Traveling is one of the most thrilling things to do. There’s so much to see and do and many places to visit. While you look forward to the fun and experience, you’ll have during your vacation, remember that a lot can happen.
Travelers have fallen victim to identity thefts, scams or even gotten sick. All these can dampen your holiday spirit and make you wish you didn’t travel. However, knowing safety tips will go a long way in ensuring your holiday is fun and safe.
Check out 25 sure safety tips as you pack for your trip!
You must be excited to explore another part of the world for your vacation. But safety first! Traveling shouldn’t be scary, but you never know what to expect. Instead, you can protect yourself with essential travel safety tips.
Here are 25 important travel safety tips you should know:
1. Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is one way to save yourself some heartbreak or disappointment when things don’t go well with your travel. This is important, especially concerning property loss, health, unexpected delays, or legal expenses.
Get travel insurance before traveling if you can afford it, as it can be a real lifesaver. Also, research what the policy covers to pick the best one that suits your needs.
2. Familiarize yourself with common travel scams
You probably think you’re too smart to be scammed, but so did many people who were scammed. So, you can’t always be too sure. There are people everywhere who would do anything to trick you out of your money, and some scams are peculiar to specific locations.
Therefore, spare yourself the hurt of losing your money by researching scams specific to your destination. A good way to do that is to search on Google for common scams in that area.
3. Avoid flashing your valuables
You can avoid being stolen from if you look like you have nothing valuable worth stealing. Thieves often steal from people who flash their jewelry, laptops, cameras, wristwatches, and other expensive gadgets.
You should consider leaving some of your valuables at home if you don’t need them on the trip. If you must travel with them, be discreet with them. For example, you can tuck your jewelry under your clothes when outside or leave them protected in your hotel room.
4. Don’t hold valuables in your back pockets
Back pockets are easily accessible for pickpockets. Keeping your jewelry, money, cards, wallets, and other valuables in your back pocket puts you at risk. Don’t keep anything in your back pocket to avoid falling victim to pickpockets.
Instead, you can use the front pocket or keep them in your purse or bag and hold them safely in front of you.
5. Know your limits
Traveling is so much fun that it’s easy to forget yourself. Often, people enjoy themselves so much overseas that they get too drunk while out. Overdrinking can impair your judgment or make you vulnerable to predators lurking around.
Therefore know your limits and drink responsibly. Furthermore, you should know what you can do while on a trip and what you can’t. Avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations in the guise of trying new things.
6. Don’t travel alone at night
Being alone out at night is a risk everyone knows not to take in their area, let alone when in an unfamiliar place. Traveling or moving around alone at night is dangerous, so you should try to avoid it by all means.
This will protect you from predators or harm. Instead, travel in groups at night since it’s harder for predators to attack you when in a group. In addition, you should consider shifting your activities to the daytime if you’re traveling alone.
7. Travel with a first aid kit
Being in an unfamiliar environment comes with unexpected experiences. The chances of getting injured or falling ill might be slim, but it isn’t something you should rule out. In such cases, your first aid kit can save you.
You should have a first aid kit to cater to insect bites, digestion problems, sprains, cuts, or basic issues you can handle. However, if the situation is serious, you should visit a hospital for medical attention.
8. Use a VPN
Using your phone on a trip is inevitable, as you want to share your experience with your friends and family. However, it can be risky, especially with public wifi networks.
Many public wifi networks are without encryption and, therefore, not secure. Hackers can easily see what you’re doing on your phone, including your socials or bank app. Downloading and using a VPN abroad will protect your information and secure you while you use the internet.
9. Keep emergency cash
Anything can happen when traveling. You may lose your wallet or get pickpocketed. This can ruin your day or leave you disoriented. However, it’ll help you if you have some emergency cash stashed away.
Asides the money in your wallet or purse, you should keep some money away in your hotel or on you. This emergency cash will prevent you from being stranded and sustain you till you can sort out your situation.
10. Travel light
You can easily get tempted to pack lots of essentials and non-essentials when preparing to travel. While that luxury bag or shoes might look good on your Instagram, it might not fit your travel itinerary.
Carrying too much load will require you to keep track of many things, which can weigh you down. Furthermore, you’re more likely to lose your items when you have too much. So save yourself that hassle and leave some items at home. Make a list of the things you need on the trip and pack them.
11. Carry a decoy wallet
Travelers are often prone to getting robbed or pickpocketed. This is not a pleasant experience, especially when the attacker gets away with valuables. One way to avoid this or minimize loss is to carry a decoy wallet.
In the wallet, keep little cash or foreign currency, expired IDs and credit cards, and basic things you can part with. You can keep this wallet in your back pocket or hand it over if you’re robbed.
12. Always be aware of your surroundings
It’s easy to get carried away by the fun and activities around you. But it will help you to stay safe if you’re aware of your surroundings. Be vigilant and always pay attention to what is going on around you.
Watch for anything unnatural going on. For example, note if someone is following you or if there are groups of people just hanging around suspiciously. In addition, use your headphones and phones with caution when outside.
13. Write out emergency Infos
Emergencies are unplanned, and they happen, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared in an unfamiliar environment. Therefore, write out emergency information before traveling. Things to write include ambulance or local police services and directions to the nearest embassy for your country.
You can keep it in digital form or write it on a small card and laminate it to protect it from moisture.
14. Protect your valuables
Traveling with your valuables is very risky; however, there are essential valuables you can’t afford to travel without. The best thing to do is to devise how to protect them. One way to do that is to utilize the safe provided in your hotel.
Also, buy extra locks that you can use on the door or lock your bags. In addition, carry your backpack in front of you when in crowded places. Finally, you should use your discretion to protect your valuables.
15. Register with your embassy
You can also ensure your safety by registering with your embassy. For example, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program by the US government helps your destination’s local embassy know of your arrival and update you with safety information.
In addition, your local embassy can quickly contact you, share important information with you, or evacuate you in an emergency.
16. Share your itinerary with friends and family
Sharing your itinerary with trusted and reliable friends and family can also improve your safety. After determining your vacation destination and itinerary, you can write it out and share it with your loved ones via email or test. Call and confirm that they received your message. Check-in with them often.
That way, they keep track of your activities, contact necessary authorities, and know what to do if things go amiss.
17. Don’t do risky things for photos
Social media has made many tourists do risky things for photos, resulting in them falling off cliffs, getting attacked, or dying. While risks are parts of life, you should be smart about it.
Know your limits and do activities you’re sure are safe. For example, don’t stand too close to the edge of a cliff if it’s windy or looks unstable.
18. Watch what you eat and drink
Food and water health are important when traveling. It’s easy to get food poisoning or stomach discomfort from what you eat or drink, so you should be careful. Of course, trying new food is exciting, but be cautious.
For example, carry a filtered water bottle for the water you drink. Also, only eat at popular places, watch how your food is prepared, and let the restaurant know your allergies.
19. Trust your instincts
It’s easy to neglect your instincts as irrational fear or paranoia. However, you should consider counting on your instincts if you’re in an unfamiliar place. Pay attention to your gut feelings, examine them, and determine the problem.
If you feel uneasy about a place or situation, walk away. Don’t stick around to find out and put yourself in danger.
20. Inform your bank of your trip
Being stranded for cash is one of the worst things that can happen when traveling. You don’t want your bank placing your account on hold or blocking your cards due to ‘irregular activity.’ Resolving such situations can take days and ruin your plans.
Ensure you inform your bank or credit card provider about your travel plans and let them know if plans change. Also, consider using your debit card at the airport’s ATM when you arrive at your destination, as this might help your bank know you’re traveling.
21. Try to blend in
Tourists are often easy targets of predators due to how they look. Try to blend in and avoid being obvious. A good way to do that is to dress as the locals do. Avoid stopping abruptly in the middle of a busy area to take photos.
Don’t make it obvious if you’re lost and ask for directions or consult your map inside a shop or cafe.
22. Have and carry digital copies of important documents
It’s crucial that you keep digital copies of your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, and other important documents. This will help in case of theft or loss and help fast-track the process of a new one. You can also carry it with you instead of your original to show any form of identity should the need arise.
23. Be careful when using ATMs
Another safety measure for traveling is to be careful when using ATMs. One way to do that is to watch your back when using an ATM and refusing unsolicited help from a stranger. If you’re confused, go into a bank and ask for help. Also, ensure you use ATMs in banks as they’re more likely to monitor their machines better.
24. Pay attention to posted signs
It’s important that you pay attention and adhere to posted signs. The signs are put up for your safety and for others around you. Adhere to parking and road safety signs. Disobeying safety signs or rules can be dangerous.
25. Use reputable transportation companies
Use only reputable transportation companies for your commute to be extra safe in a new place. Research reputable companies before your travel and use only those when you arrive. In addition, ensure you confirm the driver’s information and vehicle details before getting into a car if you’re using a ride-sharing app.
Traveling without safety tips to guide you is risky, especially if it’s your first time traveling to a new place. These 25 travel safety tips will help you enjoy your vacation without issues. More importantly, you must be vigilant about your security and safety and do all you can to stay safe. Trust your instincts and be conscious of your environment.