and speech. Be respectful of how the locals behave and speak so you don’t unknowingly offend or upset anyone.
Traveling in Southeast Asia for the first time can be one of the most memorable and incredible experiences of your life, but remember to always take care of your safety!