5 Things to Avoid When Travelling

Travelling in other countries and experiencing different cultures and scenery is an amazing adventure and one that everyone should partake in if they get the opportunity. And while exploring the likes of Europe, with all of its history and architecture, the tantalising pastas, and the shopping, is brilliant, there’s nothing like a more developing country. Countries still on the way up are an explosion of sights, colours, sounds, smells and experiences that you just won’t find anywhere else. They have their own magic and challenges and they provide memories that will last a lifetime.


milan italy

by Sebastian YEPES / flickr

The issue with places like these is there is slightly more to avoid, if you want to keep travelling safely and in good health. Because of their status as developing, they may not have the same services and necessities, at the same level as those provided in developed countries. So if you are thinking of taking in some of the developing countries, here are a few things to avoid:

1. Water

In many developing countries, drinking water is not as clean as it is for us at home. That means, if you drink the water and you’re not from the area and used to the bacteria, parasites or other nasties that may be in it, you may become ill. This can result in anything from gastro or food poisoning for a few days, through to the ingestion of large parasitic worms. To avoid this, simply avoid water. Don’t get it in your mouth in the shower, don’t brush your teeth with it, don’t order it in restaurants, and ask for no ice. You will also need to be careful of bottled water, ensuring it is correctly sealed before you open it. Pools may be ok, just check they have pool filters, are treated with the likes of chlorine and pool supplies are on hand that indicate the pool is looked after and kept clean.


crowded pool

by Ingo Meironke / flickr

2. Populated areas

Areas populated heavily by tourists may be terrorist targets in both developing and developed countries. Try to avoid these areas, or just attend them at points when the fewest people are likely to be there. Take heed of any safety warnings and be sure to adhere to local customs.


trafalgar square, london

by Liam Byrnes

3. Airports at night

It may seem like an obvious one, but many travellers, especially backpackers get caught out. If you are planning a very early flight and think you can avoid a night’s accommodation cost by camping in the airport, think again. Many airports around the world will close their doors at some point during the night and kick out anyone planning a sleepover.


airport sleepover

by alexpgp / flickr

4. The locals

Most of the locals in most locations are lovely, and simply want to help you — or you to help them. Like anywhere however, there will be some people who see an aimless tourist strolling around, looking lost and just want to take advantage of you. Be aware of locals who get very pushy in trying to get you to go somewhere, anyone who attempts to get you to follow them, or individuals including taxi and transport drivers who want to take you to their sponsor!

5. Food

Food is without doubt one of the most enjoyable parts of visiting these countries. It is full of colour, flavour and often kick! Be careful of where and when you are getting your food. If you want to risk it and eat like to locals, remember that you haven’t built up the immunity that they have. Try places where there are a lot of tourists eating, as generally these can be considered ‘tried and tested’, however still aren’t guaranteed to be safe. Food poisoning is the last thing you want on your holidays, so watch what you put in your mouth!



by josh smith / flickr

About the author
Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US, adding an Asian twist once in a while. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics.