Travel Safety Tips To Take Advantage of on Your Next Trip

by | Jan 3, 2016 | Travel

Being a new country can be nerve-wracking in itself, but worrying about safety can add on to the anxiety.

However, like many things, the world isn’t always as scary as some people perceive it to be. It’s important to be cautious and look after your belongings, but this applies to any place in the world. After all, every year thousands of people successfully navigate their way around the globe. In fact, many people even make a living off it!

So don’t let fear stop you from enjoying everything that the world has to offer. Here are some basic tips to help you stay safe during your travels. However, as always, use common sense. Know where police stations are and adjust your actions to whatever you think is best.

1. Research your area.

The benefits of traveling include the chance to see new places and experience new cultures. However, this can also come with new information on staying safe. Before heading off, do you research and find out where the safe parts of town are, what locals do to stay safe, etc.

In some places, there may also be people who repeatedly use the same scams to get money out of people. For example, in some parts of the world, there are fake police officers that try to extort money out of tourists by claiming that there is a tourist tax. But don’t be too scared. As long as you use your instincts, be aware of your surroundings, and choose your actions wisely you should be fine.

2. Keep some small bills readily available (or a “dummy” wallet).

If by chance someone approaches you individually and demands money, try to have a few small bills or a dummy wallet on hand. Many people don’t want to resort to violence; they only want the money. Keep the big bills hidden away and only give them the small stuff, which you should have tucked into an easily accessible pocket. To make a dummy wallet look more realistic, some people slip in old credit cards along with the cash. The same concept goes for cell phones. If you have an old phone that you no longer use, bring that with you as well.

3. Email yourself copies of your important documents.

It’s often recommended to keep extra physical copies in you backpack or purse. This is a great idea, but nowadays you can also take advantage of the Internet. Scan or take pictures of your important documents and send them to yourself. That way, if something happens to your copies, you will still have access to your documents. Many large cities have free Wifi in various cafes so it can be easy to get to them at a moment’s notice.

4. Don’t wear flashy jewelry.

This rule is common sense, but sometimes it can be hard to remember if you’re used to wearing it on a daily basis. Instead of wearing your expensive items, keep it in a safety box back at the hostel/hotel. Even better, don’t bring it at all. With all of the activities that you’ll be doing, you’ll be glad that you don’t have the extra jewelry weighing you down!

5. Divide and store your money in different locations.

To avoid paying so many international banking fees, it’s common for travelers to withdraw large amounts of cash at a time. But for your safety, don’t keep more than a few dollars in accessible places such as your pockets. The rest can go into your backpack or into a money belt. Sometimes, this can also help you spend less money. After all, sometimes just the hassle of digging for more cash is enough to stop a hasty impulse buy.

-by Connie Lee

Downtown Magazine