Get to know your destination in depth before you arrive. Keep your friends and family informed. Experiencing the world on a tight budget could expose the true beauty of a diverse world for some travelers. However, since your trips won't be characterized by 5-star hotels and premium services, you may need to take safety issues into your own hands.
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If something goes wrong while you're traveling, you need to know how to get help. It could be from the police, fire department, ambulance, or even your embassy. For each of those services, you'll want to know the phone number, as well as the location of your embassy or consulate in the country you're in. Just because it's 911 in your home country doesn't mean it will work where you are.
You'll often find emergency numbers on security cards or in emergency exit plans at hotels and hostels. Still, it's best to do a quick Google search before you travel and write them down, either on paper or on your phone. For a list of emergency numbers abroad, you can also refer to this wiki article. Ensuring some practical safety tips before and while you're on the road could save you trouble with your travel plans.