10 Top Travel Safety Tips: How to Travel Safely No Matter Where You’re Going

Travel Safety Tips

Seeing the world can lead to some incredible adventures.

You’ll have some of the best experiences of your life when you’re exploring the planet. The world is not something to be feared. It’s not as dangerous as it may seem at times, even if you’re traveling solo. Of course, it’s important to do your research before you depart on your big adventure. When you’re visiting new cities and countries, be sure to take the necessary precautions to stay safe when you travel. With a little planning, you’ll be aware of the risks and be prepared for any situations that might threaten your safety. Here are my top 10 travel safety tips so you can stay safe and well while you’re abroad.

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Make Copies of Travel Documents

It’s always a good idea to have a backup, especially when it comes to your important travel documents. Keep copies of your passport and other paperwork separate from the original ones, in case they get stolen. You can photocopy your documents, email them to yourself, upload them to your online storage space (like Google Drive), or take a picture of them with the camera on your phone. It never hurts to be too prepared.

Get Immunized

Visit your local travel doctor months before you leave for your trip. Your doctor can recommend the appropriate vaccinations that are required to visit certain countries. Before I traveled to Kenya, my travel doctor recommended that I get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. He also wrote a prescription for malaria pills and an antibiotic, just in case. In many cases, I’d recommend bringing other items to various countries around the world, such as mosquito netting, bug repellent, a medical safety kit, and ways to purify the drinking water.

10 Tips to Stay Safe When You Travel

Research Common Scams

Before you leave for your trip, read articles and travel blogs about common tourist scams. These could vary from place to place. For instance, before traveling to Italy, I read many articles about the ways tourists are robbed or deceived. Think about it – you’re in a new environment and most likely in awe of your surroundings. You might be less guarded than usual and thieves will take advantage of this. Even though I read about the ways pickpockets prey on tourists, I still got conned on one of my first days in Italy.

How did this happen? I was completely distracted. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything too devastating, but I learned my lesson. Later in the trip, I spotted pickpockets on a train and didn’t let them get anywhere near my belongings.

You can’t be completely prepared for every situation, but it does help to learn from the mistakes of other travelers. If in doubt, use your common sense. Trust your own instincts. Don’t put your complete trust in someone you just met. Use the same common sense as you would at home.

10 Tips to Stay Safe When You Travel

Register with the Government

In Canada, you can register with the government before you travel abroad. It’s a very simple process that takes a few seconds. In case of an emergency abroad or at home, the Government of Canada will be able to contact you. You’ll be able to receive important details and information during natural disasters or civil unrest. You can also register at a Canadian embassy abroad. If you aren’t Canadian, your own government or embassy most likely offers a similar free service. Even if you’re planning a short vacation, it’s a good idea to register in advance.

Get Travel Insurance

Don’t skip this step. Get travel insurance. Trust me! I’ve heard way too many horror stories to realize that you need to buy travel insurance before you go on holiday. It’s likely my number one piece of advice out of all travel safety tips.

Whether you’re traveling for a week or living abroad, it’s always a good idea to be covered. For Canadians, your own provincial health plan won’t cover any medical bills when you’re out of the country. Even if you’re perfectly healthy, it’s always good to expect the unexpected. It’s possible that you could become sick or injured overseas. I’ve sailed on cruise ships on a few occasions now where a passenger needed to be airlifted to the nearest hospital. Without the proper insurance, these bills can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. I really hope that those travelers were insured.

Thankfully, there is a way to compare travel insurance quotes in one place at Kanetix. This is an easy way to save money on your travel insurance costs by up to 66%. There are a variety of travel insurance plans to choose from, whether it’s trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, snowbird travel insurance, insurance for single trips or multi-trips, or an all-inclusive plan. This is the most cost effective way of comparing and finding the best plan for you.

10 Tips to Stay Safe When You Travel

Watch Your Valuables

While it’s best to leave any unnecessary valuables at home (for instance, fancy jewelry), we do tend to travel with some fairly expensive gear in the form of technology. Multiple cameras, a drone, a smartphone, a tablet or laptop…it all adds up. Thieves realize that tourists travel with expensive belongings and will steal items that you leave unattended. It’s always a good idea to keep a close watch on your stuff, especially in transit – on the train, bus, or plane.

If possible, keep your cameras tucked away when you’re not using them and not hanging around your neck. I purchased a discreet camera messenger bag rather than keeping it in a branded camera bag (where it’s obvious that there’s a camera inside it). We bought a backpack to store our drone rather than a case with the drone company’s logo displayed on it. That way, no one can tell that there is expensive gear on us – at least not by a quick glance, anyway.

10 Tips to Stay Safe When You Travel

Safely Store Your Cash

If you’re carrying a lot of cash on you, keep it in multiple places. If you’re visiting areas where you could be robbed, it’s a good idea to store your cash safely in a money belt. Keep only a small amount of cash in your wallet. I’ve even heard of some travelers keeping a “dummy wallet” for pickpockets to steal that doesn’t have anything important inside it.

If possible, keep most of your cash stored in your hotel room’s safe. And it’s always a good idea to keep an emergency stash somewhere in your luggage or somewhere safe in case you do get robbed. And again, use common sense. Don’t use ATMs late at night. Don’t count your money in front of large crowds of people.

How to Travel Safely: Blend In

Don’t stand out as the obvious tourist. Research how the locals dress and act. Try to blend in as much as possible. Follow the local customs and rules. For example, we read that the locals in Italy don’t tend to wear shorts, even when it’s hot outside. We dressed and acted appropriately, and even got mistaken as locals on a couple occasions!

In traditional countries, it might not be acceptable to wear shorts or tank tops. When entering some religious sites, you must cover your shoulders and knees, so be prepared for that by dressing properly or packing a scarf. Be respectful of the laws and customs of the places you visit.

How to travel safely - 10 safety tips

It’s also much better to use an app on your phone for directions, like Google Maps. This saves you from whipping out a giant city map on the street.

Stay Alert

Use your own common sense and trust your gut instincts. If something feels wrong, it most likely is wrong. Don’t drink too much, especially if you’re traveling alone. It’s way easier to encounter harmful situations or have someone take advantage of you if you’re no longer in control.

It also isn’t ever a good idea to wander around at night by yourself, no matter where you are. Be mindful of the good and bad neighborhoods in a city. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t allow yourself to become easily distracted, and act like you belong where you are. Walk with confidence, even if you don’t know where you’re going.

Safety tips for travelers

And please, if you ever find yourself volunteering on a wildlife conservancy in Kenya, be within running distance of your car should you encounter any rampaging buffaloes.

Keep in Touch

Stay in touch with your friends and family back home. Keep them up to date with your current whereabouts. It’s a good idea to have an emergency contact. These contacts should have a full itinerary of where you’ll be staying and the best ways to get in touch with you. The best way to stay in touch when you’re traveling is by having continual Wi-Fi access. Tep Wireless makes this possible with their portable Teppy devices. They’re super affordable, easy to carry with you, and you can stay in touch no matter where you are in the world.

You never know what might happen when you’re away from home. It’s good to have an easy way to communicate with your loved ones, even if you’re thousands of miles away. By following these safety tips for travelers, you’re bound to stay safe when you travel.

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Do you have any additional travel safety tips?

32 Responses

  1. Dubrovnik bareboat charter
    | Reply

    To stay safe while travelling there are basic needs which you need to fulfill as this are the general tips while travelling you should keep the duplicate copies of each and every legal documents very carefully and doing researching the place that you are going to visit is necessary to avoid any further issue.

  2. Marty Deemst
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing this helpful information. You are inspiring me for traveling. I’m sure most people can take notes from this article. One thing most people lack experience while traveling. I have a couple of young friends that are going to get traveling soon. Well, this post gives me some good ideas to stay safe when traveling.

  3. Amelia Clayton
    | Reply

    Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative article about travel and I have pleased to get this blog page. I will save your website and I will share it with my friends. I hope they will be benefited by this article for travel information and take care.

  4. Sébastien
    | Reply

    Wow! Such awesome vital information in regard to traveling, I love traveling in different places, I remember there were awesome days when I’d just travel for the fun of it and it was fantastic, But I was worried to afford to travel! But review this article my confusion is clear, Thanks

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      I’m happy that you’ve found this article to be useful in planning your travels!

  5. jonathanjeff
    | Reply

    Useful Points. Now I got a clear understanding of Travel Insurance. Thanks for your article!

  6. David Hoyt
    | Reply

    I like that you mention to look up the common scams. Every country and city has their own scams they like to run.

    Here in Bangkok they have a fairly complicated tuk-tuk scam where some “kind stranger” recommends a tuk-tuk and they drive you around to a bunch of different gem shops. Not to mention tuk-tuks are overpriced.

    Saigon is known for fake taxis that have rigged meters and doors that you can’t open until you pay, scary stuff.

    This is the stuff you just have to research before you travel unless you want to find out the hard way.

  7. Gioko P
    | Reply

    I would also say to make friends among the locals as making friends is better than making enemies. However, at the same time, do not trust so easily. Also, do not flash cash. That can be a temptation to petty criminals.

  8. Craven’s Pharmacy
    | Reply

    Profession and Useful Blog. Thanks for sharing

  9. Katrin
    | Reply

    Thanks for the tips! It’s really important to stay vigilant at all times. A friend of mine visited Spain, and on their last day they stopped the car at a vista point. They were seemingly alone at the spot, and my friend left her handbag in the open trunk of the car. They never saw anyone, but stood with their backs to the car when admiring the view, and when they returned to the car the handbag was gone. My friend felt really stupid, and so angry with herself.

    Please make sure you stay in touch with your loved ones, saves a lot of worrying and wondering!

  10. Onono Zack
    | Reply

    I love these tips, they sound so simple yet we overlook them many times. Very nice site you have here.

  11. Serena
    | Reply

    Safety is necessary and especially for girls. You can feed local police contact numbers or download the app for the safety purpose. You can also carry a chili pepper spray for the safety purpose. Always take a backup of your phone and important documents. So thanks for reminding it.

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