5 Ways to Stay Safe When You Travel

Even if you’re not an experienced world traveler, there are so many stories you can read about two-faced travel guides, deceitful taxi drivers, identity thefts, scams and various insincere offers of help, that you might be tempted never to hit the road again. Moreover, with so many people posting their personal information online, the risks are increasing constantly, even more when you travel.

What’s your most bizarre travel experience so far?

However, in the spirit of true freedom of movement and expression, nothing should stop you if you have a wandering soul, but you do need to get very well informed about potential dangers when travelling and ways of staying safe.

Do your research before you leave

It’s wise to find the time and put in the extra effort to do your own research of your destination before you set off. Start with the hotel reviews, check out the area on Google maps and what the neighborhood is like, specifically if there are any liquor shops, gun shops or strip clubs. If so, you might want to look further.

If you’re travelling internationally, get informed about the current safety concerns of your destination country. Also, check out the typical travel scams and cons because wherever you go, there will always be someone who is ready to trick tourists for profit. Some are quite obvious but there are much more skilful and professional con-artists as well so getting forewarned means you’ll be forearmed as well and that can help you defend yourself and save your hard-earned cash.

Have a safety plan

Having a plan of action in advance is half the safety prep done. It’s smart to inform a close friend or family member where you’re going and make sure you check in occasionally with them so they know you’re safe. If possible, travel in groups, especially at night, but if you’re a solo adventurer, be smart about your movement and take all the necessary precautions to stay safe.

For instance, if the worst happens – your bag and wallet get stolen, you max out your credit card or you get sick or injured so you need to go to the hospital, you’ll need a backup plan. For all your documents and credit cards, store front-and-back copies in your Google Docs or Dropbox together with your bank phone number. Also, have a backup cash stash – at least $50 dollars hidden in some deep secret pocket in your luggage with another backup credit card.

Get insured

It’s not uncommon to hear about people having accidents during their travels, and it’s not just extreme-sports-loving thrill-seekers who are at risk. Sometimes unexpected things can happen while you’re simply crossing a street in an unknown city, driving to a remote village, or cycling in the mountains.

Staying safe while you travel is a priority, but it shouldn’t stop you from having fun. Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, it’s smart to consider hiring San Jose Personal Injury Lawyers in case you end up injured. In such a case, you’ll be able to focus on your recovery and healing while they ensure you get your fair compensation. Accidents happen daily on trips whether you’re in the US or abroad, but not all accidents warrant filing a lawsuit or a claim with an insurance company. You could try winning a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney who might advise you on your rights and take the required actions to protect your claim to compensation.

Get a safety app and some safety gear

There are several safety apps available to help travellers stay safer on their trips. They typically include safety tips and ways of contacting local police and sometimes even a panic button feature. In addition to this, you might opt for carrying a travel mace or pepper spray but bear in mind you can’t take it on the plane. Either pack it in your checked luggage or buy it on the spot.

I always carry a map or GPS with me.

Be careful when using free public Wi-Fi

Everyone’s delighted when there’s free public Wi-Fi but this is exactly what enables thieves to hack into the personal info stored on your phone or laptop so you should avoid it but rather opt for a portable router to set up your hotspot. You’ll only need a local SIM data card which can be purchased at any electronics shop or airport stand.

Another way you can stay safe while using public Wi-Fi is to use a VPN. This is a virtual private network that encrypts your data and hides your IP address by bouncing your device’s location to somewhere else. You can also use it to access websites that are blocked in the country you’re currently in. For example, this great guide from VPN compass shows how you can unblock Pokerstars while outside of the US. So, a VPN is useful for multiple different reasons and is well worth the investment if you’ll be overseas for a while.

Leave your valuables at the hotel

When you travel, try to travel lightly and with as least amount of valuable things as you can. So many people today travel with all sorts of gadgets but the price of replacing them if anything happens is a sure indicator of how valuable these items are. Knowing how advanced new smartphones are today, it may be the only thing you will need.

Whenever you can, leave your valuables at the hotel safe but if you do need to take them, have a day bag that can carry them all – your passport, phone, medication, credit cards or any other valuable item. But, never put these things in your general backpack or checked luggage– always keep your day bag with you otherwise you may never see it again.

Staying safe on your trips is possible, you only need to follow these tips and get well prepared!

32 thoughts on “5 Ways to Stay Safe When You Travel”

  1. Traveling either in the U.S. or abroad should be a great experience. There is too much bad stuff out there that it makes perfect sense to utilize these safety tips.

  2. Great advice! Insurance for travel is something I always overlook. I need to do better at that.

  3. Oh yes! Leave your valuables at the hotel. You stand fewer chances of losing them and in event that they are misplaced or lost, they can easily be traced back. Besides, hotel staff can guide you on many existing issues in the environment you are in.

  4. Taking safety precautions for every trip is a good idea, whether you’re local or abroad. Unfortunately, we cannot be as trusting as we want to. Thanks for some great tips.

  5. There are some really good tips here. Travel insurance is a must and make sure to tell people of your travel plans too

  6. I travel frequently overseas. The advice here is great! Don’t pack anything you don’t absolutely need, and definitely get travel insurance. You never need it, until you do!

  7. As someone who often travels solo, this was an important read! Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks. I do most of these things, but there are a few that I hadn’t thought of.

  8. This was such a helpful article! I had no idea that there were several safety apps available for travelers. Saving this awesome post!

  9. these are definitely great tips especially for solo travelers! will keep this in mind for my next trip for sure.

  10. I see there is a surge of traveling due to social media. I do think people want to have fun and do not think of safety as much so great tips on this.

  11. Research and planning is helpful to save time, safety gears is a must and oh i missed this- getting insured bec i guess others too ignore this..Helpful tips Sir!

  12. You have to be super, super careful when you connect to WiFi when you travel. That goes for local and international travel. I have a VPN on my phone.

  13. It is so important to be aware of your surroundings when you are traveling. No one needs a disaster when they are out and about!

  14. I totally agree with you. It is very important that we keep ourselves informed and that we research before the trip. I also make sure that I have an internet connection just to make sure I can do quick research if needed.

    Also, yes — travel insurance is a must. No need to elaborate on this. But it is very important to get one.

  15. These are all fantastic travel tips! I traveled to France and Spain a few years back and people in both places are very skilled pick pocketers. So it was essential to follow guidelines such as these. I may be making a trip to Guatemala in a few months and will definitely be using this list of advice!

  16. I love the safety apps you mentioned here as it is new to me. And a big yes to never put all your personal belongings in your backpack or your own bag. Staying safe during our travels is the best thing we can do and pay more attention to small details. For us to arrived home safe and sound.

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