Hello, I am Dmitry Yassof a Belarus national and global trotter who is passionate about traveling. I work as a tour guide down here in Minsk and decided to share a bit of my knowledge with foreigners from all over the world who are interested in coming to Belarus.
How safe is Belarus?
Generally, Belarus is a safe destination for travel and leisure. Violent crimes, burglary, kidnapping, and assault are rare experience here; however common sense should always prevail. If you accidentally find yourself in a compromising situation inform the authorities but don’t try be a hero.
Petty theft tends to be the biggest threat for travelers in Belarus particularly in favorite tourist spots and on public transport. Sleeper trains, congested leisure, and tourists’ destinations create an anchorage for petty theft, so one needs to be alert and cautious around these areas.
Another potential target for thieves in Belarus is American, Japanese, and European SUV and luxury automobiles. Carjacking is a rare occasion, but cars and spare parts theft aren’t. Exposed car parts suffer a high risk of being stolen.
To combat this, the country has put in place stiff penalties for using drugs or their possession. Convicted offenders are subject to hefty fines and or long jail sentences. However, drugging of travelers by spiking their drinks in nightclubs is not an uncommon event.
Belarus is the only country in Europe that practices capital punishment and execution for crimes such as murder, conspiracy, sabotage, treason, and terrorism are imminent. If you are arrested for a crime in the country as a traveler, you may not be able to consult your lawyer, and you may be arrested, imprisoned, or summarily expelled.
What should travelers know to stay safe?
Practicing safety tips before and while traveling can save you from travel glitches which might ruin your entire experience. Also, taking a course for IELTS, a renowned worldwide English language proficiency test for tertiary education and global migration can be a critical step for safer trips. You should know and practice the following safety tips for ideal travel and leisure experiences.
• Conduct thorough research before traveling. You should never be ignorant about your travel destination as this is the initial step towards safety. Make an effort in learning the country’s cultural norms, safest travelers’ spots, political situations, safe accommodations, and its’ dangerous and avoided regions. Commence your trip with eyes wide open to avoid unpleasant surprises.
• You should ensure the safety of your belongings. Restrain from carrying too many pieces of language and concentrate on a small sturdy lock luggage. Keep it simple and avoid having items that stand out as they automatically attract attention. You can also buy RFID protected wallets to prevent identity theft.
• Never flash your wealth. Exposing cash, expensive gears, and automobiles only make you a potential target to thieves, pickpockets’, and scams. It might also be prudent to carry a dummy wallet with little cash as a safety measure.
• Learn to blend with your surroundings. You should try as much as possible to cope with the new travel destination. Observe how the locals handle themselves and learn their practices to avoid being singled out. Carrying a massive backpack, numerous cameras, and looking confused might lure criminals.
• Practice safe transport. Always check whether your flight has been canceled or rescheduled to avoid air travel mishaps. In case you are traveling by bus, it is advisable to use a trusted company preferably the one with the most positive reviews both on-line and off-line. You should also try to book tickets in advance to avoid getting stranded in a remote bus station with no transport on sight. Carrying a map is a good practice to avoid getting lost.
• Travel insurance. Getting travel insurance is a cautious move in ensuring a safer and a more convenient trip. Apart from covering you from theft or loss of personal property, insurance can take care of any trips to the hospital and accidental injuries while on a trip.
• You should have emergency information at your fingertips. Contact details for the destination’s ambulances, police, and their fire department as well as your country’s embassy are vital in the event their need arises.
• Learn to manage your money. If you plan on using your credit or debit cards, make a point of notifying your bank in advance to ensure that your card doesn’t get blocked for suspicious activities abroad. Always carry a small amount of cash and ensure that you research on the availability of ATMs and money exchange services.
• Learn how to communicate with the local people at your esteemed travel destination. Learn the basic phrases such as “where is the nearest police station/embassy/hospital?”, “I need help,” and “what is the name of this place?” among others.
All in all, Belarus can be considered safe but caution needs to be taken. Plan your visit well, by doing proper research and keeping yourself informed about your destination.
Welcome to Belarus!