Travelling is not only fun and entertaining, but it also is a fantastic way of shaping up our characters, of learning things pertaining to various cultures throughout the world and thus expanding our intellectual horizons, of meeting new people and of course, making new, diverse friends. Nevertheless, you need experience in order to make a travel successful, and that experience is something you acquire in time, it is not something that is granted to you as fast as you embark on your first trip. Travelling can be unsafe a lot of times for a variety of reasons that range from money and documents to health and safety and that is why we provide you this Top 21 travel safety tips (comprising all the aspects of safety) that will help you in your endeavors and will ensure your well-being while you’re at it.
- Try to wake up as early as possible
There’s a reason why “Good morning, sunshine!” is a thing nowadays. If you wake up early, you avoid street congestions in case you travel by car or you prevent blocking yourself in the seemingly interminable lines at the airport. On top of that, you cannot miss your flight, train or bus or forget anything at home, especially the vital documents you need to travel safely and legally, the ID card, passport (make sure it’s renewed), the VISA, your driver’s license and the boarding pass for the plane. Make sure they’re reachable immediately and you don’t need to rummage through your entire travelling arsenal to get them. Also, keep them in a safe place. Losing them could prove to be disastrous. This is a travel safety tip par excellence, if you will.
How to keep safe when travelling
- Buy a lock for your luggage
You mustn’t ever forget that everything you own is in your luggage and locking it up is a travel precaution measure you should prioritize. It can be a simple lock or a complex code-lock, but the luggage has to be as secure as possible. They can get stolen even in the most exposed areas, like the waiting rooms in airports or train stations and you cannot possibly start your trip with the left foot.
- Make marks on your bags
Bags look pretty much the same unless they do not have some unique markings on so people can differentiate them. The best idea is to put stickers on them, colorful patches, labels or anything that makes it unique among the others. Having them stolen is a real threat, but so is having them mistaken and we’re pretty positive you don’t want to get somebody else’s belongings with you while yours go with them – and it all goes back to the money and the documents, not the actual products or things you had in the bags. Those you can rebuy, but documents need time and ample finances to remake.
- Don’t wander around gilded with jewelry
Sure, jewelry makes you look more fabulous than usual, but we’ve never seen a top travel safety tip that warrants you should wander around covered in gold. You can easily get robbed, given that you do not know the surroundings and your response time is rather slow, because you wouldn’t expect that to happen. You wouldn’t want to spend your trip at the police department trying to give information on a robber that you didn’t even see in the first place. Don’t wear glistening bracelets, big golden necklaces or earrings.
- Keep your laptop safe
Consider buying a laptop case that is provided with a safety lock, ideally one of those sturdy backpacks provided with all sorts of securing mechanisms. If you want to work in open spaces while relaxing, say a beach, always keep an eye on your laptop and don’t make the mistake of leaving it unattended. Also protect it with a password, a preferably long, complicated one that no one could ever guess or crack easily. We can only wait excitedly for Loctote to produce laptop bags, because those will be indestructible portable bunkers.
- Make back-ups of your most important data
Just in case you still manage to lose your laptop, at least you will have your most important documents and data safe and sound on USB sticks, Cloud, Google Drive or external hard-drives. For business managers, this could be equal to being close to death and saving themselves in the last second, so make sure that you keep those devices somewhere safe, away from intrusion, humidity and direct sunlight.
- Become a part of the crowd
This is one of the most important top travel safety tips that you might ever lay your eyes on. Study the locals of a certain place you’re visiting and try to dress as they do, unless you maybe want to stand out from the crowd like an elephant at an ants’ feast. Be content and try not to look too extravagant or fancy. Some people are reticent to new faces within their community, especially those in more exotic places. Don’t try too much to stand out and don’t try too much to blend in, either. Find a balance between the two that helps both you and the community you find yourself in. Smalltalk is, of course, okay as long as you don’t chirp out your intimacies or give too much information on where you’re from and what exactly you’re doing there. It’s rather a common sense aspect than a real travel safety trip, but the boundaries between the two are quite faded.
- Write down or memorize important landmarks
In case you get overexcited and you’re suddenly stricken with wanderlust in a city, always look at certain buildings, bars or terraces that could help you find your way back should you get lost. It also functions if you see less friendly faces and you realize you’re in the red parts of a town. Visual cues are of a paramount importance when you travel, just like maps. But it’s easier to guide yourself back with the help of familiar places than consult a complex map. This should be a natural travel precaution measure already.
- Refrain from letting “your guard down”
You know what the biggest problem with thieves is? They don’t look like thieves. You wouldn’t ever suspect a couple of children to be distraction devices so adults or other children could “disburden” you of your possessions, correct? You have to be safe when travelling, and it’s a rookie mistake to let them divert you. And it’s slightly ironic to be dispossessed of your things while being entertained, isn’t it? Thieves mostly work in packs, and unfortunately kids are employed in this dirty job, as well, precisely because they look harmless. The truth, as you can see, is entirely different.
- Stay put at nighttime
Of course, it is tempting to go and have fun in a club or simply to walk around during the night, but you should remember that you’re not that acquainted with the city and you’re prone to being mugged on ill-lighted streets. If you have friends in that certain city, then you are probably safe. Walking by yourself is not an option if you want to enjoy your travel. There’s a cornucopia of hazards in unfamiliar places, most of them occurring during the night.
- Try to avoid demonstrations or disturbances
Things can go south very fast in public spaces like squares, especially if you’re visiting a country that is known for periodical riots or fights. You shouldn’t try to photograph or record the incident, lest you get caught in the maelstrom. Remember that you are not a journalist, but a traveler, so you better get out of their way and enjoy the rest of your travel.
- Don’t walk with your phone in your hand or your camera around your neck
You might be a professional photographer or you might just like to take pictures of everything to show them to the ones that couldn’t make it, but don’t walk around with your camera strapped around your neck. You can be seconds away from having it stolen, and let’s be honest, you have no chance of getting it back, and not to speak about running after the thief in a place you don’t know. Exposing your mobile phone is yet another mistake you can do while travelling. It can be taken out of your hands in two seconds and it’s gone forever. Phone theft is not just a passing fad or just an occasional misfortune – it’s already an industry, and there’s not much you can do about it after it was stolen.
Best monetary safety travel tips
- Consider purchasing a money belt
Yes, spend money on something that will help you keep your money safe. If your finances are strapped to your waist, the chance of getting robbed is close to 0. It’s certainly not a great picture to be penniless in a country or city you have no clue about, so secure your stash. Your family can wire you some money, certainly, but it will take some time until it arrives at the agency, so you better be careful from the start where you’re keeping your money.
- Secure your credit cards
Keep close a list with the phone numbers of the banks you collaborate with. In case your credit cards are stolen or lost, you can call them immediately and block the accounts that are affiliated with those certain cards, so they become useless plastic, much to the chagrin of the thieves that think they’ve been blessed. If the cards where your only source of money and they are stolen, your whole trip becomes a disaster. That is why you should always carry both cash and credit cards with you.
- Try to have more than one currency on you
It’s at least vexatious to realize you don’t have the right kind of money to pay for the services you desire, that’s why you should have at least both dollars and euros in your wallet. You’ll find out that finding a currency exchange in the middle of the night is pretty much a fiasco, especially in far-flung rural establishments. Moreover, exchange rates may differ from place to place, so make sure you get the best out of it by looking for the agencies that will pay you the most.
- Keep your cash and your credit cards in different places
You can keep them both in your money belt, but in case that gets stolen, you lose any source of money. Keep one or the other in places nobody would ever think to search in. For example, your cash in your money belt and the credit cards in some obscure pocket inside of your backpack, or vice-versa, it’s up to you.
Best health safety travel tips
Of course, our top travel safety tips are concerned with health, too, just to be sure you’re just fine on your trip. You spent a lot of time planning out your travel, and the last thing you’d want is to get sick while on it. There are a few things you have to always consider when you want to travel, closely related to the aspect of really good and backed-up travelling tips.
- Don’t forget to pack your medication
First of all, the price you pay for certain pills can range from country to country; second, you might not find the same brand of pills that you need wherever you’re going. It is recommended to have a tiny reserve of pills, bandages and lotions on you at all times. If you know you are allergic to something in particular, make sure you have the treatment with you. The same goes for those who need perpetual treatment, like, for instance, diabetics or asthmatic persons with their inhalers. This should’ve been on a higher ranking in our top travel safety tips, because health always comes first.
- Carry a small first-aid kit
There are strong chances you won’t be needing it, but you better prevent it than cure it. Due to the large demand, these first-aid kits get steadily more compact, so you can fit them perfectly in your luggage. And, on top of that, they are relatively cheap. For instance, you can purchase a 12 pieces small first-aid kit (butterfly closures, cleansing wipes, bandages, etc.) for just $4.28 on Amazon, and those $4.28 could save hundreds of dollars’ worth of treatments. Maybe you won’t need it, but perhaps you stumble onto someone that needs a certain medical item and you can help them.
- Buy sunscreen if you go to the beach
You don’t want to spend the rest of your trip treating yourself for sunburns, which not only hurt as hell but also are very dangerous for your overall health, especially that of your skin. Skin cancer is a real concern and one of the factors that contribute to its inception is staying too much exposed to sunlight without proper protection beforehand. You can find cheap, effective sunscreens at any drugstore or in any supermarket.
- Buy flasks of antibacterial gel
These are instant sanitizers which ensure the cleanliness of your hands. Germs and parasites are everywhere you lay your hands, and these are extremely cheap alternatives to expensive soaps and lotions. You might be visiting places that do not even have soap, so that’s a great plus for this small-sized flasks of antibacterial gel. There are even non-alcoholic ones.
- The classic insect repellent
Mosquitoes are certainly tiny pieces of flying hell, we can all agree with that. Their bites are nasty and painful and they can also bear diseases. If you are allergic to their bites, then buying insect repellent is a MUST. And it’s not only mosquitoes, but ticks and lice, as well, and these insects can transform your trip from a relaxing vacation into a predicament in just a matter of seconds. Most insect repellents are cheap and come in various sizes.
These are some of the best safety travel tips you can employ whenever you think of how to keep safe when travelling. Being able to travel around the world is undoubtedly a godly gift and a great opportunity but these safety travel tips wouldn’t even exist if there wasn’t a rough side to this hobby. Just like everything else, it is relative and it has its own downside, the only difference being that the downsides of travelling can be avoided before it even began. Once you travel long enough, you will realize that these travelling tips will become automatisms in your life. There will be no need to pay much attention to them any longer, but until then, guide your travel according to these tips and you will be in the safe zone.
So, to conclude, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart”, as Confucius wisely said, but don’t forget to consult these tips before you do.