Travel Safety Tips

Travel Safety Tips

Be aware of safety while traveling

Yeah, it’s vacation time! You’ve been waiting for this moment to chuck that long daily to do list !

The only thing that should be on your tight schedule now is Unwind in capital letters.

You’re thinking ..relax, fun, no worries and you deserve it!

But don’t forget safety essentials. Use these travel safety tips especially when traveling with kids.

 

world with lock on it safety tips

 

I’ve implemented them as a solo parent in exchange for peace of mind in many different countries.

It takes a bit of extra work before departure but the result for me is time well spent with my girls.

 

DOCUMENTS

safety passport in pocket girl sitting on chair

 

  • Digital Copy: Very important safety precaution: make a digital copy of all your important travel-related documents.
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    Passports, insurance, round-trip tickets, visa if applicable, credit cards, ID cards, eyeglass prescription and a list of medication if you take any.
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    Back it all up: on your computer and send an email to yourself so you can always have access to your information.

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  • Paper Copy: In addition, make a paper copy of all passports and confirmation of round-trip tickets. Keep them separate from the originals.
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  • Write down the address and phone number of your country’s consulate in the countries you’re visiting.
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    If you should get robbed then go directly to the police. If you don’t know the language then do go to the consulate of your country and ask for help.
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    The copies you made before leaving home will speed up the process of redoing emergency passports.

 

 

 

MONEY SAFETY TIPS

safety money around piggy bank

 

  • Money Belt: Use one around your waist for safety rather than around your neck. Not always the most comfortable thing especially in high heat, but it is a valuable practice.
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    If you’re in a remote area then keep passports and money in the belt at all times. If staying in a hotel or hostel with a safe in the room then use it.
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    Ideally, the money belt should be kept secret under your top.
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    If you want to pay for a coffee and discretely access the money belt by lifting your sweater, open the zipper, take out the money, pay, and rezip then pull your sweater back down, well..  then it’s not a secret anymore.Which brings us to the next point.

 

  • Cash: Take the amount of money you’ll need for the day and keep some cash in your pocket, in your bag, in your socks! Doesn’t matter, just find several places to stash it.
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    Lots of cash: Showing off a pile of money at once is a safety no no ! Unless you’re buying something expensive.
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    What may seem like “not a lot of cash” for us may seem like a fortune for others right ?

 

  • Exchanging money: make sure to count your money and put it away before leaving the shop.
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    In some countries the exchange counters are outside on the street with no privacy – so make sure that before you turn around to leave, that everything is where it’s supposed to be.
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    Don’t keep your cash all in the same place and when using a purse or a daypack always keep the zipper opening closest to your body.

 

  • Use a wallet like you would back home. In case you do get robbed just give it away without resistance. Resisting can lead to violent reactions and it never ends well.
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    Plus if you stashed your money in different places (as above) then you still have most of your money safe.

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  • Credit Cards: Many countries are kings when it comes to credit card scams. ATM’s can have hidden systems that copy your information, set up by expert crooks. Your best bet: choose to withdraw from an ATM inside the bank whenever possible.
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    If you need to block your credit cards, it’s good practice to write down the number before departure. Somehow we can never find those numbers when we need them.

 

 

PHONES AND CAMERAS

large map with smartphone on it

 

  • Phone: Don’t walk the streets while looking at your phone with a lost look on your face. Always find a quiet spot or go inside a store/cafe to figure out directions.
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    If you’re listening to music on your phone, use only one headphone. Always be aware of your surroundings especially in a train station,  or bus station when you sometimes have to hang around and wait for a while..
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    Never leave your phone on the table at a restaurant, not even to go to the washroom. Keep it with you at all times, same goes for your purse or backpack that we often hang over our chair.
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    For large backpacks, it’s a good idea to use a rain cover – even if there’s no rain..
  • Social Media: Before departure write down all your essential logins for social media.
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    If your phone gets stolen there is little chance you’ll get it back but at least you can still connect with friends or family and explain your situation.
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safety dog with glasses and camera around neck

 

  • Camera: Hanging an expensive camera around your neck is like hanging a sign saying “steal me”.
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    Of course, it’s practical – who wants to store the camera after every picture then take it out again 100 times a day. No one.
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    But do it.
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    Keep your memory cards in your money belt and the belt around your waist! No memory cards in your bag. If you decide nevertheless to keep it in your bag then hold on to it at all times.

 

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OUT ON THE TOWN

 

friends lifting glass out on the town

 

Drinking: If you’re a party person or like to go out drinking with friends, try to not drink too much, you may become an easy target and regret the night out.
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Vacations are about having some fun. When drinking too much, our reactions are slow and blurry. We can’t see it, but others can and the risk of losing important belongings, not to mention getting into unsafe situations – skyrockets.
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Bars and clubs, keep your drink with you at all times! Of course, you know this, take it as a friendly reminder just in case.

Stuff happens. Sliding drugs in your drink is common practice with untrustworthy people.
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Hotel: If staying in a hotel/hostel keep their card on you so you always have their address in case you don’t speak the taxi driver‘s language.

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donkey with taxi sign on forehead save money.

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Try to move around in groups or at least have a few other people with you.

If at any point you feel unsafe, find shelter in a restaurant, hotel or wherever there are people so you can explain your situation.

Get back safe.

 

On Road Trips Safety Tips

safety van in field for travel roadtrip

 

Road trips are a lot of fun, there is this sense of freedom as you drive or ride with the windows open and great music on while everyone is singing their hearts out!

But don’t forget safety.

Some places in the world force you to rethink safety. In the event, you get stranded in the middle of nowhere be prepared.

  • Have extra survival blankets in the car. They fold up really small, take up very little space and keep you warm if you have to sleep in the car.
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  • Have a stash of snacks that keep for a while just in case.
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  • Keep all rental car papers in one place especially the number to call for assistance.
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  • Have a backup battery for your phone, they are lightweight and come in handy.

 

yellow gas pump with legs dangling

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  • When going into remote areas always fill up beforehand and whenever possible – even if you’re not even close to empty. Not fun being stranded with little or no gas station for miles and miles on end.
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  • Water water water water. Did I mention water? Buy a cheap cooler and stock up. Keep bottles in the hostel/hotel freezer overnight, it will stay cool throughout the day.
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  • Be sure to have a first aid kit. You don’t need the whole medicine cabinet! A few well-chosen products can go a long way.

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The most important travel safety tip: Insurance

medecin doctors vitamins colage

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Don’t pass up on insurance. Really, don’t.

We always think the worst happens to other people, but – we are part of the “people” and it can also happen to us.

Make sure you’re covered. You or your family could need medical attention or be evacuated back home.

Yes, this is more expensive but safety is a priority and costs will be much higher if something unplanned happens.

There are many travel insurance companies out there, so compare rates based on your needs.
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For our family travels, we use World Nomads or Chapka Insurance and have found them to be trustworthy and reactive.

 

Have a great time on vacation!

Be. Safe.

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