Tips for Personal Safety While Traveling
Tips for Personal Safety While Traveling
Whether you travel a lot for work or leisure, it’s good to always be aware of your surrounding. Even if you’re traveling to your vacation home regularly, or somewhere you’re familiar with, there are some ways you can ensure you’re keeping safety top-of-mind.
Go With Your Gut
No matter what, follow your gut while traveling. If you sense that something isn’t right, it’s better to listen to that instinct than to ignore it. Hopefully, you’ve done enough prep work that you don’t find yourself in a situation where your senses kick into overdrive. But, we all know life can be unpredictable and even some of the best-laid plans are disrupted.
General Safety Tips for Traveling
Not all of us can have a security detail while traveling, so we have to do our own research regarding our destination and the route we need to take to get there.
Get First-Hand Advice
Read reviews about your destination, talk to businesses that offer excursions at your destination, or look for chatrooms or Facebook groups that discuss your destination. That way, you can get first-hand advice about what the locale is like. For example, popular destinations like Disneyland have so many online groups to choose from when it comes to getting travel tips and recommendations.
As a traveler, it’s a good idea to try blending into your surroundings. Research how locals dress and avoid wearing flashy jewelry while traveling. Thankfully, we can access maps on our phones these days, so we don’t have to be the obvious tourist fumbling with a paper map on a street corner.
Make Duplicates of Documents
If you’re traveling with a birth certificate, passport, or even just a driver’s license, it’s a good idea to make hard copies (or digital copies) of these documents. Duplicates may not allow you to cross borders or get through customs, but they can at least serve as the first step toward proving your identity if the originals get lost.
Stay in Touch
Some of us prefer to travel without a structured itinerary and instead go with the flow once we arrive at our destination. While that’s fine, it’s still a good idea to keep loved ones aware of your travel plans. At the very least, be sure someone back home knows what day you expect to return. That way if you’re delayed, someone knows to check in on you.
Don’t Share Your Trip in Real-Time Online
Now, while you should definitely tell a friend or family member about your travel plans in advance, you shouldn’t blast your trip on social media while you’re gone. Doing so can invite stalkers while you’re traveling, or break-ins at your empty residence back home.
If you do worry about your home while traveling, CBI Security shares suggestions for increasing your personal protection on their blog HERE.
Tips for Staying Safe While Visiting Remote Locations
As refreshing as it is to head to the mountains, the beach, or elsewhere alone to recharge, it may not be the best practice when it comes to staying safe. You may be comfortable camping in Big Sur, hitting the slopes in Winter Park, or backpacking in the Grand Canyon solo, but it’s important to be prepared when visiting remote locations.
If you’re not already an avid skier or hiker, do some training before taking your trip. Don’t let anyone you’re with push your pace; stay at an exertion level you’re comfortable with. Remember, it’s all about the journey, not necessarily getting to the destination (even if the view from the top is breathtaking!).
Bring the Right Gear
You might need to rent equipment or purchase your own, but you should always research when you need to stay safe when traveling to places off the beaten track. Bring layers that are easy to add or shed when the weather changes. Always have a first-aid kit handy, and bring more water than you anticipate needing. Travel with sunscreen, backup chargers, and non-perishable snacks.
Develop a Backup Plan
No matter how you’re adventuring, have a backup plan for emergencies. If you’re on a remote road and won’t have access to WIFI for your map, print or purchase a paper one before you leave. Know what to do if you get separated from your travel group, or suffer an injury while skiing, hiking, etc… Are you prepared if the weather changes while you’re traveling? Do you have access to making room reservations if camping under the stars is suddenly a no-go? Familiarise yourself with what’s around you so you can pivot your plans if need be.
Tips for Staying Safe While Visiting Busy Cities
Hotels have many measures in place to offer a sense of security when you’re traveling. Whether it’s a luxury hotel such as Virgin Las Vegas, or an all-inclusive in Cancun, Mexico, there are some ways you can increase your safety in a busy city.
Do Not Disturb
To keep people out of your room while staying in a hotel, place the Do Not Disturb sign on the door while you’re gone. Even if you’re not leaving any valuables behind, it’s a good way to discourage anyone from going in and out when you’re not there. If you’re staying in a ground-floor room, it’s a good idea to keep the blinds drawn when you’re gone, too.
Put Down Your Phone
When you’re exploring the city, keep your phone tucked away when you’re not snapping photos or checking your map. It’s too easy to be distracted by your phone when it’s constantly in your hand, making you an easier target. You not only want to avoid having your phone stolen, but you also want to keep your eyes and ears open for anything suspicious in your surroundings.
Upgrade Your Bag
If you’re going to carry a purse, backpack, or fanny pack, invest in an ugrade with hidden zippers. Or, go for something more discreet that can be tucked close against your body under your jacket or shirt. If you have to carry around your ID, cash, or other valuables, it’s good to have a theft-proof bag in densely populated areas.
No matter where you’re traveling, there are apps you can download to stay on top of emergency alerts. The US State Department has an iOS app called Smart Traveler that offers notifications regarding travel. Other apps can give updates on emergency weather conditions, potential scams, or give the location of medical services for travelers. If you’re going to have access to WIFI on your trip, definitely look into an app that can keep you informed before and during your travels.