Safety Tips for Traveling

Remember all those rules your mother taught you to insure that you are safe. Apply them rigorously when you’re traveling. Trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right leave. Whether it’s a bar or a park or a hostel, if you don’t feel good in the situation, if your spidey senses are tingling, it’s best to get out of there. Know the typical con games of your destination.

If someone wants to give you something for free it may be a good idea to decline. A rose is often offered on the streets of Barcelona to draw travelers in for a con. A ring apparently found on the ground and offered to you as the person who possibly lost it, is another ruse to turn away from. Familiarize yourself with the common con games travelers encounter. Here’s a list of 40 tourist scams. Stay in public. I learned this lesson the hard way. I was caught in a con game and, fortunately, I did not leave a public place. Had I done so my life would likely have been much different. Read Solo Travel Danger: Caught in a Con Game Where you’re staying is personal information. Don’t tell strangers where you’re staying either in words or actions.

Your accommodation should be your safe haven. Stay alert. While its wonderful to sink into a destination, luxuriating in its culture, it’s also important to be aware of what’s going. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Sleep well. Being well rested makes you more alert. Conversely, if you’re overtired or jet-lagged you should be aware that you are naturally less alert. Stay sober. Whatever your drug of choice, it’s best to stay sober as you travel. This is not just important for being alert but also for your judgement. Judgement is compromised by alcohol and drugs. Walk with confidence. In tourist areas such as the Eiffel Tower meandering as a tourist makes sense. However there are other circumstances where you want to walk like a local, as if you know exactly what you’re doing and where you’re going. You don’t want to look like a tourist. That requires that you walk with confidence.

Blending in requires more than just walking with confidence. Be aware of cultural differences and blend in if possible. Read 10 Ways to Blend in When You Can’t Be polite. Be impolite. Being impolite can definitely get you into trouble.

If people take offence at your behavior it’s hard to know what can happen. So, definitely be polite under most circumstances. But if a person is bothering you being polite can get you into trouble too. Know when and how to make a lot of noise and attract attention to yourself and the person bothering you. Don’t flash wealth. Leave expensive things at home. Don’t wear jewellery or flashy clothes/accessories that will attract attention to yourself. Even if they don’t go after your jewellery they may target you for picking your pocket. Keep your belongings close. Hold your wallet, camera, cell phone/mobile… close to you. Never keep your wallet in your back pocket. Keep the number of things you’re most concerned about to a minimum. For me it’s my wallet, phone and passport. Having just three things make them easy to carry and keep track of. Take special care of your documents. I keep my passport on me. I keep my plane ticket on my phone plus paper copies in my bag. And I keep extra money in a couple of places and an extra credit card separate from the one I use. Read: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Pickpockets Carry the business card of your hotel or hostel. Getting back to your hotel or hostel is pretty important but it can be a challenge if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language. When you check in get a business card from the establishment and carry it with you.

Don’t automatically jump in to help. If you see someone suddenly in need of help, get someone else to go their aid with you. A local is more able to help and having someone else involved will protect you should the incident be a con game. Always carry a map. While walking around with a map in your hands may make you look like a vulnerable touris having one on you can be very helpful. If you’re lost, stop into a shop to look at it and get assistance. They are especially helpful when you don’t know the language. You can point to your destination making communication easier. Understand the city transit system. Riding public transit is a great way to get to know a city and its culture. But, before you go, know how safe it is, how much the fares are and how they are paid, whether a pass is a good idea and possibly the basic routes you’ll be taking. Take a break once in a while. This goes along with staying aware of your surroundings. If you’re experiencing travelers fatigue join a day tour or cooking class or something that will make for a simple, interesting and relaxing day. Stay safe at your lodging. I suggest that you consider the hotels, etc., in the Solo Traveler Accommodation Guide. They have all been recommended by readers of Solo Traveler, Tracey or me. Here are quick and simple tips for hotels. Ask for a room on an upper floor. If you are a woman ask if there is a women-only floor and get a room there if possible. Be aware of the alternative exits. Before you go out ask about safety. When you return at night, ask for an escort to your room if you are nervous. Use the security lock. Lock important items in the room safe. When you leave your room, leave the TV and a light on if possible. Put out the do not disturb sign to suggest that there is someone in the room.

source: image source:

Sidebar Menu