While we like to think we’re invincible and nothing bad can happen, reality is shit happens! Here are my top tips for how to stay safe while traveling!
1. Keep your valuables close!
When you’re out exploring, be mindful of exactly where your valuables (i.e. phone, camera, wallet) are. Keep them as close to your body as possible. Pickpocketers are sneaky; money belts help. When I walk through a crowded area, such as a street market in a foreign country, I secure my bag into the crux of my armpit so it stays closed and physically glued to me!
2. Use a safe!
Most hotels/hostels have in-room safes that enable you to set a personalized code. I always keep my passport, my second credit card (which I don’t use as often), and the majority of my cash in the safe! If it’s large enough, I’ll even toss my laptop in it.
3. Follow the buddy system!
Just as we learned in grade school, the buddy system will always help keep you safe. I’m guilty of often walking alone, especially at night, but best to travel in pairs. If alone, befriend other travelers or even ask a local to escort you home. (You can read more about my top tips for traveling alone here.)
4. Carry a self-defense spray!
Mace is your best friend. Don’t be scared to use it when in danger.
5. Know your surroundings!
While of course you won’t know a new town as well as if it’s your home, get familiar with the route from and to where you’re staying. Map out the best lit streets, where money exchange shops are, and which restaurants and stores can provide tips and help when needed.
6. Notify your embassy!
Whenever traveling internationally, particularly if in an unstable country, it’s always smart to notify your embassy. There may be an unexpected natural disaster, accident, or crime, and you’ll want authorities to know where you are and help if needed. Click here for information about each US embassy by country. Also, be sure to know where exactly your country’s embassy is closest located to where you’re staying.
7. Find My iPhone!
I don’t know how people survived without smart phones! Having a smartphone while traveling makes everything easier, especially for searching local . If you have an iPhone, activate “Find My iPhone” in case you misplace it or someone steals it.
What are you favorite ways to stay safe? Comment below!