Many look at the world as if it is dangerous, but believe it or not, it is quite the opposite. Sure, there are some dangers out there, but they’re a minority. If you follow these travel safety tips, you are more likely to get in trouble in your home town than traveling.
1. Don’t Pet Stray Animals
It’s hard to resist the urge to pet a cute stray dog or cat, but it’s not a good idea because they could sink their teeth into your skin. Plus, stray animals could be carrying rabies and other diseases. Also, avoid feeding monkeys for the same reasons. They might be cute, but they are wild and can give you serious problems you just don’t need.
Once while in Paraguay I saw the monkeys steal a mans shoes right off of his feet. He was sitting and feeding them fruits.
The slip on loafers he was wearing while dangling his feet were easy prey for these skilled thieves and off they went with them.
He never did get them back. I’m sure somewhere they have a pile of tourists shoes a few feet high, because it didn’t look like the first time they had done this.
2. Avoid Public Displays of Affluence
When you’re traveling abroad, you probably have more money than the locals. Avoid wearing gold jewelry and carrying around an expensive camera, because you are only broadcasting your wealth. This will make you a target for thieves.
Unless you fancy yourself a professional photographer, just carry a point and shoot. The one that I carry is the Canon PowerShot G7 X Digital Camera – Wi-Fi Enabled
and it outputs the best images I’ve ever seen in a pocket sized camera, by far. Seriously, you won’t be able to tell that they weren’t taken by a high end camera. The reason is it has a full 1 inch CMOS sensor so that the saturation is the same as if you were using a much larger camera.
3. Your Travel Companion Could Get You in Trouble
You probably love your travel companion, but they could be your worst enemy. Some travel companions put other people’s safety at risk. They may be arrogant, which will aggravate a situation or they may ask you to help out a person that you normally wouldn’t approach. Don’t give in to their peer pressure, make sure you stand your ground. If they continue to be unsafe and ignore our travel safety tips, you may want to consider going separate ways.
4. Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance
If you get injured or sick while traveling abroad, the travel insurance will help you. Without insurance, hospital costs could run up to thousands of dollars, even if it is a small injury.
5. Keep Your Money Sources in Separate Places
You probably keep all of your money sources (bank cards, checks, etc.) in your wallet. However, you shouldn’t do this while you’re traveling. Keep at least one card in a different place. If you lose your cards while you’re traveling, it’s going to be difficult for you to get replacements and being without money in a foreign country isn’t fun at all.
6. Get Vaccinated
Before you leave, visit your doctor in order to get all of the necessary vaccinations for the destinations you plan on traveling to. During this time, ask your doctor about the health precautions you should follow.
7. Be Careful Using Your Credit Card at Internet Cafes
Using your credit card at Internet cafes isn’t a good idea, because they could have keylogging software or hardware on the computer – this will record your key strokes, so the criminal can easily take your credit card information (not necessarily the owner of the café).
8. Don’t Go to a Foreign Country to Perfect Something
Learning how to ride a bike, jet-ski or motorbike in a foreign country isn’t a good idea. Take Thailand as an example, 38 people a day die in scooter-related accidents. Some travel insurance policies won’t cover certain injuries, such as scooter-related injuries, so check the policy to see what it covers. But, don’t learn how to scooter by renting a scooter in Thailand. Or learn to jet ski by renting one in Aruba. You’re increasing your odds of getting into a bad situation.
9. Scan All Important Documents
Scan all of your important travel documents and email them to yourself.
Back in the day, people use to take photocopies of their visas, travel insurance, passports, etc. and keep them in their luggage. These days, going digital is the best route to take – this way, if your bags go missing, you will still have your documents.
10. Hand it Over
This is a simple rule that many people have a hard time following – if you are being mugged, give over your watch, wallet, etc. If you have insurance, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal. You shouldn’t go risking your life over material items. Leave all of your irreplaceable stuff, such as your grandma’s necklace, at home. Just hand it over so that you can walk away uninjured. You can always buy more stuff. But, laying in the street bleeding in a foreign land is no joke.
11. Be Careful Where you Keep Your Wallet/Purse
Don’t keep your wallet/purse in your jeans’ back pocket, because it could easily get stolen. Instead, you can use a money belt that fastens inside your shirt. Or at a minimum keep it in your front pants pocket. Much harder to pick pocket.
12. Keep an Eye on Your Belongings
This is obvious but I feel the need to talk about it, because people still do this. Travelers have a tendency to leave their bags hanging from the back of chairs when they’re at restaurants. Don’t do this. Instead, keep your belongings on your lap or if you keep them at your feet, wrap the strap around your leg.
Check the Small Print and Certificates of Instructors
If you plan on doing something risky, such as scuba diving or bungee jumping, make sure you check the small print and certificates of instructors. There may be a reason that course you found is cheaper than the others – do your research on the instructors.
If you’re traveling alone, here are some solo travel safety tips you can use when going solo.
13. Don’t Get Distracted
If anyone, even children come up to you holding something in front of you, push them away immediately and protect your belongings. This is a famous distraction people tend to use in order to get their hands on other people’s valuables.
In many countries they will send the children after you selling gum or carved trinkets. Then, they have others waiting for you to show how much money you have so they can take it.
14. Make Sure You Secure Your Luggage
When you’re carrying everything around with you, it is important that you keep it safe and sound. Since you’re alone, you can’t ask someone to watch your luggage for you and you should never trust a stranger with it. This means you need to keep the luggage in your view at all times. You may want to invest in a lock to put on the suitcases.
15. Secure Your Laptop
Amongst the safety tips when traveling alone, we cannot forget about the laptop. If you are a “work-anywhere” type of entrepreneur, your laptop is probably one of your most important items you are carrying. Not only is it needed for work, it probably cost a lot of money as well. There are certain precautions and measures you can take to secure your laptop, such as a laptop lock. You also have to think about the type of bag you’re carrying your laptop in. Yes, there’s some pretty fancy bags out there, but you may want to tone it down a bit because it will entice criminals to want to rob you.
16. Stay Alert
There you are, in a city you’re probably not familiar with, so you definitely need to stay alert. If you see threatening looking people around you, walk confidently in the direction you came, without getting your map out – stay in a “touristy” area.
17. Try Not to Stand Out
The trick is to blend in with the locals – on your first day, take a look at how they dress and try to dress like them. The trick is, to try not to look like a tourist – don’t carry a camera around your neck, don’t flash the tourist map around and don’t wear sandals with white socks.
If you plan on traveling alone, you definitely need to keep these solo travel safety tips in mind. Remember, don’t ever let your guard down.
Two Bonus Travel Safety Tips For You
18. Use A Camera Lanyard
If you’re using your camera like the great one I recommended above attach the lanyard and each time that you take it out to use it slide your hand in the lanyard.
The reason is; most camera thefts are grab and go. This is to say that; they mostly attempt to grab your camera and run. If they are not successful very few if any will attempt to take it again and will instead just run.
This also helps keep you from dropping your camera by accident while engaged in the moment leaning over a railing to get that once in a lifetime shot. So, it’s a great practice to get into anyway.
19. Don’t Let Them Swarm You
When overseas, if a group of kids swarm you asking you to read something out loud, wanting to sell you something or telling you how great or pretty you are, get them away from you without hesitation.
You may be the best looking person on the planet, but, 99.9% of the time they are robing you.
The thing is, most of the time you won’t even feel it. There will be a swarm touching you pleading with you to buy gum, read something or another ploy. Then, like magic they scatter and you’re missing multiple items.
Don’t hit them, they are children after all. But, do whatever it takes to get away from them fast.
Yes, these are safety tips, but never forget why you came. You went there to have fun, so go have some fun then!