If you’ve been watching the news, then no doubt you’ve seen many news stories about recent deaths and tragedies happening to people while they were on vacation. These kinds of news reports can strike fear into those contemplating a vacation. But instead of allowing fear to make you miss out on a great vacation…let’s go over a few tips so that you can stay safe while traveling.
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This is good advice at all times, even when you are in your hometown. Let’s face it, crime happens all over, even in the smallest of towns. Being aware of our surroundings keeps us in charge of our safety.
When walking or driving, be aware of what’s going on around you. This can also help you to avoid accidents like a trip hazard or another person driving erratically. If possible, find someone to accompany you. If this isn’t possible, just be vigilant of what is going on where you are.
In this day of smartphones and devices, please don’t look at your phone while you are walking around. You need to be aware of your surroundings and having your focus on an electronic device can make you look unaware and vulnerable. Also, avoid wearing headphones in public as your sense of hearing is a great asset in remaining safe.
Check your vehicle before entering to be sure there is no one inside or that there isn’t someone loitering in the parking lot near where you are parked. If you feel insecure, go back into the location you came from. Find a security guard or other official who can accompany you to your vehicle.
2. Stay in Well-Lit Areas
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s always best to stay in well-lit areas where you can see your surroundings and who else is there. When you are traveling at night, find a group you can travel with, if possible.
3. Take Care of Your Beverage
Trying a new beverage on vacation can be a lot of fun, but it’s always a good idea to watch your drink being made. If you are unsure about the safety of your mixed drink, choose a beverage in a bottle.
Also, keep an eye on that drink. Some people keep their hands over their drinks while engaged in conversation to make sure no one can slip something into their drink. Never leave a drink or food unattended.
4. Don’t Drink Too Much
Too much alcohol makes you lose your inhibitions, and will make you less aware of what’s going on around you. This can make you an easy target for crime. Know your limits so you don’t go overboard.
5. Leave Your Valuables at Home
That beautiful jewelry or watch may look great on you, but it can make you a target for criminals. It’s better to keep those kinds of things at home and only bring the essentials.
6. Keep Other Valuables Hidden
There are some things you’ll need to bring with you when you travel, such as your money, credit cards, passport, ID, phone, camera, etc. Keep what you can on your person. Never put these things in a back pocket, as it’s an easy target for pickpockets, as is the outside pockets of a backpack. Consider a money belt for keeping these items safe and secure. It can be worn under your clothing, making it undetectable to pickpockets.
If you carry a backpack, keep it on your front. It will be harder for someone to break into it if it’s right up against your chest. If that’s not a possibility, then just be aware…keep a lock on it if possible, and again…keep the super valuable stuff at home or locked up in your hotel room.
Take only the money and items needed for that day. It’s never wise to be walking around with a ton of cash on you. Take what you need for the day and keep it hidden as well as you can.
7. Don’t Be a Hero
Reports indicate that resisting a robbery or a mugging can result in more violence than just letting the thief take your stuff. Your stuff is NOT WORTH YOUR LIFE!!!
No, you don’t want to just give your stuff away, so as with the tip above, keep your valuable stuff on your person, don’t take too much with you when out and about, and be aware of who is nearby you.
8. Keep Track Of Your Credit Cards
If possible, monitor your credit cards online to be sure you haven’t had your number stolen. Also, keep your credit card phone numbers in a separate place in case your cards are stolen so that you’re able to cancel them immediately.
9. Purchase Travel Insurance
Many travel insurance plans offer Baggage Coverage, which provides coverage for loss, theft, or damage to your baggage and covered personal effects during your covered trip. Keep in mind that it may not cover the entire expense of let’s say a $3,000 camera, but it may help defray the cost of getting a replacement should the worst happen.
10. Inform Family and/or Friends of Your Itinerary
This is so important. Email your close family members or friends your full itinerary, including when you plan on leaving and returning. This way if they don’t hear from you, they can take the necessary steps to inform the authorities, or the embassy, etc.
Be sure once you send the itinerary that they have actually received it and have an idea where you will be and when you plan on being back.
11. Don’t Overshare With Strangers
While it may be exciting to share all your travel plans on social media, don’t go crazy with sharing the details of your trip. Those with ill-intentions may use this information against you!
If you are speaking with a local, avoid giving details about where you’re staying. It’s okay to be vague and just name an area or a town near where you are staying. Even fellow travelers don’t need to know exact details. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
We hope these few simple tips will help you to remain safe on your next trip! We understand that travel can be a little intimidating if you allow current events to scare you. But, by staying informed and alert, you can have a great, safe trip to any destination!
The Team at Wander The World