Whether you’re new to travel or you’re a seasoned adventurer, don’t take safety for granted. Even if jumping on a plane and jetting off to foreign lands is a commonplace as taking the bus, anyone can be caught out. It’s worth running through a mental checklist at the beginning of each trip.
- Stay Connected
Keep in touch with your friends and family at home. A quick call to let them know you arrived safely will be much appreciated and will avoid any unnecessary worries. Data roaming packages such as Interfone are ideal as they allow you to stay connected wherever you are in the world.
If you’re planning to be away for long stretches, it’s worth establishing a ‘checking in time’ with family and sticking to it. Arrange to call at a certain time each week to let family know you’re safe and catch them up on all your adventures.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with a trusted friend. If something goes wrong or they need to get in touch with you, they will have a good idea of your whereabouts.
- Secure Your Luggage
This sounds obvious but thousands of travellers each year are caught out by theft. Makes sure you secure your luggage in a way that deters potential thieves. Opt for TSA approved padlocks which will allow airport security to check your bags and relock them to keep your possessions safe.
When you arrive at your destination, wherever possible, secure any valuable items in the safe. If you’re travelling with a laptop, which many of us do, keep it safe with a laptop lock. This is particularly important for cafes and airport lounges.
Scan or take photos of all your important documents before you leave. Add them to a cloud service such as Dropbox. You can then access them from anywhere should you experience problems.
- Leave A Trail
Documenting your adventures is another great way to keep in touch with your family and friends at home. It also lets them know that you’re safe and provides a trail of your whereabouts. Plus, it will provide you with a memento of your trip and a way to prolong the experience for years to come. There are many ways to do this of course. For example, uploading pics to image sites such as Flickr and Instagram, blogging and vlogging. You can even make a little cash in the process.
- Don’t Make It Easy For Thieves
The best advice is to stay vigilant at all times. Think before you act. A split second decision or lapse in judgement will cause you no end of hassle and inconvenience. For example, don’t leave passports and other important documentation locked inside your car. It sounds obvious, but when you’re dashing into to the store to grab a couple of drinks, it’s easy to forget this. Thieves are highly skilled opportunists. Don’t make it easy for them.
- For Lone Travellers
If you’re travelling alone, you will need to take additional precautions. Always ensure you have enough money on your person to make an emergency call or take a cab. Don’t alert others to the fact that you’re staying alone. If you’re checking in, make sure your room number is not overheard. Befriend other travellers staying in your hotel or hostel.
Even the most streetwise and seasoned travellers can become complacent. It’s worth reviewing your safety strategies every so often. Get into the habit of running through a mental checklist. Use common sense at all times and think before you act.