Tips on how to travel safely

Traveling can be an exciting experience, but it's important to prioritize your safety

By 8min read
Traveling can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to prioritize your safety while on the road. To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, it is essential to be cautious and research travel safety. Tips on how to travel safely can help protect you and your belongings while traveling, allowing you to fully experience the adventure of traveling without any distractions. Remember, the world is generally safe and welcoming for travelers, but being prepared is always a good idea.
1. Taking a taxi at night

It is worth considering the investment in your safety when traveling, especially if you arrive in a new country late at night or in an area with a reputation for being unsafe. Options such as taking a taxi or staying in an airport hotel can help ensure your safe arrival. Another opportunity to consider is joining an organized tour group, as they can provide comprehensive planning and added safety and insider knowledge.

When you need to get around, use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services to ensure your safety. Avoid hailing a cab off the street, and check that the car’s meter works before entering.

2. Travel with Your Money Safely

When traveling, it’s vital to protect your money and personal belongings. Keep your money close to you, and consider using a fanny pack or money wallet. If you’re wearing a backpack, try wearing it on your chest in crowded places to make it harder for pickpockets to access. Only carry a little cash on you, and consider storing some in a secret location, such as a second wallet, in case your primary wallet gets stolen.

Try not to stand out as a tourist to avoid attracting thieves and scams. Know your route and destination before you set out, confidently walk, and dress appropriately for the local culture. Avoid wearing expensive or flashy jewelry, as it may draw unwanted attention. If your phone or credit cards are lost or stolen, immediately alert your bank or phone provider to prevent fraudulent charges.

3. Dress wisely for your travel safety

Research your destination and be aware of local customs and laws. Remember, it’s always better to be cautious and prepared than to put yourself in unnecessary danger while traveling. When traveling to more conservative or religious countries, it’s essential to dress appropriately to avoid causing offense and drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s also a good idea to be more conservative in your clothing choices as a sign of respect. To avoid potential issues, it’s best to leave expensive or sentimental jewelry at home to prevent thieves or attract unwanted attention. If you have stolen your phone or credit cards, immediately alert your bank or telephone provider to avoid receiving a hefty bill.

4. Always buy Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential to safe travel, as it protects against unexpected expenses such as medical bills, lost or stolen property, and missed flights. While it’s unlikely that you’ll need to use it, it’s important to have it just in case. In our experience traveling over the past five years, we’ve had to utilize our travel insurance several times for hospital visits. We have found that having this insurance allows us to access better care at international hospitals rather than relying on local facilities.

5. Careful Where You Eat

In areas where the water and sanitation conditions are not up to par, it’s possible to get sick from consuming contaminated water or food. This can ruin your travel plans for a few days and be a better experience. However, trying local cuisine is often a highlight of traveling, so it’s essential to be cautious but not to avoid altogether eating local foods. There are several ways to reduce the risk of getting sick while traveling, including researching restaurants before dining at them, choosing to eat at popular and busy establishments, purifying your water with a water purification device, steering clear of ice and salads (which may be made with tap water), and selecting fruits that you have to peel yourself. By following these tips, you can still enjoy local cuisine while taking precautions to protect your health.

6. Research local scams and areas to avoid

To stay safe while traveling, it’s important to research local cons and sites to prevent them before arriving at your destination. You can find this information on your government’s travel advisory website and seek advice from staff at your accommodation and browsing traveler forums. Additionally, be cautious when using ATMs, keeping a close eye on them and taking out small amounts of cash to minimize the impact of theft. Remember to keep your valuables close and secure, whether on public transportation or at your accommodation, by keeping them in a small, easily-accessible bag and using padlocks on your bags and locker. Finally, trust your instincts and be cautious of quickly trusting strangers in unfamiliar places.

7. Be Aware of Pickpockets

Pickpocketing is a common problem in tourist areas, so being aware of your surroundings and keeping your valuables close is important. Keep your bag in front of you, and be cautious of anyone who seems to be trying to distract you. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you, as this can make you a thief target. Consider using a credit or debit card or a travel money card that can be easily replaced if lost or stolen.

8. Stay aware of your surroundings

Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Keep your wits about you and be mindful of what’s happening around you, particularly in crowded areas. This can help you identify potential threats and take steps to protect yourself.

9. Make copies of important documents

In case of loss or theft, having copies of your passport, travel insurance, and other important documents is helpful. Consider keeping electronic copies in a secure cloud storage service or emailing them to yourself and physical copies in a separate location.

10. Trust your instincts

Be aware of your safety. Group travel can offer extra protection. Still, it’s essential to trust your instincts, be mindful of potential dangers even when in a group, and be cautious in unfamiliar situations. Avoid walking alone at night or in deserted areas, and protect yourself against crime and harassment. Consider taking self-defense classes before your trip, and carry a personal safety alarm or another weapon if you feel comfortable doing so.

11. Use common sense and stay informed

While traveling, it’s important to remain knowledgeable about any potential threats in the area. This can include natural disasters, health outbreaks, and political or social unrest. You can stay informed by watching the news, registering with your embassy, and following any travel advisories or warnings issued by your government.

12. Know your insurance details

Know your insurance details and the local emergency number for the country you are visiting.

13. Share your route with family and friends

Share your way with family and friends, and consider turning on the “Find My Phone” feature so they can track your location. Stay in touch with loved ones while traveling, so they know you are safe and can reach you in an emergency. Consider setting up a check-in system with a trusted friend or family member so they know how to contact you if necessary.

14. Be cautious about sharing your accommodation details

Be careful about sharing your accommodation details with others, and consider telling taxis to pick you up from a busy, well-lit location. Use taxi apps like Uber or Grab with driver reviews to ensure you get a reliable ride.

15. Avoid unnecessary risks

Avoid unnecessary risks and be prepared by taking a first-aid, language course, or self-defense class if you are a woman traveling alone.

16. Drink responsibly

Drink responsibly and be aware of the strength of drinks in different countries and the risk of date rape drugs.

17. Have a Plan B in Case of an Emergency

Having a plan in case of an emergency while traveling is always a good idea. This can include knowing the location of the nearest hospital or embassy, having an emergency contact list, and keeping some extra cash on hand in case of an unexpected situation.

18. Be Careful When Using Public Transportation

Public transportation can be a convenient and budget-friendly way to get around, but it’s essential to be cautious when using it. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and keep an eye on your belongings to prevent theft. If you’re taking a taxi, ensure it is licensed and ask the driver to use the meter to avoid being overcharged.

19. Take Precautions Against Disease

To prevent illness while traveling, it’s essential to take some precautions. This can include vaccinating, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding potentially contaminated food or water. It’s also a good idea to bring some basic medical supplies, such as band-aids and over-the-counter medications, with you.

20. Use Hotel Safety Measures

When staying in a hotel, it’s essential to take advantage of the safety measures they have in place. This can include using the safe in your room to store valuable items, keeping your door locked, and using the hotel’s security staff if you have any concerns.

21. Know Your Limits

While it’s important to have fun and be adventurous while traveling, knowing your limits is also essential. This can include being mindful of how much alcohol you consume, avoiding risky activities beyond your skill level, and being realistic about handling certain situations.

22. Keep your phone always charged and with you

Make sure your phone is charged and with you at all times in case you need to call for help. Consider downloading a local map and emergency numbers for the country you visit or purchasing an international phone plan.

23. Avoid oversharing on social media

While sharing your adventures on social media can be tempting, remember what you post. Avoid sharing your exact location or travel plans, as this can make targeting you easier for potential thieves.

24. Stay healthy while traveling

To stay healthy while traveling, practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding drinking tap water in countries where it is unsafe. Consider getting vaccinated before your trip and carrying basic first aid supplies, such as band-aids and over-the-counter medication.

25. Don’t leave your drinks unattended

Be aware of your surroundings when you are out, and never leave your drink alone. This can help prevent you from becoming a victim of date rape drugs.

Following these tips and using common sense can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. And do not forget: always trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings to stay safe while traveling.

To learn how to organize an independent trip, click HERE. To find out how to avoid altitude sickness, click HERE.



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