If you’ve always loved the jet-setter lifestyle, or you’ve been waiting with bated breath for your first opportunity to journey to a foreign country for a new adventure, it’s important to remember that there are a few threats lurking amongst the fun. After all, it can be difficult to stay safe abroad when you find yourself in unfamiliar circumstances, dealing with a situation that you weren’t prepared to face.
Importantly, despite the chaos that has been plaguing the vacation market this year, with locations across North Arica and Europe being deemed as “high risk”, by official bodies, it’s worth remembering that most travel experiences are- for the most part- quite safe. So long as you’re willing to follow a few safe travel tips, use your common sense, and display caution with your choices, you should be well-equipped to enjoy a fantastic, and memorable vacation.
1. Make Photocopies Before You Leave Home
One of the first steps in any list of safe travel tips, is to make photocopies of any important documents before you take off on your journey. This means that you should have copies of your credit and debit cards, driver’s license, passport, and travel insurance policy. One copy should be kept with you in your RFID-protected money belt on the way to the hotel, whereas another can be left at home with someone you trust like a friend, or family member.
Once you arrive at your hotel, you can store the copies of your valuable documents in your hotel safe, and rest assured that if the worst was to happen, you will still have access to the details you need. If you’re worried about carrying extra paper with you, but you still want to stay safe abroad, you can always store digital copies of your documents on your email address, so you can access them from your phone, or a computer.
2. Secure your Luggage
When you’re going to be living out of a suitcase for one or two weeks, it’s important to make sure that suitcase is as protected as possible. Even if your collection of clothes and toiletries aren’t worth much, most safe travel tips recommend using reliable storage devices and padlocks to keep those items secure. Securing your luggage means keeping it near you whenever possible, and ensuring it’s locked up with the right accessories.
One good tip to stay safe abroad, is to use a TSA-approved padlock on all of your luggage. Not only are these accessories usually made with high-quality materials, so that you can rely upon them to keep your valuables secure, but they’re also designed so that airport security won’t have to cut through your luggage to perform an inspection.
3. Stay Connected (Carefully)
In this digital age, it’s easier than ever to stay connected to the things and people that matter most – regardless of where you travel. When your aim is to stay safe abroad, keeping your friends and family updated with information about how you’re doing, and where you are, is always a good idea. You should find that a lot of hotels come with Wi-Fi capabilities today, so that you can skype with people from your tablet or smartphone, or even upload pictures to your social media accounts.
Just remember to keep in mind that while most safe travel tips will advise keeping in touch with the people back home, this doesn’t mean that you should be careless with the information you put online. For example, try not to post publicly about the fact that you’re alone, or give hints that your home may be left unprotected. The last thing you want is to get through your vacation safely, only to arrive back at your house to find that you’ve been the victim of a theft. Feel free to share your photos, but keep the most important details private.
4. Don’t Flash Cash or Valuables
One of the many reasons why it’s so effective to use an RFID-protected money belt to keep your valuables secure, is that these accessories hide your cash and credit cards from sight. Criminals are less likely to attempt to steal something that they don’t know you have. To stay safe abroad, then, it makes sense that you should leave valuable jewelry and accessories at home, and avoid flashing expensive items whenever possible.
One of the most common, and easily preventable crimes that travelers deal with today, is phone snatching. People love to keep their smartphones in the palm of their hands, but if you place your device down for just a second on a seat or table, then it’s all too easy for a quick-fingered thief to take it before you have a chance to notice the threat.
5. Try to Blend In
There’s a time and a place to show off your heritage, and a vacation isn’t it. Although you might be tempted to purchase those tourist T-shirts as part of a novelty gift to remind you of your vacation when you get back home, avoid wearing them when you’re roaming the streets, as the more you dress and act like an outsider, the more likely you are to paint yourself as a target for any savvy thief or con-artist looking to take advantage of a vulnerable traveler.
There are enough dangers to worry about when travelling abroad today, so while you’re searching for safe travel tips, remember to look up details about your destination and learn something about the culture, fashion, and other facts that might help you to blend in with the crowd. Every area comes with its own quirks – for instance, you shouldn’t chew gum in Singapore, or eat while walking through the streets of France.
Stay Safe Abroad: Be Alert
Okay, so you don’t want to spend your entire vacation in a state of paranoia and fear, but remaining aware of your surroundings at all times is a good way to ensure that you don’t fall victim to obvious dangers that could be lurking around you. If something seems dangerous it probably is, so follow these safe travel tips, keep your RFID-protected money belt close, and be careful on your next vacation.