Being safe in a foreign country: what safety steps to take while traveling? Posted by on Jul 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

While being in a foreign country may be fun, there is always danger abroad, just as there is danger at home. All visitors from any country should learn what the dangers are in foreign countries and how to protect themselves no matter how sure they are that they are safe. There is always the possibility that something can go wrong, so, as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Whether by yourself or with family or friends, safety is important. Keep in mind the following pointers to make your next foreign trip as safe and as hassle-free as possible.

1. Research the country you are going to before you go (Zbadaj kraj przed wyjazdem). The best and fastest way of researching is to search on the Internet for legal information and things you should know well in advance of traveling to that country. View travel advisories from reputable sources such as the Polish, US, UK, and Australian Governments, and take note of any potential issues you may encounter.

Know the local customs. There are many gestures that you may be accustomed to, but are frowned upon in other countries where they may be seen as the opposite of their intention.

2.Make copies of everything before you leave (Utwórz kopie wszystkiego przed wyjazdem). Make copies of your passport, travel itinerary and tickets, credit cards, driver’s license, and any other important documents. Copy the back of everything, as well. This can make it easier for you to recover if any of your documents are stolen, but keep the copies in separate locations, and keep them safe. You can also consider making scans of your documents and e-mailing them as attachments to yourself to be printed when and if needed. You may be able to store your important documents in an online “safe” for more security.

3. Get the addresses and phone numbers of your country’s embassy (Pobierz adresy i numery telefonów ambasady swojego kraju) and any military bases (if applicable) before your arrival to the foreign country.

4. Keep your personal information secret (Zachowaj w tajemnicy osobiste informacje). No one but you needs to know where you are staying, where you are going, and when you are doing it.

5. Carry your documents strategically (Noś dokumenty strategicznie). Do not place your credit cards, cash, ID cards, and passport all in the same place.

Keep cash and credit cards separate from ID cards. By keeping things separated you eliminate the risk of having them all stolen.

If you have a wallet, wear it in your front pants pocket instead of in the back and your pocketbook close to the body. To be extra safe, prepare a mugger’s wallet — an inexpensive wallet with a small amount of real cash plus expired credit cards and fake IDs. Use a fake wallet in case you are mugged and have to give it up. Throw it towards them but aim for further than them. As they run to get the wallet, you have the chance to run the opposite way to get away from them. The muggers are more interested in the cash and won’t take the time to examine the fake cards and IDs until later.

6. Be alert when using public transportation (Bądź czujny podczas korzystania z transportu publicznego). Steer clear of unlicensed taxis. Better still, hire a car, or get a bus or train. Try to get a seat at the front of the bus, as you will be near the driver. You should never go on the top floor of a bus late at night. If you are getting a train, try to find a seat in a busy carriage somewhere in the middle of the train. This means you will only have to walk down half a potentially lonely and poorly lit platform. If necessary, sit close to the emergency button/intercom.

7. If you do take a taxi, do not sit in the front seat, especially if you are a woman (Jeśli masz wziąć taksówkę, nie siadaj na przednim siedzeniu, zwłaszcza jeśli jesteś kobietą). Make sure the doors open from the inside. When you arrive at your destination, have the money ready immediately and do not linger in the car.

8. If driving, be alert to changes in the rules of the road (Uważaj na zmiany w przepisach ruchu drogowego). Some countries will drive on the left side of the road, others on the right. In the U.S., you drive on the right side; in Japan the UK, Australia or New Zealand you drive on the left side. Driving on the opposite side of the road to what you are accustomed is a significant adjustment; in particular, be very careful when turning to be sure you end up on the correct side of the road.

Safe travels! Bezpiecznych podróży!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Keep learning Polish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Brian_87!:

    I was a child when I read a poem about a ‘Rain droplet’. A drop of rain was afraid of leaving clouds i.e. her home and was suffering from a constant battle of confused decisions. But ultimately after much troubled thoughts, she leave and witnesses the wonders of life; the life beyond her petty limitations (as per the story she later became a pearl). Travelling to another country can be a similar story. I completely agree with the above suggestions and as far as your attitude is concerned, make love and learning your priority 🙂
    Thanks for sharing wisdom!