It's OK, I'm Safe
When planning a travelling adventure, whether for business or for pleasure, something that often gets overlooked is how your family feel about your trip. You will probably have considered that you will all miss each other and arranged ways of keeping in touch, but what about their worries about you travelling across the world?
It’s a scary world out there, with plenty of doom and gloom dominating the news every day. There’s little wonder that families fret about loved ones travelling, whether they are jetting off to areas with dubious safety, or locations where hundreds of tourists flock to without issue each day. Even Western capitals are no longer deemed as ‘safe’, as demonstrated by the devastating attacks in Paris last year.
The best solution that you can offer worried family members is that you will remain in regular contact with them. Schedule in Skype chats, email them lengthy updates when you have wifi access, and if you are staying in one country for a considerable amount of time, purchase a local SIM card so that you can make regular phone calls and send texts more affordably. You could even start a blog to keep everyone back home regularly updated with your escapades.
Ensure that your family know your itinerary, and that they are aware of times when you will not be contactable, such as when you will be in meetings or when you will be on trips in places without a signal. Arrange times at regular intervals when you will check in with them, especially immediately after visiting particular destinations that they may be worried about.
Before you embark on your trip, go through your itinerary with your loved ones, and show them all of the places that you will be visiting. It may be helpful to show them articles written by fellow travellers, sharing their own positive experiences. Do your research, and demonstrate that you know which areas to avoid, and ensure them that you will not be in the vicinity of any dodgy neighbourhoods.
Demonstrate that you are prepared, by showing them any safety essentials that you have purchased for your trip, such as a safety whistle, photocopies of your passport, a waterproof pouch for carrying personal items even when swimming or showering, and luggage locks. This will demonstrate that you are thinking ahead and are prepared for the worst, reassuring your family that you have considered how you would react in various situations.
Above all, you simply need to reassure your family that you have considered all possible scenarios and that you are more than capable of reacting appropriately and safely in exceptional circumstances. Show that you have your wits about you and that you know how to look after yourself.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.