Photo credit: IamNotUnique
Photo credit: IamNotUnique
Keeping yourself out of harm’s way and making sure that none of your items get stolen seems to be people’s biggest travel fear that I’ve found through asking them and through surveys. So how do you make sure that you’re being as safe as possible while still being able to have fun and feel carefree? These are a few of my favorite travel tips to keep safe without too much hassle while traveling:

1. Know What You’re Carrying:

It’s easy to accidentally leave things behind like your wallet, keys, or phone. Simple things like hotel room keys like to slip out of our pockets when we are grabbing some loose change to buy something at the street vendor. So whenever you’re changing locations or walking around, be sure to feel your pockets every now and then. It can take a little while to get in the habit of this, but knowing what you’re carrying will help you make sure that you won’t be locked out of your room or forget your expensive cell phone in a crowded café.

2. Separate Your Items:

You never want to have all of your cash in your wallet or in one location that you think is secure. It’s smart to have some “safety net” money hidden away in case something does happen. I generally put my passport in a hard-to-reach pocket in my travel pack and spread my money to a few different pockets. If it’s easier for you, some people like to put things in individually wrapped baggies so they can find it easier when they need it and this helps separate it more.

3. Bring Locks:

Having a few small locks on your bag can deter pickpocketers from being able to reach into them when you’re walking down the road. There are also mesh covers that will lock against places and are lightweight and cheap. All you have to do is put the mesh cover around your bag and tie it to a sturdy area and then lock it, it works similarly to a bicycle lock.

4. Copy Important Documents:

Losing your passport or license while traveling would not be a fun thing to deal with if you don’t have backups, so before you leave make sure to digitally scan them to your cell phone as a safety precaution. You can also do this for any papers that you need while you’re traveling as well. You probably won’t lose those things, but it’s a simple step that can save you a lot of time and agony.

5. Buy Travel Insurance:

Often overlooked, picking out even a basic travel insurance plan is better than nothing. Using websites like WorldNomads (definitely not the only one) you can find travel insurance packages that cover your medical expenses, give you 24/7 assistance over the phone, and protect your items that are under your coverage as well as many other things that are geared to you. Don’t be stupid, get travel insurance.

6. Don’t Show Off:

If you are wearing a lot of jewelry and expensive clothing to the point that you stand out, you’re making yourself an easy target. By sticking to simple clothing while you’re traveling and not worrying about jewelry, you’ll blend in with everyone else. There are some exceptions though, if you will be out to dinner with a classy dress code, its okay to dress the part. The key is to simply blend in.

7. Don’t Be Overly Trusting:

There are a lot of great and genuinely kind-hearted people that you will meet on the road who will want to make sure that your trip goes as well as possible. But if they ask you if you want a ride somewhere and they keep insisting, after you’ve already told them no once or twice, there may be something fishy going on. I’d say that 99% or more of the people you meet only have good intentions, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Stick to common sense and alwaysremember that you have the right to decline people’s offers and they shouldn’t make you feel pressured to do something. If you do feel pressure, walk away. It’s better to hurt someone else’s feelings a little than to put yourself in a bad situation.

It’s rare that anything bad ever does happen while you travel, but it’s important to take safety precautions and to stick to what makes sense to you. Have you ever run into a bad decision, and if so, how did you handle it?

4 COMMENTS

  1. I had a personal experience last week where the scanned documents came in very handy. We are staying in an apartment in Split for a month and decided to go to Dubrovnik for the weekend. We stupidly forgot that the journey includes passing through Bosnia briefly and you need passports…which we had left safely tucked away in our Split apartment. Good thing we had the scanned versions on us and they let us through.

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