Most of the travel that I do is for business, but I make a point of taking at least one afternoon to explore the places I go to. I'm self employed, and if my budget allows, I'll add an entire extra day on to the end of international trips so that I can look around and relax for a while before flying home.
I assumed that most people would want to do something similar, given the opportunity, but it seems that there are a lot of people who go on holiday, but are then scared to explore. Approximately one in five holidaymakers apparently choose never to leave their resort, with many of them saying that they'd fear for their safety if they went to explore.
While I can understand the desire to take a spa/resort holiday where you laze by the pool and just enjoy having everything done for you, I don't understand travelling to a far away country for that experience. In my opinion, if you're going to go abroad, isn't it worth checking out local shops, enjoying local food, and heading out of the tourist areas to see what the place is really like? I've found some amazing shops and nice food places by going for a walk without a guidebook steering me to "safe" places.
Of course, it's important to take a few safety precautions - learn a few words of the local language if you can, don't carry valuables in plain site, don't carry too much money on you, etc. However, I think it's sad to miss out because of fear.
Do you explore when you go abroad? What are your safety tips?