21 Useful Tips for Staying Safe While Traveling
You have put aside some money and carefully planned a great adventure, and now you’re having the time of your life. That is, until you become the victim of a crime. Maybe something valuable was stolen or you may have even experienced physical harm, but now your trip-of-a-lifetime is ruined. Although crime can happen anywhere you travel, there are simple steps to remember to reduce the risk of it happening to you.
All Travelers - Here are 11 important safety tips everyone should keep in mind while traveling:
- Map out your transit routes thoroughly before you leave so you are aware of the modes of transport available to and from airports, hotels, landmarks, etc.. Download offline maps onto your phone before you leave so you can follow your planned transit routes. Plan your trip well enough to avoid areas considered unsafe.
- Protect your exact location by not sharing it on social media and being selective about your phone’s location settings.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dicey places like a deserted street in a big city. Having other people around is good safety.
- Travel with other people so you are not wandering around alone. If you don’t have other people to travel with, you could consider joining a group tour.
- By a local SIM card for your phone so you can contact local emergency services and access the Internet.
- Register with your country’s government and become aware of the nearest embassy while on your trip. Notify your emergency contacts of your location on your trip.
- Lock up your valuables in a hotel safe or bring locks for your luggage.
- Pack light. Bringing fewer belongings reduces the risk of anything important being stolen.
- Protect your credit cards, cash and passport by carrying them in a wallet that fastens to a part of your body, such as your waist, neck or leg, or in a zipped pocket inside your clothing. Separate credit cards, cash and a copy of your passport into two different, secure locations. This applies to other important documents as well.
- When using public WiFi, use private VPN or a similar secure access method to protect your financial and personal identification information from falling into the hands of hackers. If you don’t have a secure WiFi access method, avoid sharing sensitive information on public WiFi.
Women Travelers - Women are more often targets of crimes. See these 10 safety tips to keep women travelers safe:
- Use the buddy system and go places with a buddy.
- Get advice from fellow travelers and local women about the safety of neighborhoods, riding public transportation, etc.. Be open to warning other travelers about safety as well.
- Don’t act afraid because people can sense it and you can become a target. Walk with purpose; chin up, aware of your surroundings. Know when to adopt the “don’t mess with me” attitude. Follow your instincts and ask yourself if you would do this same thing at home. Listen to your inner voice.
- Ask for help if you feel unsafe. Talk to another woman who is with a man, or duck into a shop and tell them what is happening.
- Use a shoulder purse with a zipper. Wear it as an across-the-body handbag and keep the zipper shut. Carry enough cash on you (in your waist wallet, shoe or underwear) for a taxi so you can leave a questionable situation.
- Be aware of decoys and distractions. If someone comes up and starts flirting with you, check out who else is with him. His friend might grab your purse and run off. If someone bumps into you, check your belongings right away.
- Don’t tell men that you just met where you are staying.
- Leave your jewelry at home. Wearing it will make you a target for thieves.
- Leave the revealing clothing behind. Clothing that is fashionable and appropriate at home may project a provocative image in another culture.
- Be aware of date rape drugs, which are odorless, tasteless and colorless. Don’t accept a drink unless you see the bartender pour it. Carry your drink with you and don’t leave it unattended to dance or use the restroom.
Our hope is that these precautions will help you avoid becoming a crime victim on your trip. However, if you are assaulted and require medical treatment or if your trip must be cut short, we offer travel health insurance and trip cancellation insurance plans to assure you of the proper care without taking a big financial hit. Find the best plan for you today!
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