Boardwalks at Mammoth Hot Springs and other thermal features are designed to keep visitors safe and protect the fragile crusts. Photo © Galyna Andrushko/123rf.

Battling Bad Behavior in National Parks

When traveling in Yellowstone, you might be confronted with other visitors ignoring the rules. In most cases, they don’t intend to be malicious. They simply misunderstand the natural ecosystem, its realities and its dangers. So, what can you do to encourage better behavior from others? Read these tips from Becky Lomax.

Seismic activity is a common occurrence in California. Photo © crystaleyemedia/123rf.

Staying Safe in a California Earthquake

Visitors from outside California may have the impression that big earthquakes happen here all the time. Well, that’s only partly correct. Earthquakes do happen all the time, but most shakers aren’t strong enough to be felt by people. In the event of a big one, though, the California Office of Emergency Services has a list of some things you can do to protect yourself during an earthquake.

A black bear in Sequoia National Park. Photo © Nstanev/Dreamstime.

Wilderness Safety in Northern California

If you’re planning a backcountry expedition in northern California, follow all rules and guidelines for obtaining wilderness permits and for self-registration at trailheads. National and state park visitors centers can advise in more detail on any health or wilderness alerts in the area. Additionally, brush up on your wilderness safety; here’s how to prepare for temperature changes, high altitudes, and all manner of local wildlife.

A new building at Srinakarin hospital in Khon Kaen,Thailand.

Health Care in Thailand

Health care in Thailand is generally good and inexpensive. In fact, people from all over the world come here for everything from routine plastic surgery to fertility treatments. The nicest private hospitals in Bangkok look more like five-star hotels than health care facilities, and doctors often speak three or four languages. Public hospitals are sufficient for many issues but are not always staffed with nurses and doctors that you will be able to communicate with.

A red door in a pale green wall surrounded by graffitied names.

Crime in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is considered one of the safer countries in Central America. Tourism-related crime like petty theft and scam artists (and the occasional robbery and assault) sometimes occur, usually at night and involving alcohol. Stay safe during your travels by keeping informed, following these tips, and most of all, know where and how to avoid a sticky situation.

A Hawaaian sea urchin in a coral crevice.

Ocean Safety in Hawaii

More people drown in Hawaii than anywhere else in the world. But don’t let the statistics deter you from enjoying the ocean! Use common sense along with these tips for respecting both the ocean and the creatures that live in it to stay safe.

A temporarily abandoned Toyota Land Cruiser with missing (broken) front steering knuckle in a canyon above Panamint Valley.

Death Valley Desert Survival Tips

Death Valley’s vast spaces, remote roads, and weather extremes can create potentially risky situations, but traveling is not any more dangerous than in other national parks if you are prepared for the unique environment. Know what weather to expect and where you’re going, and be prepared for the unexpected.

Colombian police receiving a briefing in a public square.

Staying Safe in Colombia

Colombia is safe to visit, and the majority of visitors have a wonderful experience in the country. But there are volatile regions citizens and visitors alike are best avoiding, as well as notable city crimes that target inattentive travelers. Prevention is the key to avoiding becoming a victim; learn what to watch for in this article by expert traveler Andrew Dier.

A hat and sunglasses on a tropical beach.

Hawaiian Islands Travel Health and Safety

With the perfect weather, a multitude of fresh-air activities, soothing negative ionization from the sea, and a relaxed and carefree lifestyle, everyone seems to feel better in the islands. But the sun here is extremely strong even on cloudy days, the wind can dehydrate you faster than you might think, and while there are no vaccinations required to visit Hawaii, there are some common pests and water-bourne illnesses to be mindful of.

A young woman fills a water bottle from a stream in Yosemite.

Yosemite Hiking Health and Safety

By far the biggest dangers to be faced in Yosemite are those created by visitors who don’t follow posted rules and regulations. Carry a day pack with all the essentials for a day out and a few emergencies, and prepare ahead of time for Yosemite’s terrain.