This post was most recently updated on January 13th, 2022
Vacations are supposed to help take your mind off stressful situations, not cause them. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that could go wrong during your trip and cause you to have a negative vacation experience. You don’t even have to travel abroad to have bad stuff happen. Some of the usual travel bummers, including flight delays, bad weather, etc., are well out of your control. With these six travel safety tips, you can avoid the problems you can control.
Some events have the potential to ruin your adventure, such as getting robbed or scammed during your trip. But if you are prepared, you should be able to avoid them. That’s what this article is aiming for — to keep you safe throughout your trip. Read on.
1. Make Copies of Important Documents
Your passport, driver’s license, and other essential documents are arguably the most important thing you carry when traveling. Unfortunately, these documents are easy to misplace. Scan important documents to save online and print out a few hard copies. Store copies separately from the original documents. In case of lost or stolen documents, having digital and hard copies of the same will make the process of getting a replacement a lot less stressful.
2. Register With Your Embassy
Your country’s embassy can help you out in case of an emergency. For instance, the U.S. Department of State offers the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP). This program makes the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate aware of your arrival and keeps you up to date with the most recent safety information. It’s free to enroll, and it’s available for all United States citizens and nationals traveling or living abroad.
3. Be Careful With Public Wi-Fi
Putting aside the fact that using public Wi-Fi is always a bad idea, you really shouldn’t connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots when traveling abroad. If you have to, make sure that you take the necessary security precautions. If you want to access the Internet securely while traveling, you need to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Protect your device with a VPN on public Wi-Fi to keep hackers from stealing sensitive data, like Social Security or credit card numbers.
Since having valuable information stolen could affect you long after your trip, this may be one of the most important six travel safety tips!
4. Ask Local Residents for Advice
Locals are the best source of reliable information in any destination. If you want to know which parts of town are safe and where you are most likely to get mugged, ask residents. Most locals are warm and friendly and will let you know if you are about to stray into dangerous parts of town. If you ask a stranger for advice, be sure to get a second opinion just in case they don’t know what they are talking about or are trying to scam you.
5. Lock Up Your Valuables
Keep valuable items secured safely in your hotel room for security reasons. If you are staying at a backpacking hostel, make sure that you carry your own locker padlock. The regular travel backpack is not a sufficient deterrent for a determined thief, even if it has a lock. If you are using a rental car, do not leave anything in the car in plain sight. Always be aware of your items to make it difficult for someone to steal your stuff without you knowing.
6. Don’t Get Scammed
Tourists are a popular target for scammers. You will be a lot less likely to fall for a scam if you’ve heard about it in advance. Do your research to know what the scam artists in your destination are up to before you arrive. Read traveler reviews and consult with locals where possible for information about popular scams and other incidences of crime targeting tourists and foreigners. Knowledge is protection!
Nothing ruins a vacation quicker than getting robbed, scammed, or losing important travel or identification documents during your trip. Use these six travel safety tips to ensure that your trip is memorable only for the right reasons.
We have forgotten so much of the travel routines we had ingrained when we travelled for 6 months a year. So this was a good post to remind me of the safety things to consider. We have never registered with our Embassy when we travelled. But should be something we should consider. It will be interesting to see what new traveler scams have surfaced in the time we have been at home.
Great tips for keeping you safe while you travel. We do most of these, but it never occurred to me to register with the local embassy. We are always in a rush to visit places, lol! I think that’s good advice though.
Such amazing tips. I travel solo mostly and these safety tips are so important. In Australia, we have the smart traveler website too where we can register our travel plans. And it is important to take copies of documents in case we lose them while traveling.
Those are some great tips. I’m always very careful about using free wifi, so I only use it if it’s something urgent and very quickly.
I absolutely second to these tips. Especially getting copied of your most important documents is such a good idea. It will make it faster to get new ones if you loose them. My biggest tip is to try to blend in, and not to look like a clueless tourist.. ha ha. I always try to look like I know what I’m doing.
Traveling can be a lot of fun, but yes, it’s important to travel safely. I agree to all those mentioned in this list. If I may add, I stay away from being flashy so as not to attract attention to myself. Because of this pandemic, I’m sure there will be additional items to this list for post-pandemic safe travel.
These are great and important tips! Thank you for sharing. I agree with you that it’s important to be careful in using public wifi. Personally, I either rent wifi from the airport or just use my roaming service. I agree with you that tourist are popular targets for scams thus, it’s not all fun. We must stay vigilant at all times.
Asking local residents is the best way to go. Although, I always use public WiFi to catch up on my social media and any texts. I probably need to stop doing that!
I completely agree with all of them and feel one of the most important ones is to keep soft copies of all your important documents, that are easily accessible. I have personally never registered with the embassy but it sounds like an interesting idea. Thankfully I’ve never been in a situation where I felt the need to do it but its better to be safe than sorry!