Traveling should be an exciting experience but for some people, things don’t always end up as they had hoped. The good news is you don’t have to end up like one of those horror stories. With these 10 tips, you’ll be able to stay safe when traveling.
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10 Ways to Stay Safe on the Road
Protect Your Money
Use a neck wallet (lanyard) to carry money, credit card, hotel key, and ID secure when you are traveling. Do the research and find one that has a thin profile and can carry the items you need while staying hidden from potential pickpockets.
Sleep with a Nearby Go Bag
When you go to sleep each night, make sure you have your purse or backpack ready to go in an emergency. I always keep my keys, wallet and important items in my purse beside my tennis shoes and jacket where I can easily grab them if the fire alarm goes off and I need to evacuate quickly. I keep a flashlight and my phone right beside my bed so I can quickly have a light source and grab the essentials as we leave the building.
Keep Copies of Travel Documents
Theft happens sometimes while we’re traveling so having back-up copies of your plane tickets, your driver’s license, your passport, etc. can come in handy. Keep the copies separate from the actual items so they don’t both get stolen at the same time.
Use the Hotel Room Safe
Don’t trust the hotel staff to clean and supply your room without taking something of value you leave behind. It happens. That’s why most hotel rooms have a safe. Use it for those important documents you don’t want to lose, as well as any jewelry or small electronics you don’t want to take with you everywhere.
Share Your Travel Plans
If you have a close friend or family member you trust, be sure to give them a copy of your entire itinerary. That way if something happens they have some idea of where you were or where you were supposed to be. You should also make it a habit of calling or texting someone back home periodically to check-in.
There is safety in numbers, so be social when you travel. Avoid isolated areas and stay with the crowd when possible. You are less likely to be targeted for violent crimes around witnesses.
Know Where to Get Help
Whether you’re traveling in your own country or abroad, you need to know how to get the police or medical assistance quickly. Not everyone dials 9-1-1 to connect with emergency personnel so do a little research before you arrive to identify the proper procedure. Store those emergency numbers in your cell phone for easy access but also have them written down elsewhere in case your phone gets lost or the battery dies.
Staying safe doesn’t just mean avoiding crime; it can also mean avoiding illness. Before you start purchasing food from street vendors or local restaurants, make sure you ask around for suggestions. If you have allergies, make sure you ask what is in the food you are eating to avoid dangerous health reactions. Don’t drink local water; instead travel with a filtered water bottle so you can ensure that your water stays safe.
Have a Plan
You’re less likely to find yourself in trouble if you have a plan. Book your transportation ahead of time from the airport to the hotel, for example, so you don’t end up standing around at the airport where you might be a target. If you plan to go sightseeing, rent a car, book a place on a tour, or make travel arrangements ahead of time so you don’t end up wandering around unfamiliar areas.
Know Your Location
Make sure everyone in your group knows the address and phone number for your hotel. Have a plan in place in case anyone gets separated so you can reconnect.
What are some ways you stay safe when you are traveling? I’d love to hear your tips!
Ready to plan your next road trip? Whether you are a planner or prefer to just get out there and explore, there are a few must-have books and resources that will help you make the most out of your next road trip.