Traveling is not usually dangerous. For most of us, this is the time to relax and forget about worries. But beware: like everything in life, there are risks. Travel safety should be taken seriously! Whether on the Copacabana boardwalk or on the streets of Paris, one can steal your personal belongings or be a victim of scams. Even at the airport you are not free from danger with your luggage.
It is not necessary to be paranoid, but you can’t be mindless about it either. Check out our travel safety tips and learn how to avoid theft, scams and other dangers!
1. Store your belongings wisely
Walking with your wallet in your back pocket or backpack is not recommended anywhere in the world. Women’s bags can be indispensable accessories, but they don’t necessarily have to carry all the cards and money. The secret is never to keep everything in the same place.
Thieves tend to aim for easy targets: stuffed bags and tourist wallets are the perfect choice. “Dribble” the thieves in anticipation of their movements. Consider using a moneybelt inside your pants. This is a discreet and secure option to protect most of your money and even your passport.
2. Pay Attention to your luggage
In the ideal world, traveling with hand luggage alone would solve many problems. But unfortunately, not everyone can afford this alternative, so you need to check your bags – and that’s where you need to pay attention.
Never dispatch valuables, such as computers, jewelry and money. Sealing and packing the suitcase with plastic may not be a 100% effective solution, but it helps to prevent theft. Even at the airport, do not lose sight of your bags, or leave them unattended, even for a quick trip to the bathroom. There are international gangs specializing in stealing luggage from distracted travelers at the main airports in the world, so keep an eye out!
3. Find out about your destination
Did you know that Barcelona is known for being “the pickpockets capital”? In Paris, thefts on the subway are frequent. A curious Italian saying says that “Naples is the place where your socks are stolen without taking off your shoes” – say so, our editor Bruna Scirea, who among her travel destinations had her wallet stolen on a train trip there.
Do not think that you are safe when traveling outside your country. Although some European and Asian capitals do not have significant numbers of violent crimes, there are other risks. Research the safety of your destination and check if it is necessary to avoid walking at night, not wearing jewelry, if there are neighborhoods that should be avoided or demonstrations and protests taking place.
4. Let family or friends know where you are going
Let your family and friends know about your travel plans. Setting up a group on WhatsApp and sharing your script is a good option. Sharing number of flights, dates you will be at each destination and hotel names sounds like too much information, but it can be quite useful in emergency situations.
If something happens (it hits the wood three times!), You will not be helpless.
5. Have copies of important documents
Make copies of important documents, such as the first page of your passport. It is worth having both physical and digital copies. Save to the cloud, send by email or WhatsApp travel group, whatever.
You know the saying: better safe than sorry …
6. Purchase a local data chip or sim card
Some people like to travel to “disconnect” from the world. Nothing against it, but just in case, get a local chip. With internet access in the palm of your hand, you will have the freedom to do online research, know how to get around, use transport apps and ask for help if needed.
A chip makes life much easier for the traveler – and gives you much more security!
If you’re traveling in Europe read: using your cell phone in Europe.
7. Don’t trust strangers
Probably your parents have already taught you this, but it doesn’t hurt to reinforce it: don’t trust strangers. Especially if you’re traveling! There is a real legion of scammers present in the most visited cities in the world, eager to take advantage of uninformed visitors.
Be wary of friendly people who appear “out of nowhere” just to help. Often this aid comes at a price or, even worse, bad intentions. Be prudent with recommendations from taxi drivers, salespeople and people who can get commissions for indicated services or attractions. When in doubt, search!
When it comes to travel safety this is perhaps the most important tip i can give you, especially if you are a woman traveling alone.
8. Avoid exaggeration and risky experiences
Traveling gives us the opportunity to try many things, but is it worth the risk? When it’s time to party, stay tuned: leave home with your cell phone loaded and a small card with the hotel’s address. Do not overdo the drink, prefer to remain sober – and pay attention to your glass, avoid accepting drinks from strangers!
Using drugs, even if they are legal in the destination, is not recommended. When renting a motorcycle or playing extreme sports, make sure that travel insurance provides coverage in case of accidents. You can have fun and come home alive!
9. Follow your instincts
Don’t be paranoid. There are many places that look weird, but they are not dangerous. Sometimes a dark street is just a path with no lighting, not a trap. There are people in the world who are genuinely interested in helping and who do not want to take advantage.
But guess what, you define all of this. Do not take unnecessary risks, always exercise caution and, above all, follow your instincts. Years and years of evolution have helped us to detect danger signs, even if we do not practice this skill. Develop!
10. Buy travel insurance
Accidents happen. A simple food poisoning or broken finger in a foreign country can cause unimaginable inconvenience, capable of ruining your trip if you are not protected. Prevent yourself by taking out travel insurance. This can save your life!
Travel safety starts before your trip even begins. Make sure you do your homework.
Read also: Travel checklist.