July 27, 2016 4 min read
We all know you have to be on your guard while you’re travelling to ensure you have a safe trip. Some destinations are safer than others but you always need to be cautious, no matter where you are in the world. You need to protect your belongings, particularly as most of us are now travelling with expensive gadgets, which can make us a target to thieves. You’ll also need to think about your personal safety and not put yourself in any dangerous situations.
Here are my tips for international travel and safety advice to ensure you have a great (and safe!) trip. But these are the tips your parents probably won’t caution you with before you leave!
Let’s begin with the four things you should never leave your hotel without…
Most hotels and hostels will have business cards or flyers on the reception desk with their address printed on it. If you can’t find one then ask the receptionist to write it down for you. It’s important to have it in the local language so you can hand it to someone who doesn’t speak English and they could direct you, or a taxi driver could drive you. It’s a good idea to keep this somewhere safe other than your wallet too – such as in a hidden pocket in your clothing or bag.
If you’re not in a place where it’s easy to flag down a taxi then make sure you have the phone number for a taxi firm and a mobile phone you can call them on. It might be worth carrying an external phone charger in case you run out of battery power by the end of the day. And finally, make sure you have some cash to pay for your ride home!
If you have these four things you’ll never be stranded somewhere and you’ll always be able to make it back to your hotel.
Don’t get too drunk
It might seem like an obvious one but so many travellers put themselves into dangerous situations by being too drunk to make sensible decisions. We all like to let our hair down while we travel but never get to a point where you can’t look after yourself or can’t find your way home. You’re making yourself a vulnerable target, particularly if it’s after dark.
If you’re one of those people who accidentally gets too drunk without even realising, then make sure you eat a decent meal before you go out. Drinking on an empty stomach is always a bad idea!
Trust your gut
Gut instincts are a real thing! If a person seems a bit dodgy or a situation doesn’t feel right then trust your instincts and get out of there. Even if nothing has happened, leave that situation before it does. If you’re arranging to meet someone, especially if it’s a new acquaintance you’ve met while travelling, be sure to do so in a public place, and let someone know where you are going.
There are lots of advantages to travelling light; it’s easier, it’s cheaper and you rarely need half the junk you pack anyway. Another advantage is that it’s safer. When you have fewer belongings you know where everything is, you don’t have belongings spilling out of your bags and you immediately know when something goes missing. If you have a heavy backpack with lots of pockets then someone could easily remove something without you noticing.
Check out the location for all accommodation
Have you found a really nice hotel for a surprisingly cheap price tag? You’ll probably find that the hotel is in a less than nice area and it might even be an unsafe area to be walking around in at night. It’s usually worth paying a little extra to be in a safer area.
Rough up your gadgets
Make your gadgets look less valuable than they are to make them less appealing to thieves. If you’ve got a shiny new smartphone then buy a cheap case, cover it with stickers and allow it to get dirty. You can do the same for tablets and cameras too so they look older and less valuable.
Use a travel safe
Travel safes are especially important if you’re staying in a hostel or Airnbnb where an individual safe probably won’t be available. A travel safe gives you the peace of mind that all your valuables are secure. You can also use it on public transport if you have a long journey where you’re likely to fall asleep.
Portable safes that are secure:The NEW Pacsafe Travelsafe X25 portable safe.
Monica is the founder of The Travel Hack and started the blog in 2009 during a two-year backpacking trip to Australia and Asia. She’s a full-time blogger, a mum of two and on a mission to prove you can still have adventures when you have young kids! Follow her adventures here.
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