Destination Europe

Get ready for trouble-free holidays: a guide to keeping accidents and injuries at bay 

Posted on
June 28, 2024

When planning a vacation, all you can think of is how to make the most of your time and how much fun you’re going to have while exploring new places and enjoying all sorts of exciting activities. After all, the purpose of a holiday is to help us relax, recharge, and disconnect from our daily worries and obligations. So, it’s understandable that the last thing on your mind is the possibility of dealing with unexpected situations that can put your health and safety at risk and ruin your holiday experience. 

However, just because you don’t want to entertain these negative thoughts doesn’t mean they are less likely to happen. Although vacations often feel like taking a break from real life, risks and hazards never take a break. They are a reality you can’t escape, no matter where you go. Things can go wrong at home, so why would travel be any different? 

In fact, you are exposed to more dangers than usual, and certain risks are amplified while travelling. When you are in an unfamiliar place, with distractions at every step, you are less aware of the perils that lurk around. That and the fact that you may be more careless and prone to engage in unsafe activities can make you more vulnerable to potential threats. 

This is not about focusing on the negatives and stressing over all the bad things that could happen during your trip, but about being realistic and prepared so you can avoid unpleasant surprises and keep yourself and everyone around you safe. 

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What could go wrong  

Travel is unpredictable and there are a lot of things that might not go according to plan, no matter how cautious you are. Mistakes are bound to happen; unforeseen situations may arise and force you to make last-minute changes and so on. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common incidents that could occur while on holiday. 

The risk of being involved in a traffic accident is quite high when travelling, especially if you’re going on a road trip. Unfamiliar routes and roads combined with the fatigue of spending long hours behind the wheel and the many unavoidable distractions significantly increase the chance of accidents. Driving in busy cities in a foreign country that has different traffic regulations, or dealing with poor road conditions can be particularly challenging. 

This doesn’t mean tourists are always at fault in the event of a car crash. If you get injured in a traffic accident that you didn’t cause, you can claim compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. You can read more about these types of situations at

Apart from traffic collisions, there is also a high risk of getting injured as a result of slips, trips, and falls. This can happen due to a variety of factors such as visiting locations with poorly maintained facilities and unsafe premises, not paying attention to your surroundings, or ignoring warning signs and safety precautions.    

A lot of holidaymakers get injured while engaging in different recreational activities like water sports, hiking, skiing, zip-lining, amusement park rides, and so on. Once again, the lack of familiarity with the activity, overestimating your skills and abilities, faulty or improper equipment, and inadequate safety measures are the main contributing factors for these types of incidents. Heat-related issues like sunburns, sunstrokes and heat exhaustion are not to be ignored either, as many tourists often have too much fun in the sun. 

In certain unsafe areas with high criminality rates, experiencing assault, theft or fraud represents a serious cause of concern. Travellers are often targeted by criminals because they usually carry large sums of money and other valuables with them and are more vulnerable than locals. 

Although less common than other types of hazards, animal attacks represent a potential risk when travelling involves visits to the zoo or exploring regions where one can easily come into contact with wildlife.   

How to stay safe   

The first and most important thing you can do to keep risks to a minimum is to research the destinations you’re planning to visit and learn as much as you can about them. Being aware of the risks and hazards that you might encounter on your trip will help you avoid them effectively and enhance your safety. Weather-related issues, criminality, local wildlife, traffic regulations, and other local laws and customs are some of the aspects you should look into.  

It’s equally important to take certain precautionary measures before you head out to travel. Getting comprehensive travel insurance is a good idea as it will cover a variety of issues and inconveniences, including missed connections, medical emergencies, travel delays, lost luggage, etc. Also, packing smartly and keeping your valuables and documents in a safe place, ideally in a hidden compartment or a separate pouch, will help you reduce the risk of theft, loss or damage. 

If you plan to partake in different activities during your travels, make sure you have the right gear and equipment on, and follow safety instructions. Don’t forget to check if the companies that provide adventure activities have the necessary certifications and adhere to safety standards and regulations, and carry a first-aid kit with you in case you get injured. 

And most importantly, practice caution while you’re out and about. This means you should stay alert wherever you go, avoid flashing your belongings for everyone to see, drink responsibly, use travel locks, use the right travel bag, make copies of important documents, and keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts and travel plans. You should also have an emergency plan in place so you can react promptly in case something unexpected happens.  

Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with any of the issues covered in this article. But it’s still useful to be mindful of these risks so you can learn how to tackle them and enjoy peace of mind while on vacation. 


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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog