Essential/General Travel Safety Tips
These travel safety tips are good for traveling anywhere.
- Research where you're going
Look at what places are safe, what people who have visited that area are saying, and where you should go if you get into trouble. This would include getting contact numbers of your embassy, local law enforcement, hospitals, etc.
- Don't draw attention to yourself
Looking like an outsider/foreigner can leave you the target for thieves, cons, and other kinds of misfortune.
Look at maps discreetly (if you have an app on your phone, that might be the best), ask for directions carefully (talk to local shop owners/employees), don't look around at everything like it's brand new. People who look up and take conspicuous photos at buildings, etc. usually make themselves known that they aren't native to the area.
- Copy important documents and keep valuables safe
Keeping copies of your passport, ID, itinerary and other essential travel documents lessens the risk of them being lost or stolen.
When it comes to valuables, only take what you need for the day and keep the rest in a locked safe. The hotel you're staying at should provide one for you. If you're going to be staying at a place that doesn't have one, you can always purchase one for yourself or just keep the money tucked away in a safe place in your hotel room.
- Keep family and friends updated as much as possible
Communication is key and with the world being as socially connected as it is, there are plenty of options. However, the best option has always been calling or video conference.
Check in and let them know where you are. It just might save your life one day.
Keeping others updated also includes people who you're familiar with. For example, hotel staff or your local embassy. This should especially be true if you can't get ahold of your family right away.
- Keep your hotel secure
Always make sure the people who enter your hotel room are supposed to be there. Check in with the hotel's front desk to know who will be checking your room and when. You can also put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on your door or schedule room checks with the front desk.
- Keep your online activity guarded (Be cautious of public Wi-Fi)
Hackers are always looking to steal others' personal information to use against them. To keep yourself safe from being a victim of this, it's always best to set up a virtual private network (VPN) that will enable you to safely access the internet while traveling.
- Be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut
This is probably one of the most important parts of traveling (or doing just about anything, really). Be aware of where you are, where others in the vicinity and what they're doing, and where any exits or escape routes are in case you need it.
Some people pass off the gut feeling that something's not right as just being nervous or anxious or something else. However, there are countless cases where someone's avoided danger or even death by trusting your gut. It's the primal instinct of survival that is ingrained in all of us. Don't ignore it.
Special thanks to Nationwide for being a source for this information.
Does anyone have any travel safety stories or advice?