With travel slowly opening up again admits the pandemic, many of us are itching to go explore the world! Whether you’re going with a group of friends, family or on a solo trip, it’s important to always make sure you travel safely. Not only is it important to be aware of world news such as civil up-rest or crime in other countries – the United States included – but we forget safety comes down to the simplest of tasks such as being aware of your surroundings or locking your doors.
We know that some of the tips we’re about to give you may sound silly, but you wouldn’t believe that people can tend to forget the littlest things, and often the littlest things can result in bigger ordeals, so if you’re planning a trip/getaway whether or not you’re on your own, please keep these tips in mind and practice “Travel Safety” wherever you go! We broke it down into a list of “Do’s and Don’ts of tips we have learned over the years!
- DO NOT post your location – many of us are on social media, and we want to share the cool photos of the places we are or the instagrammable shots of food, drinks, scenery, whatever. But don’t share your location in real time, especially if you are traveling solo! You can post your pics and videos AFTER you leave your location
- DO share your locations with close family and friends off of social media again especially if you’re traveling alone, so that at least someone knows where you are/last were in case something were to happen
- DO NOT share your hotel/airbnb accommodations – even if its “the coolest place you have ever been.” Again, if you want to share the exact name of the hotel or airbnb, do it AFTER you leave. We get you want to share what things look like at the places your’e staying, and that’s fine as long as it’s not a location that is “famous” or “recognizable.” But for extra safety precautions, we usually like to post things after we leave.
- DO tell your family and friends where you are staying, again, so that someone knows where you are if something went wrong
- DO NOT leave your doors unlocked. This includes hotels with the extra latches. This includes all the doors at airbnbs, making sure they are locked when you enter and leave. Also with rental cars, make sure you’re not leaving the doors unlocked or any windows cracked
- DO double check before going to bed, or if anytime you enter your hotel room, to make sure the door is locked behind you. Check any open windows to your airbnb or rental cars as well. It’s always better to double check, than second guess yourself
- DO NOT walk alone at night or even sometimes during the day and avoid walking through areas that are considered dangerous or “sketchy” meaning they’re known for being bad areas for crime, drugs, etc.
- DO try to walk during the day with sunlight in more populated areas, especially for solo travellers. If you meet a group of people, let’s say at a hostel for example, try to stick together and walk to go explore new places in groups. Again, always mention to someone where you are going if you are alone, such as sending someone back home a simple text of your whereabouts.
- DO NOT meet someone new in a secluded area or unpopulated area such as a date, a new friend, etc
- DO always, always meet in a public place with someone new and always tell someone you know where you are going to go/meet
- DO NOT share too much info with strangers, to piggy back off our last tip. If someone or something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t share your real name, where you’re from, where you’re staying, how long you are in the country, etc. You’re not obligated to share any information with someone if you feel uncomfortable with them
- DO be aware of your surroundings and the people you come into contact with. If your gut is giving you a “bad” feeling, excuse yourself politely and walk away from the situation. Only share you information with official business such as security officials like customs and immigration or official tour guides for example -m if you’re arranging a tour and they are picking you up from your accommodations, that is perfectly fine, but you can also elect to be picked up at a local meeting point around your accommodations and not at your actual address, if you feel uncomfortable doing so
- DO NOT get into random cars if it’s not your uber or lyft or planned driver and if you are in a ride share app, don’t be fully invested in your phone, and pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t get into the driver’s seat. Sitting in the back seat gives you easy access to get out of the car on either side, especially if your’e alone if something were to happen, and also gives you space from the driver.
- DO make sure to always check license plate to verify it matches on your app. To be more safe, make sure the car matches the app, because it does happen where they might drive a different car. Make sure they confirm your name before you get in the car. If it’s dark out wait inside until your ride arrives. Also share your trip status via the app or in your own text to a loved one, especially if riding alone
- DO NOT go against your intuition or your gut if you feel any bad vibes whether its from a person or a place or an activity. If something does not feel right, do not do it. Walk away. Abort mission. Audios.
- DO have situational awareness. Pay attention to where you are. Be aware of your surroundings including the people around you. Again, if something or someone is giving you bad vibes, walk away or be smart and get out of the situation.
- DO NOT draw attention to yourself. This also includes the type of clothes you where. Don’t try and stand out from the crowd. Don’t flash around your expensive jewelry, watches, purses, which can make you a target to pick pocketers and thieves or people trying to harm you because they think you are rich or made of money
- DO make sure the type of clothing you wear is appropriate. In many countries, certain attire is required to enter temples, mosques, etc or even just as a sign of respect of their culture. For woman, this means certain countries don’t allow you to bare skin the way we are free to do so in the United States. In other countries it’s acceptable to dress how you want. Always do your research and make sure to bring the right attire for where you are traveling.
- DO NOT fight off an attacker if they have you held against your will. Chances are the probably just want your money or jewelry. Those things can always be replaced, but your life can not.
- DO learn basic self defense, in cases where you are able to flee quickly from your attacker. Learning proper techniques and having training to defend yourself in threatening situations will better your odds of survival if that situation should happen.
- DO NOT pack anything or bring any valuables with you on a trip that you would hate to lose, like your grandma’s jewelry that was passed down to you, or your fancy shmancy watch.
- DO utilize the hotel safes or invest in an anti theft bag if you do bring/need to keep sake any valuables, to make it harder for thieves to snatch your stuff. We got our anti theft backpacks from Amazon where the zipper faces your back instead of being on the front side of the back pack
- DO NOT use public wifi, unless it is through a private address with a secure password. Hackers can access your personal information. This also goes with not leaving your boarding pass lying around or taking pictures with all your info including your PNR (passenger name record) exposed. Check out this article for more info from Travel & Leisure on “Why You Shouldn’t Post a Photo of your Boarding Pass on Social Media”
- DO carry copies of important documents like your passport, even if it’s a screen shot on your phone or a hard copy
- DO NOT put all your cash in one spot and def don’t keep anything in your pockets when walking around a city.
- DO have extra cash, but hide it in different areas of your belongings. You never know when something may be cash only if you’re in a bind. Be careful when using ATM’s and cover your PIN code when entering it. Make sure no one is hovering over you either. It’s also smart to have a back up debit or credit card. Also set travel alerts with your bank so they know no one is trying to hack into your account while your visiting a new country
- DO NOT do stupid things for photo ops. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation or position just to get a good photo for the gram. It’s not worth it.
- DO be aware of your body language. Research things before you go somewhere or have an idea of where you are going or doing, so you aren’t just aimlessly walking around and staring at your phone
- DO NOT book the cheapest place you can find just to try and save a few dollars
- DO your research or opt for places that are more secure and not just cheap to ensure your safety. We aren’t saying book the most expensive or fanciest. Hostels do just fine or cheaper airbnbs. Try to look at reviews before you book something or feel out the area first. You can budget money with food and drinks, but you shouldn’t budget your safety
- DO NOT leave your belongings including your drinks out of site. Don’t leave your backpacks or purses on a beach and then go for a swim because someone can just come up and steal your items. If you put down your drink at a bar, and walk away from it, order a new one. You never know if someone slipped something in your drink. It’s best to get a new one, and please don’t get too drunk to the point you back out, especially if you are travelling alone. Have people around that you trust, who will care for you, if you do have a little too much to drink
- DO keep an eye on your things and drinks at the bar including you and your friends. Maybe designate someone to not drink, or to limit themselves that night, or maybe you have a friend that automatically takes on the care taker roll to make sure everyone stays out of harms way and lets the good times roll!
- DO NOT talk to people claiming to be law enforcement unless they are in uniform or are official.
- DO write down an emergency contact number or know someone’s number by heart to phone in an instant that you know you can get a hold of easily in the event of an emergency
- DO NOT drink the water in Mexico. Okay you have heard this before, but seriously. . . it’s okay to try new things, but if something seems off or smells funny to you or you’re unsure of it, it’s best to not digest it
- DO know what you can and cannot eat or drink in different countries. The locals may be able to eat certain things the way they are prepared because their body is used to it, but if you eat it, you might get sick.
- DO NOT order Uber Eats or any fast food delivery service directly to your hotel room
- DO meet them down in the lobby to collect your food, and if you are in the elevator with someone who seems sketchy or creepy, and you’re alone with them. Get off on a different floor than them, even if you have to fake it
Lastly travel fam. . .
- DO NOT get in a vehicle without putting on your seatbelt!!!
- DO wear one!! Always always always!!!! Protect yourself in case something were to happen. Wearing your seatbelt is the most effective way to save your life and avoid or reduce injury in a car crash. Even in hotel vans/buses to and from your hotels or travels, please please please wear one!
Please utilize these tips when you are travelling, again whether thats with a group or solo! If you have any safety tips of your own, please feel free to share with us, so we can share with other travelers too! Thank you for taking the time to read through all our tips.
Go Live. Stay Fit. Be SAFE! Chat soon!