My mum always says it’s not me she worries about when I travel, it’s everybody else. She trusts that I can look after myself and use my common sense on the road, it’s other people she has her doubts about.
I understand her concerns because I often travel as a solo woman, or with other females. It’s not rocket science. We should all take precautions when we travel somewhere new. Whether it be to a nearby city, a neighbouring state in your own country or travelling abroad.
Things can and will happen on your travels, but there are things that you can do to avoid running into trouble.
These are my Top 12 Tips for Safe Travel Around the World
They say that if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel. I agree with this 100%. Over the last decade of travelling, this is an expense I always include in my budget. I’ve used many different travel insurance companies over the years.
SafetyWing Travel Insurance is the travel insurance company I’ve used since 2020 to continue travelling the world. This company is created by travellers, for travellers. These guys offer Travel Medical Insurance that covers people from all over the world, while outside their home country – The best part is that COVID-19 coverage is included in their very affordable plans.
World Nomads is another travel insurance company that offers a great product and competitive insurance plans. They have competitive prices and have helpful staff too. More importantly, they actually pay out genuine claims when you run into troubles on the road too.
12 Tips for Safe Travel – Separate your cash in a few places
3. Keep your wallet or handbag where you can see it
Men, keep your wallets in your front pocket to avoid being pick-pocketed.
Women, wear your zipped handbag or small day pack on the front of your body, especially in busy areas and on public transport to avoid being targeted by thieves.
When making purchases in shops or in view of the public, try not to flash your cash or show the contents of your wallet to anyone.
4. Plan how to get home safely
Another one of my top tips for safe travel is to plan. Before you go exploring a new city, source the safest way to get back to your accommodation.
Don’t take the shortcut in an unknown area or walk home late at night, just to save a few dollars.
If you’re planning on spending a night out on the town, budget and keep aside enough cash to get a taxi home. Better yet, organise to meet and return home with friends or people that may be staying at your place of accommodation too.
EXTRA TIP: The good thing about booking hotels on Booking.com is that they provide the address in the local language with your other reservation details. This is immediately emailed to you after you make a new reservation with Booking.com.
12 Tips for safe travel. Use your smartphone even smarter.
Get the most out of your iPhone. Learn how your Google Maps app can help you to know where you are at all times, even offline. It’s got a great feature where you can download maps and use them when you’re offline.
If you plan ahead, use the hostel wifi or even McDonalds (free wifi) and load your Google Maps location, drop a pin of the address of your accommodation. Follow your locater, or as I like to refer to it, the ‘blue dot’.
It’s always a good idea to take a business card or map from your accommodation provider which has address details in the local language. This helps if you need to give directions to a taxi driver or ask a local about a bus or metro that will take you close to your accommodation.
Eat from places where the locals eat. Busy cafes, restaurants or street carts where the locals wait or will line up are what you should be looking for. You will find these places located off the tourist main streets, they’re cheaper and generally the best food available.
TIP: Ask your taxi driver or the staff from the reception of your hostel where they like to eat.
This is one of my tips for safe travel that you need to always be thinking about. Tourists are easy to recognise, which gives local thieves and scammers an easy target. Try to use common sense at all times and be polite but firm with people who you feel may be trying to scam you out of money or belongings.
TIP: Learn the exchange rate upon arrival in the new country and find out the approximate cost of a taxi or transport in local currency to take you there. Once you do exchange currency, learn the bills (which can be very confusing in high denominations) and separate the fare for the taxi before you get in.
Taxi drivers all over the world prey on the fact that you have just arrived at their country on your own, you’re tired and disorientated and have probably just exchanged cash for local currency and don’t know what it’s worth just yet.
If you are flashing your new cash to them, they will have no problem plucking a bill from your hand that is worth 10 times more than what the fare actually costs.
We’ve all got one. Listen to it! Your intuition will tell you if you have wandered into a dangerous area and to turn around, or if some dodgy character is trying to befriend you so they can scam you.
My tips for safe travel are all about keeping you safe as you make your way around the world.
10. Learn some of the local languages
Learning some of the local languages can definitely get you out of some sticky situations. For women, in particular, it’s a good idea to learn some words to ask someone to stop bothering you or to go away. We use Babbel to learn new languages. Babbel works. It’s the reason why we use it. We try to learn new languages or enough of a new language to enrich our travel experiences as we travel around the world.
When you learn a new language, you want to be able to actually use it. With real people. In the real world. Babbel is designed with that goal in mind. Sign up here to start learning a new language and receive up to 60% off!
Another one of my tips for safe travel is to use the Google Translate app to download a new language; then you’re able to use it on the road to communicate with locals.
Tips for safe travel are to try and learn some words or phrases in different languages
11. Scan your passport and other important documents
Scan these documents and send them to your email address so that you can gain access to them from anywhere in the world. It’s also worth saving it into the files on your Smart Phone to access it whenever you need it. In some countries, if you lose your passport, it can take up to 6 weeks to find a replacement.
If you have previously scanned this, you can make the process much quicker by producing a copy of all the important details etc.
12. Use the safe or lock your valuables away
Many people are very poor and desperate for any extra cash. In many countries, the wages are extremely low which is why people will steal your valuables if given the chance. I always lock my valuables, including my laptop and camera inside my carry-on 40L backpack or suitcase or use the room safe if one is provided.
When I stay in a hotel room alone, I do the same thing. I don’t trust the housekeeping staff, probably because I’ve previously been the victim of stolen cash hidden in my unlocked backpack.
I’ve also travelled with and used a strong bike lock to secure my bag to my bunk bed or kitchen sink in some countries because I didn’t want the whole thing to be taken or stolen whilst sleeping on overnight train journeys.
A Few Essential Items for Safe Travel
Small Travel Bag
Make sure you get travel insurance before hitting the road. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to leave home without. We recommend either World Nomads or SafetyWing, depending on the type of traveller you are.
I hope you gained some knowledge and helpful tips from my best tips for safe travel. What safety travel tip would you add to this list?
🚌 Transportation: To book trains,Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book transport in Europe, USA & Canada, we useOmio & FlixbusUS. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go.For all other countries, we use BookaWay to compare and book Bus, Ferry, or train tickets to get around.
Rach is a self-confessed travelling foodie. Her passion for food and culture has seen her eat her way through 190 countries. She's currently on a big food adventure to visit EVERY country in the world!
When Rach isn't travelling, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee or wine with friends or chowing down on the best eats around her home city of Melbourne, Australia.