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.

Warning signs are posted in areas where wildlife are likely to block the road. Photo © Harris Shiffman/123rf.

Driving Tips for a PCH Road Trip

Before you gas up the car and go, make sure you’re prepared for the challenges of the Pacific Coast Highway! The highway has many sharp curves, steep ledges, and high cliffs without guardrails; long, isolated stretches of blacktop; low visibility at night; wildlife encounters; and the chance for inclement weather any time of year. Slow down, stay safe, and enjoy the scenery!

CCTV cameras adorn an iron stand in France.

Staying Safe in France

It isn’t very likely you’ll become a crime statistic if you live in France, but if you do run into trouble, the police can help with matters as varied as finding a lost animal to giving you directions to helping you when your pocket is picked on the Paris Métro. Here’s who to contact and what you need to know.

A painted lion statue in the Plaza de Leon. Photo © Micah Craig, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Ponce’s Plaza de las Delicias

Ponce’s Plaza de las Delicias is a bustling Spanish colonial plaza surrounded by many lovely 19th-century buildings. Filled with vendors of all kinds by day and music every evening, here’s what to see and do in this beautiful gathering spot.

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.

Over 3,000 majestic humpback whales make their way to Colombia's Pacific coast from August until October each year. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Planning Your Time on Colombia’s Pacific Coast

While the Caribbean coast is developed and populated, Colombia’s Pacific coast is wild, remote, and mysterious. For the few who venture to this little-visited area, the beaches, jungles, and people are simply unforgettable.

Police station in Tortuguero. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Staying Safe in Costa Rica

Staying safe while traveling in Costa Rica is one part preparation and two parts common sense. You’ll find most of these tips apply to travel almost anywhere, but there are a handful of specific precautions you can take to ensure both you and your possessions are safe in Costa Rica.

San Jose has a compact core, as seen from above Parque Morazan. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Discover San José, Costa Rica

San José’s central position makes it an ideal base for forays into the countryside, applying the hub-and-spoke system of travel—almost every part of the country is within a four-hour drive. Read on to learn more about the city and how to plan your time there.

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.