Traveling safely can help you make the most of your journey, whether it's a road trip across borders or a flight to an exotic destination.
Here are 10 safety tips to keep in mind when traveling:
1) Research common travel scams for your destination
"Broken" taxi meters. "Accidental" spills on your clothing. "Free" wristbands and fliers. These are all common scams that target tourists. But by doing a little research, you can avoid becoming an easy mark and practice safe travels.
2) Keep your money and valuables close to you and secure
Pickpockets are more commonly found in tourist traps and other crowded hotspots. If you’re carrying a purse or bag, keep it close to your body with the strap secured. Don't flash your cash in public and don't flaunt your jewelry. Instead, carry your wallet in your front pocket or invest in a money belt, sling pack, or hidden pocket to store valuables like your passport, credit cards, and cash.
3) Get travel insurance
One of the best methods for traveling safely from one place to the next is to get travel insurance. Because no matter how well you plan, sometimes the unexpected happens. Travel insurance can cover things like lost luggage, cancellations, medical emergencies, and other unforeseen circumstances. Compare quotes at Insure My Trip or consider a policy from Safety Wing if you're traveling long-term.
4) Use ATMs in well-lit public areas
A little extra vigilance can go a long way in traveling safely wherever you go. So when you need to withdraw cash from an ATM, be sure to do so in a well-lit public area and safeguard your pin from onlookers. When in doubt, go inside a bank to withdraw cash instead.
5) Keep a copy of your passport and other important documents
One of the most crucial safety tips when traveling is to make copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance cards, and other important documents before you hit the road. Keep one set with you in a secure, accessible place, and upload another set to a storage cloud like Dropbox or Google Drive. That way, you can easily retrieve your documents if you lose them and enjoy traveling safely for the rest of your trip.
6) Notify your bank of your travel plans
Some banks will decline a foreign transaction if they believe it is fraudulent, leaving you strapped for cash when you need it the most. To avoid any issues, simply notify your bank or credit card company of your upcoming travel plans before you leave. Notify them of each country you'll be visiting and the dates of your trip. That way, they'll know to expect charges from different locations and won't flag your account.
7) Pose safely for photos
With social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the perfect photo op. But traveling safely means being aware of your surroundings at all times, even when you’re trying to get that perfect Instagram shot near the edge of a cliff or in a crowded market. Be aware of who or what is behind you before posing or taking that selfie and never put yourself in a compromising or dangerous situation for the sake of a photo. No shot is worth jeopardizing safe travels wherever you go.
8) Trust your gut
Travel is about opening yourself up to new experiences and meeting new people, which makes trusting your gut one of the trickiest safety tips on this list. But if something feels off, it probably is, like the overly friendly stranger who wants to buy you a drink or the taxi driver who takes a longer route to your hotel. It's okay to be polite, but don't let your guard down. Trust your gut. Err on the side of caution. And remove yourself from situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
9) Beware of public Wi-Fi
In today’s digital age, we rely on Wi-Fi for just about everything, from checking our email to booking our accommodations. But traveling safely means being aware of the risks that come with using public Wi-Fi. These include identity theft, data breaches, malware attacks, and phishing scams. To protect yourself, only use secure, password-protected Wi-Fi networks or set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your device.
10) Keep your family and friends informed of your whereabouts
This safety tip is especially important if you’re traveling solo. Before you leave, make sure someone back home has your travel itinerary, including the dates you’ll be traveling and where you’ll be staying. Check in with them regularly, whether it’s through a phone call, text message, or email. And if your plans change, be sure to let them know as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line on Traveling Safely
No matter your destination, following these safety tips can help you in having a smooth, stress-free, and safe trip. So, before you pack your bags and head off on your next adventure, be sure to keep these travel safety tips in mind. And don't forget to relax and have fun. After all, that's what traveling is all about!Disclaimer: This blog does not contain any affiliate links except for linked products available for purchase directly at Gravel's online shop. Gravel is not paid by the brands or businesses mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Product mentions, safety recommendations, and other suggestions are based solely on personal opinion and experience. Thank you for reading!