Traveling can be great fun and so on, but it can also be dangerous, especially in certain parts and countries in the world. This article will discuss important safety tips that I have learned both from my own experiences and from other people.
This article is intended to be as useful as possible for travel safety, and is intended to be referenced as often as possible, so feel free to bookmark this page.
1. Don’t carry more credit cards / debit cards in your wallet / purse than necessary
I recently made the big mistake of having multiple credit cards and debit cards in my wallet only to get my wallet stolen, which caused me huge headaches. I had at least 3 credit cards and 2 debit cards stolen. I most likely should have had just 1 debit card and 1 credit card in my wallet. All of my other credit cards and debit cards, I should have left in a secure location in my hotel room, apartment, or hostel.
2. If you do get your wallet / purse stolen with credit cards / debit cards, cancel all cards as soon as possible
When I realized I lost my wallet, I had a little hope someone might be a good Samaritan and turn in my wallet. I waited a few days, but unbeknownst to me, the person / persons who had stolen my wallet had stolen a lot of money from my checking account and charged a lot on a credit card. If I had been smarter, I should have immediately canceled my cards when I realized my wallet was stolen.
I had other debit cards and credit cards in my apartment, so it was OK for me to have to cancel those cards. But, if you don’t have any more credit cards / debit cards, SEEK HELP. Either try to go to your country’s local embassy or consulate or seek help from friends.
The reason it is essential to cancel your cards as soon as possible is that those who stole your cards could be charging them, doing cash advances, or just trying to withdrawal cash from your bank accounts. A smart criminal would know that they would have little time so they would need to use the cards as soon as possible.
If you aren’t certain your wallet / purse has been stolen, and simply can’t find it, it’s possible that you could temporarily block your card and unblock it later instead of outright canceling the card if you later find the wallet again. But, make sure you call your bank as soon as possible no matter what.
While none of us would plan to get robbed or would hope to get robbed, it’s best to be prepared for this scenario no matter how rare it might be.
3. Don’t travel late at night by yourself
This is especially for girls / women. When the sun goes down, and it’s dark, it’s best to get inside if you are by yourself. There are definitely many parts of the world where it is dangerous to travel at night.
I am a male, but it’s still wise not to travel outside late at night by myself.
If you absolutely must travel, go with others, or if you can only go by yourself, make sure you can travel in a safe way, such as in a safe taxi or on public transportation which you know is safe.
Just don’t be walking the streets late at night. You may be a target for others even if you don’t realize it.
4. Be Skeptical Of Strangers While Traveling
If you are by yourself, definitely be skeptical of strangers. Many people will be friendly and so on, but they may be trying to use you or figure out if they might be able to scam or rob you. Definitely it’s fine to be friendly and make new friends, just don’t be so trusting of new people immediately. Give them time.
Unfortunately, there are MANY dishonest and immoral people out there who might just want to get money from you.
If you are a foreigner, you may stick out like a sore thumb, like I do. I am white male, and in many parts of the world, there is no way for me to blend in, and many people might stare at me. So, it’s best anyway to keep contact to a minimum, and not to trust people immediately.
So, basically, use critical thinking and basically be skeptical of strangers. You never know who might be deceiving you.
5. Have Emergency Contacts And Let Them Know When And Where You Will Be Traveling
You can definitely travel solo, but no person is an island. We all need help from others from time to time. If only for peace of mind, let your trusted family and friends know when and where you will be traveling so that if you ever have an emergency, you could always contact someone.
6. Have Travel Insurance BEFORE leaving for traveling
This is yet another thing I have made the mistake of not having while traveling. There are many kinds of insurance – medical and insurance like for getting robbed. Search online for basic travel insurance.
If you have some kind of medical emergency, you don’t want to get wiped out financially. Or if you get robbed, you also don’t want to get wiped out financially.
And, when you get the travel insurance, make sure you make online backups which you could access from anywhere and make sure you contact the travel company to make sure they would cover what you think you need and what to do in case you need to use the insurance.
Also, it would be good to give copies of your travel insurance to your trusted family and friends.
7. Find Out Where Your County’s Nearest Embassy Or Consulate Is For Where You Will Be Traveling
While I definitely recommend contacting trusted family and friends first, it may be very helpful to know where your country’s embassy or consulate is because if you ever have an emergency, it is possible they could help you.
For example, if your passport gets lost or stolen, you would need to see them so you could travel again.
8. When traveling, don’t show off or openly carry around expensive items
You don’t want to make scenes or try to show off when traveling. Especially in poor countries, there may be many thieves and pickpockets. Unless you want to make yourself a target, don’t openly carry expensive items.
If you must have expensive items, for example like expensive mobile phones or video cameras, try to conceal them like in a bag or in your clothing and be aware of your surroundings and who is around you at all times.
In conclusion, before traveling, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I definitely have loved my years of traveling. But, I also have had bad experiences. It is best to prepare for your safety well before traveling, and when traveling, use as much common sense and critical thinking as possible. Your safety and the safety of your friends and loved ones you are going to travel with should be your top priority.
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have anything to add? Let’s discuss it in the comments below.