In this episode of the Help with my visa! Podcast we talk to Emerging Markets Consultant Carina Bedford, where she gives us her 5 top tips for staying safe when travelling to new or unfamiliar places.

Carina’s travelled to some amazing places for business, pleasure and her volunteer work. At last count she’s been to 80 different countries – including 35 countries throughout Africa – where she’s had her fair share of experiences into the new and unfamiliar.

You can watch this episode on our YouTube channel, or if you prefer an audio format the podcast is also available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify.

As an extra special bonus for podcast listeners, we’ve collaborated with Carina to bring you her 5 Top Tips for Staying Safe When Travelling in ebook format. 

Download a copy of Carina’s ebook 5 Top Tips for Staying Safe When Travelling by clicking the ‘Get my free ebook’ button and signing up to our mailing list. 

You can also join more than 3000 other people on our mailing list, where you’ll also receive a special series of welcome emails plus a further 2-4 emails per month on top visa and travel-related subjects.

Make sure you check both consent boxes when completing the form to complete the sign-up!


Here’s what Carina covers in the ebook and what we talk about on the podcast.

Get prepared before you even leave the house

Carina’s first top tip involves making sure you’re prepared for your trip to a new or unfamiliar place before you’ve even set foot outside your house.

There are a number of things you can do – and several you must – while still at home so that others know what to expect while you’re away.

The advice Carina offers ranges from checking the details of more common items, such as your travel insurance, to potentially undertaking specialist ‘hostile environment’ training if you’ll be travelling somewhere remote, dangerous or potentially unsafe.

Arriving and getting around

Whenever you travel there’s always a possibility something will go wrong while you’re in transit, so you should be aware of the kind of issues you might face.

From meeting your airport pick-up to taking taxis, Carina tells us how to avoid common issues people face in new and unfamiliar locations and how you can immediately diffuse any tension with a little humour.

And best of all, her tips work even if you don’t speak the local language.

Avoiding scams

One of the biggest fears people have when travelling is scams.

Scams can range from the extremely elaborate – sometimes indistinguishable from magic – to the downright brutal with body parts hacked off from unsuspecting pedestrians in the middle of a street.

You’ll want to be sure your valuables are safe, but at the same time there’s nothing that’s worth more than your life. 

Carina runs us through some of the types of scam she’s seen while travelling, and tells us how to avoid them in the first place… and get out of them if you notice you’re being conned.

How to dress

The advice Carina gives on how to dress goes much further than simply ensuring you meet local cultural norms.

When travelling to a new and unfamiliar place – particularly in the developing world – consider how your concept of ‘normal’ dress fits with what you see locals wearing on the street.

If you stand out as too over-dressed or flashy, you’ll attract unwanted attention.

So make sure you dress appropriately, even when travelling for business.

Keep your valuables safe

When we travel we’re in a unique situation in that we carry some of the most valuable things we own.

We have our passports and other identity documents, larger amounts of cash than usual and items such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras, etc. it’s no wonder we can become the objects of unwanted attention.

Carina tells us the best way to use a money-belt (which isn’t the way you’d typically think about using it!) and keep your cash safe when out and about.

She also gives us excellent advice for keeping valuables safe back at your hotel, with an ingenious solution to confirm if someone has been rifling through your bags while you’re out.

Listen to the full 5 Top Tips for Staying Safe When Travelling Podcast

So do check out the podcast episode with Carina, it’s available on our YouTube channel, or if you prefer an audio format the podcast is also available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify.

And don’t forget to download your free copy of Carina’s ebook 5 Top Tips for Staying Safe When Travelling and join the Help with my visa! mailing list for more top visa and travel-related information.

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