After traveling “the worlds” for the past seven years, I’ve learned a lot about standing safe- sometimes the hard way. Now are my best travel refuge tips for evading fus on your next trip.
Nothing ruinings an adventure quicker than getting scammed or cheated!
In Panama, some maids amused me while my laptop was been stealing from my backpack. I figured it was gone eternally, until unbelievably, this happened three months later. I got lucky.
In Mexico, a pickpocket grabbed my iPhone as I was strolling. I managed to get that back more, shooting the swindler down the road bawling like a madman and brandishing a bottle of tequila!
You don’t even need to travel internationally to have bad substance happen. In Miami, my camera was stolen from the sea when I wasn’t paying attention.
After seven years of almost constant travel around the world, I’ve grown accustomed to deceitful taxi drivers, two-faced tour guides, insincere volunteers of assist, and the occasional robbery or scam.
For the most part, the world is a quite safe place for travelers. I don’t want to scare you too much! However it’s wise to be prepared for the worst.
With that in intellect, here are my best traveling security tips-off to cure decrease your chances of something bad happening to you or your belongings during your travels.
Useful Travel Safety Tips
1. Learn Common Travel Scams
Wherever you go in the world, you’ll ever find parties ready to trick you out of your hard-earned money. If you’re luck, they’ll be kinda self-evident- but there are plenty of craftier, professional con-artists out there too.
Everyone thinks they’re too smart to be scammed — but it happens.
Here are some of the most common travel scams I’ve come across. I recommend you read them all- then fire up the Google and do even more in-depth research into the worst defrauds happening at your specific destination.
For example, the milk victimize in Cuba. Broken taxi meters in Costa Rica. Or the ring scam in Paris. Every country has its own special ones to watch out for!
Forewarned is forearmed, and such research going to be able to defend you from being tricked out of hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars( while losing the kind of annoyance and agony that spoils a dream expedition ).
2. Write Down Emergency Info
If disaster ten-strikes, you might not have time to sought for counts for local police or ambulance services, or tendencies to the nearest embassy for your country. You may also be too emphasized and panicked to foresee straight.
Don’t put yourself in that posture. Instead, be reported that datum in advance, and create an “Emergency Plan” for you to follow if concepts go badly. Save it on your telephone somewhere( I use the Evernote App ).
I likewise recommend you write it down on a small poster or sheet of paper, get wise laminated( easily done at your local agency render supermarket) to protect it from humidity, and keep it in your purse/ purse.
That way, if something goes wrong out there, you’ll ever know exactly who to call and where to go for help.
3. Check The State Department Website
The U.S. Department of State has a page for every country in the world, where it inventories all known rigors and current threats to the safety of pilgrims. You can find it here.
However, a big caveat for this one: it’s the State Department’s job to warn you about everything that could go wrong, which is sometimes different to what is likely to go wrong.
This represents their advice is generally on the hyper-cautious slope. Influence that in, while you dig up more on-the-ground information.
But experimenting travel warnings will give you a general sentiment of what’s going on in the two countries you’re visiting, and specific problem areas you are able want to avoid.
For example, simply because certain sections of Thailand or Mexico have questions, doesn’t mean you should altogether evade those countries.
4: Lock Up Your Invaluables
Putting aside the fact that traveling with anything super priceless is generally a bad theory, there will always be something you utterly cannot afford to have embezzled. I trip with a lot of expensive camera gear for example.
Your job is to minimize the easy opportunities for theft.
Firstly, know that most bags aren’t unusually secure. It’s easy to feel that a zipped, even locked bag is a sufficient discouraging to any burglar, and fall asleep next to it. Waking up to find someone’s reduced a gap in the side!
Unless it’s a slash-proof knapsack, the material is also possible stroke or torn by anyone adjudicated fairly. Many zippers can be forced open with sharp objects like a writing pen.
Always be aware of your precious, and try to keep an eye on them in such a way that it would be impossible for someone to move without you knowing. I’ll use my backpack as a pillow on learn/ bus roadway that have a reputation for theft, and will sometimes lock it to a seat abusing a thin cable like this.
Secondly, call your accommodation to ask about secure storage alternatives like a chamber safe, cupboards, or a locked storage area. Carry your own locker padlock when staying at backpacking hostels.
5: Get Travel Insurance
You never think you need it, until you do. If you’re so worried about the security of its yourself and your gear while you proceed, you can almost completely relax if you have some good insurance.
People ask me all the time if I’m to be concerned about traveling with an expensive computer and camera. I was, when I didn’t have insurance for them. Now that I do, I’m not worried. If stuff goes plagiarized, it will get replaced.
Everyone should carry some kind of health and property guarantee when traveling. Why? Because shit happens. Whether you think it will or not. It doesn’t matter how cautious you think you are.
My recommendation is World Nomads for short-term hurtle coverage( less than 6 months ). They make it super easy to buy online. Just be aware that they have “per item” limits on coverage of $500. So it’s not going to cover a entire $3000 camera.
If you’re going to be traveling for a very long time, there are good long-term alternatives like a mix of expat health insurance from IMG Global and photography/ computer insurance from TCP Photography Insurance.
READ MORE: Is Travel Insurance Worth It ?
6: Ask Locals For Advice
If “youve been” want to know which places are safes and that are likely to be skimpy, ask a regional resident of the area.
Most locals are friendly, and will warn you about digressing into hazardous countries. On the other side, if a stranger offers up opinion, it’s also wise to get a second belief- just in case they don’t certainly know what they’re talking about but plainly wanted to help( or worse, are trying to scam you ).
Taxi motorists can be hit or miss in this regard. Some can be excellent roots for good info, still others dreary assholes who might actually lead you into trouble.
I’ve noticed … … that hostel or hotel front desk workers are generally pretty good roots for regional advice.
Don’t be afraid to ask them which parts of the city to forestall, how much taxi menus should cost, and where there is a great sit to ingest!
7: Register With Your Embassy
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, from the U.S. Department of State, must be able to make a destination’s local delegation well informed your appearance and impede you constantly updated with the latest safety information.
It’s free, it’s available for all U.S. both citizens and nationals living abroad, and it’s an excellent way to come dependable, up to date safety information as you trip, together with an additional level of security in case of emergencies.
Canada has it’s own account, called Registration Of Canadians Abroad.
That way if situations of emergency happens, like a natural disaster or terrorist attack, the local delegation can get a feel of you rapidly to share important information or facilitate better evacuation.
8: Email Your Itinerary To Friends/ Family
Once you’ve worked out where you’re starting and when, make sure someone else knows too.
The excellent acces is to email the full schedule to a few family members( and double-check with them that they received it- don’t just assume it territory in their Inbox, make sure it did ). Then, if you are able, check in from time to time.
Before I hasten anywhere, I make sure my parents know where I’m starting, what my general projects are, and when I should be back.
That way, if they don’t hear from me for a few eras after I’m supposed to return, they can help advise the suitable local authorities, the delegation, etc.
9: Don’t Share Too Much With Strangers
If you’re ever invited to fix your tour more public, say in a Facebook post, only remember it can be a roadmap of your fluctuations- simply the sort of concept person with ill-intentions would love to know.
I too don’t recommend sharing too many details about your travel plans or accommodation items with beings you’ve exactly fulfilled. For lesson, don’t tell a local supermarket owned or street tout where you’re biding when asked.
If someone does question, rather than be insulting, you can be fuzzy about an area of city rather than the identify of your inn. Or lie and name a inn you’re not actually staying at.
Sometimes beings will ask if it’s your first time touring their country or metropoli. If you don’t trust them yet, they are able to pretend it isn’t your first errand. Because sharing that you’re brand-new is also able to signal you’re a good target for scams.
When find susceptible in a strange locate, little white lies won’t hurt.
10: Be Aware Of Your Clothing
When it comes to travel, the incorrect drapes bellow “TOURIST” and perform you a target for scammers, thieves and worse. The less obviously a visitor you ogle, the less scrutiny you’ll do from the incorrect kind of people.
Wearing the right invests is evidence of respect. Numerous Islamic countries have specific dress code guidelines that are often strictly enforced- and other destinations have statutes that may catch you out( for example, marching topless through the streets of Barcelona is illegal for both copulations ).
However, it’s possible to stay within the law and still offend locals with what you’re wearing- producing a lot of antagonism towards you in the process. Ignoring neighbourhood custom-builts can come across as both arrogant and ignorant.
In republican countries, it’s time safer to dress more conservatively yourself. Plainly as a foreigner you’re still going to stand out a bit, but much less than those who discount the local customs.
Start by checking out Wikipedia’s general advice on clothing statutes by country– and then narrow down your research until you find someone provide advice you can trust, ideally nearby residents or expat turned local.
11: Splurge On Extra Safety
If you’re move as a budget backpacker, like I was, it can be daring to save as much money as is practicable with the cheapest adaptation, the cheapest flights, the cheapest activities.
But it’s important to know that this isn’t ever the safest nature to travel.
Ultra inexpensive backpacker hostels aren’t ever the safest neighbourhoods. I’ve stayed in some without fastens on the doors, that felt like make-shift homeless refuges for drug addicts and other sleazy people.
Budget flights can often arrive in the middle of the darknes — typically not the best time to be heralding down a cab in a hazardous municipal and hoping the driver doesn’t kidnap you.
Sometimes it’s worth the extra few horses to splurge on a somewhat better hostel, a more handy flight, a taxi dwelling from the bar, or a safarus hustler with a strong security record.
12: Stay “Tethered” To Your Bag
Most immediate snatch-and-run nature robberies happen because the bandit can do it readily, and has time to get away. Hence, anything that retards them down will help prevent it in the first place.
If they are able to keep your bag tethered to something impassive at all times, and do so in a really obvious road, thieves will consider it path too risky a activity- and leave you alone.
A simple-minded and effective method is to use a carabiner time. Even a regular belt around your leg or chair.
It doesn’t need to be secured with a steel cable and padlock all the time, simply attached to something that they are able to make a snatch-and-run attempt too difficult.
13: Learn Basic Self-Defense
You don’t need black-belt knowledge, but connecting a few self protection categories is a useful investment in your personal security. Some good street-effective vogues to consider are Krav Maga or Muay Thai.
Next, learn WHEN to apply it. Just because you can kick someone’s ass, doesn’t mean you should in all situations. In the words of author Sam Harris 😛 TAGEND
“Do whatever you can to avoid a physical dissension, but the moment shunning miscarries, affect explosively for the conducting of escape.”
A huge acces to counteract security threats is to get yourself as far away as physically probable. If person with a firearm or bayonet simply wants your phone, give it to them, run away, and live another day.
Use force only when your life is threatened& there are absolutely no other options available.
14: Project Situational Awareness
Did you know that majority decisions of human rights communication is based on non-verbal body language? This jutting of confidence can prevent you from becoming a target.
Keep your head up, stay alert, and well informed you’re borders. When you’re confident, possible intruders can sense it through your body language and seeing contact.
Most will choose to move on and find an easier martyr to attack.
In numerous residences, reaching direct nose contact with growing threat can help ward off an attack, ensuring they dismissal you realize them and what they may be mean. Yet in other parts of the world, too much see contact might invite trouble…
Generally you should stay aware of who is around you, stroll with a purpose, and don’t look fretted, lost, or startled( even if you feel that road) — but I’d too avoid looking races with sketchy gaping strangers.
15: Tell Your Bank Where You’re Going
Imagine the affliction of doing perfectly everything right and continuing yourself perfectly safe and protected- only to have your trip spoilt because your bank thinks you’re the burglar, and locks down all your cards.
If this happens and you’re luck, you’ll be asked certificate questions to determine your name. The residual of the time, you’ll get a notification from the bank’s forgery spotting team that erratic work has been recorded on your credit card, and they’ve positioned a hold the line all business until developments in the situation is resolved- which is able to take days.
The solution is simple. Most online banking services have a facility for letting the bank or credit card provider know about your upcoming advances. Make sure you use it, shortly before leaving- and keep them in the loop if your travel plans change.
I too recommend using your debit card at international airports ATM machine as soon as you arrive in a brand-new country, as this is something that cures let the bank know you’re traveling.
READ MORE: Travel Banking Tips& Advice
16: Hide Emergency Cash
While it’s good to do everything you can to prevent worst case scenarios- it’s equally smart to acquire it’ll happen and plan ahead for it. This is the belief behind having an emergency stockpile of monies, stored in a safe place.
Some of my favorite hiding places include 😛 TAGEND Secret pocket sewn into your pants Behind a patch on your knapsack Flattened into an empty chapstick receptacle Inside a obscured compartment( like this hair-brush or belt pouch)
How much disaster cash? This is likely to be personal wish, but I often promote $200 spread out in 2 different places. Some hide on me, some hiding in my pouch. A obscured backup credit card is wise too.
Now if thoughts get actually frightful, and everything’s exited, what then? You call up a love or family member, and ask them to send you the emergency fund you left with them before you became traveling, via a Western Union or Moneygram transfer.
Hopefully it will never come to that. But these stuffs do happen occasionally, and it’s better to rehearsal safe traveling skills than to remain oblivious about the possibility.
17: Food& Water Safety
After traveling extensively the last 7 years, to over 50 countries, snacking all kinds of odd nonsense, I’ve exclusively had food poisoning a couple of times.
Don’t be scared of the nutrient when you jaunt! In actuality, feeing strange brand-new foods can be a highlight for countless people on their adventures around the world.
My food-obsessed pal Jodi recommends the following gratuities 😛 TAGEND Dine at favourite targets with long wires Try to watch how your menu is prepared Pack translation cards to express your allergies Amply cooked menu is still the safest Simply dines peel-able outcome to evade bacteria
I also recommend getting a filtered water bottle. In many modern cities around the world the liquid is safe to drink, but outside of those arranges it often isn’t.
Sure, you are able save buying bottled water everywhere you go, but that plastic litter is a huge environmental difficulty. Why not get one sturdy filtered bottle, and re-use it for years?
It pays for itself and saves the environmental issues at the same experience!
18: Use ATMs Wisely
You may have been told to cover your hand when keying in your PIN number at an ATM. That’s good advice merit following, both for others looking over your shoulder, as well as obscured cameras trying to record your pin.
Always take a close look at ATM machines before you use them. Draw on the card reader a bit. Does it have any questionable signeds of tampering? If so, go into the bank and get someone to come out and check it( and then call another machine, regardless of what happens ).
If an ATM machine appears to have chewed your credit card, flow a paw along the card slit to see if “youre feeling” anything protruding. The “Lebanese Loop” is a trick where a thin plastic sleeve captivates your card( frustrating the machine from reading it)- then as soon as you walk away, a burglar yanks it out and operate off with your card.
Another overlooked ingredient is where other beings are when you’re at the machine. Can person peer over your shoulder? Are they close enough they could grab the money and run off?
If so, exploit another ATM abroad. Better safe than sorry! Never gave anyone “help” you with your busines either.
19: Stop Using Your Back Pocket
It’s the first place any pickpocket will check- and short of putting a loaded mousetrap in there( not recommended if you forget and sit down ), the best way to deal with the dangers of having a back pocket is to never use it…
And if putting coin in the back pocket of your throbs is a dres you can’t seem to break, grab some needle and thread and sew it shut!
Your front pockets are a lot more difficult to steal from without being noticed.
If you’re REALLY upset, or plan to travel to a town where pickpockets range flagrant, you can wear a money belt. I’m not a devotee, but I know many who use them for peace of mind.
20: Travel In Numbers
The more beings around you, the more eyeballs are on your importants- and the more legs qualify for running after thieves.
A group is also a much more terrifying physical spirit, which facilitates fend off predators of all kinds. It will help to keep you safer than trying to go it alone in a foreign country.
If you’re traveling solo, consider making some new friends and become searching together.
Staying at backpacker hostels is an excellent way to build some new friends. Often you’ll find other solo travelers there, who may want to do some of the same pleasures you want to.
However, I’d too like to highlight the importance of not trusting new people TOO abruptly. There are some professional scammers who use the backpacker footpath to take advantage of other travelers looking for a friend.
Don’t leave your expensive or important material with someone you only fulfilled. No question how friendly they seem.
21: Pack A First Aid Kit
Injuries can occur when you travel abroad , not stuff how cautious “you think youre”. That’s why traveling with a basic first assistance kit is always a good idea.
You don’t need to go crazy and bring your own needles and scalpels, but furnishing the basics to plow slashes, dislocates, gut editions, and burns can help if you or people around you may need them.
I promote a basic waterproof adventure first facilitate equipment with a few additions of my own 😛 TAGEND Small tube of sunscreen Re-hydration salts Anti-histamine tablets Small pair of scissors Extra pain pills( Ibuprofen) Emergency space blanket Small tube of petroleum jelly( helps avoid sores)
22: Stay( Comparatively) Sober
Getting too sucks or high-pitched when you trip is almost always unacceptably high-risk. If you’re wasted, you’re not present, and anything could be happening around you( or to you ).
I’m not mentioning don’t enjoy yourself. Hell I have plenty over the years! Just do it responsibly, stay hyper-aware of how much you’re consuming, retain hydrated& fed, and make sure you don’t lose control of the situation.
Harder dopes are specially risky — it’s a good way to get in trouble with the police, who may not be as excuse( or even law-abiding) as approvals back home. Not to mention having to deal with potentially nefarious people who are providing those drugs — and their own alternative motives.
On a similar note, if you’re partial to late nights out partying until pre-dawn hours, be careful assuming that unfamiliar destinations will be as forgiving as back home.
Many generally safe destinations( especially ones filled with tourists) grow far less secure late at night- and if you’re stumbling around intoxicated, you’re far less aware of your smothers- and a VERY easy target for all kinds of bad stuff.
23: Trust Your Instincts!
This one is easily neglected- and incredibly important.
You are a moving surveillance structure. Your organization witness and hears more circumstances than you could ever process into coherent gues. Let’s call it your “spidey sense” — capacities necessary to sense danger.
Your body are likely to be feeling indicates of peril, before your psyche is well aware of it.
This is why gut feelings are always worth analyzing! If you’re fervour awkward and you don’t know why, try not to write it off as irrational dread. Stop and compensate closer attention to the situation. Can you figure out what their own problems is?
It’s easy to dismiss your impulses as “silly”. Never treat them as such. Those gut feelings and hunch have impeded humen safe for millions of years.
24: Travel Safety For Women vs. Men
All the travel safety tips-off above are equally important for both men and women. I don’t anticipate the ability to travel safely should be focused on gender.
Unfortunately girls affected by violence everywhere, including here in the United States& Canada. Traveling doesn’t undoubtedly increase that threat, it simply changes the location.
Women worried about being assaulted or attacked might prefer to visit a neighbourhood street bazaar or nightclub in a group rather than alone. Peculiarly if it’s a common difficulty for the area.
However workers also have specific safety concerns they need to watch out for, related to their egoes. Like going goaded into a physical combat that isn’t required. Or being scammed by a beautiful woman.
Travel safety is really about biding street smart, ready for the unexpected, and understating your revelation to risky situations in a brand-new and unfamiliar country.
25: A Few Words About Likelihood …
If you want to travel, you cannot avoid risk. There is no way to be 100% safe from any threat, in any part of life. Risk is an integral part of escapade too.
This signifies when you hit the road, you’re bound to come scammed sooner or later, or find yourself in accidentally challenging environments. It happens to all of us.
Risk is inevitable- but it can be managed, so you can stay safer.
How do most people be informed about happens in non-eu countries? It’s generally through the word. This is a big problem, because the media is biased- but not the practice politicians would like you to believe.
The media reports on singular occurrences( most often negative ones ). Things get featured in the news because they rarely happen. That’s the definition of “newsworthy”.
If the story was truly representative of what’s happening in the world, 99.9% of each report would sound like: “Today in Namib-istan, absolutely nothing risky happened, and everyone had a perfectly natural day- yet again.”
The news media becomes non-eu countries detect a lot less safe than they certainly are. In actuality, “the worlds” seems to be coming safer every decade, according to data collected by economist Max Roser and psychologist Steven Pinker.
This isn’t said today bad things don’t happen. It’s saying they’re frequently a misleading representation of what commonly happens.
Don’t accept the promotion. Generally pronouncing, it’s never been a safer time to travel! So get out there and start enjoy your junket.
READ MORE TRAVEL TIPS
Have any questions about travel safety? What about other recommendations? Drop me a meaning in the comments below!
This is a post from The Expert Vagabond escapade blog.
Read more: expertvagabond.com