Staying Safe While You Are Abroad
When you are travelling abroad and especially backpacking you are often in unfamiliar places and doing things you are not used to, which means that you need to be extra vigilant with both yourself, your travel money and your personal belongings. If you are interested in ensuring that you are safe when travelling abroad then why not follow some of these useful common sense tips the next time you are away.
Secure your belongings –
Always ensure when travelling that you are using padlocks and combination locks to help secure your belongings. You can purchase numerous different size locks so there is no reason why you can’t even have one on your handbag or jacket zip pocket when travelling. This is a sure-fire way to ensure that it is more difficult, or hopefully impossible, for someone to be able to access your belongings and at the very least it may prevent you from being pickpocketed as the thief may not want to draw attention to themselves by trying to pull on a lock or work out a combination.
Only pack the essentials –
If you are going to be sitting on a plane, train or bus could you not use a crossword book or something cheap to keep you occupied? Unless it really is necessary to pack your flash mobile phone, expensive laptop or dazzling MP3 player then consider travelling with a cheaper version or even leaving them at home altogether. Gadgets tend to attract thieves and seeing you use a pricey laptop may give them all the more reason to try and access your luggage or your bag.
Wear a money belt –
This will help you to hold your passports, money and other small valuable items in a place that can be hidden on your person. Do not have your money belt on display, instead wear it underneath a T-Shirt and do not be seen accessing it in public.
Use travellers’ cheques or withdraw money in small amounts –
As credit card fees can be high it is often tempting to draw out the money that we will need in one go, however, it is worth spending an extra few pounds or dollars on your holiday to ensure that if you do end up having something stolen that the value of the money on your person was a lot less than it could have been, also, you will have peace of mind if this does happen to know that the rest of your money is still protected and another way to ensure that your money is protected if your card ends up stolen is to use online banking to transfer small amounts of money from one current account to another, the one that you are holding your bank card for, this will help ensure that if your card is stolen while travelling that they only have access to a very limited amount of funds.
Empty your wallet or purse –
Always ensure that before you travel that you leave anything at home that you will not need. This includes extra debit or credit cards, loyalty cards, tax information cards and anything else that you will not require on your trip. This will ensure that should you have your purse or wallet stolen or should you lose it that you won’t have so many companies to contact and so many cards to replace.
Always use the safety deposit box –
The majority of hotels and hostels will provide access to a safety deposit box for a small fee or sometimes for free. Always ensure that you use this service if available at your accommodation as this will allow you to store your documents and valuable items. If you are going to be leaving items in your safety deposit box or in your hotel’s safety deposit area in reception then ensure that you place your items in a sealed envelope with the amounts of any cash left on the front, then show this to the person who will be locking this away to ensure that you have protected yourself as much as possible. Should you be staying in a hotel and using their safety deposit facilities and then have an issue then you will find that you should be able to claim from your travel agent or travel insurance as you used the safety facilities as advertised.
Do not act flash –
When travelling with your possessions always ensure that you locate your items with secrecy, do not flash cash around, do not show off or talk loudly about expensive items that you are carrying and if you need to check your mobile phone or something else then try and do it discreetly to ensure that you are not showing the hold world the belongings that you are carrying.
The general rule when travelling is just to ensure that you exercise common sense. If you have travelled somewhere before do not become too relaxed in your surroundings as a thief could be anywhere around and watching you to see if you have any items of value or to try and find out where you are keeping any important items. Always try and ensure that you have a small bag with you that you can keep on your person at all times, whether you are moving by train, plane, car, boat or on foot as this should help you keep your valuables with you without looking too suspicious.