There is nothing more important than safety, not only while traveling. But when you visit unknown countries it is even more important to feel safe. Sometimes even small actions can differ from a great day or disaster. During my years of travels, I embraced some safe travel tips
Check the information about the place you will go
The very first thing you should do is to check on how safe the destination you will be. References from bloggers, warning areas, or suspective activities should be taken into consideration.
There are many places that potentially have scams or reported with violence that should be on your black list.
Using travel forums like TripAdvisor, thorn-tree to see posts about the area could be very useful too.
Split the money
Do not keep all your money at one place. Split your money between you and your family, keep it in money belt, put extra 100 euros in hotel safe deposit box, some change in your inner pockets and so on.
Get a change
When you come to a new country with freshly exchanged money with high numbers on your notes you can easily become a target. Taxi drivers are usually without a change. When you want to pay a fruit on local market with high notes you only draw an unwanted attention. Never show your money on the street and be sure to always keep a lot of change.
Leave documents in a hotel
If possible, leave your documents in a hotel. It is less likely hotel staff will want to steal from you (but it can happen), especially not useless documents.
Get a locker when there´s an option get a locker, especially when you are staying in a dorm. You definitely don’t want to carry more valuables around than necessary, right?
Never keep your money or document in backpack or bag. Use moneybelt instead, it is much more invisible and your money will stay with you unless you get attacked really badly.
Safe Travel Tips : Using copied documents if possible
Whatever documents do you carry, visas, insurance, passport – always make a printable copy and keep a copy in cloud as well – just take a snapshot with your mobile phone before you go and send it to your e-mail. Therefore you can easily access your copies from anywhere in the world. (And do not keep your copy with the originals, of course.)
Do not put things on the table
When you stop for a coffee on the main square do not put your wallet, smartphone or camera on the table. You can easily get distracted and in the blink of an eye someone will steal something from your table.
Do not show off
When you want to make safe travel, try to not show that you are rich, especially in a very touristic place. I see people all the time sling around with their tablets, smartphones and other valuable gear. Do you really have to pull out your smartphone every 5 minutes? No you don`t. This is just another way to draw unwanted attention.
Leave your jewelry at home
blinking jewelry is just another way to draw the attention of potential thieves. Leave your valuable jewelry at home and bring some cheap accessories instead. The same goes to fancy and expensive sunglasses.
Become a hippie
because who would want to rob a hippie? I know you would like to look just perfect on your travel photos, we all do, but we are still at drawing unwanted attention – you need to know, there are people on the streets and their only job is to look for potential target. The make decision on the base of your look – clothes, accessories and gear.
Travel in group
although I prefer to travel solo, I often, when on destination, join different kind of groups, especially at the beginning of my journey, when I´m still new in town and don`t feel comfortable walking alone. Usually I join some walking tours or some groups in the hostel. This is how you make friends immediately and potential risks when traveling in group are smaller.
Hire a local guide
Another way to dealing with new destination is hiring a local guide. There are some places on Earth where I would totally recommend to hire a tour guide (Fez, Morocco) or at least a driver (Angkor Wat, Cambodia). When you are seen with local there are very few chances another local will approach you and try to scam you.
Get into a taxi
If you feel uncomfortable or you think you are being followed don` t try to get rid of the follower but take the taxi. Be sure to hire licensed taxi driver and always remember the number of the taxi. Also require from driver to turn on the taxi meter.
Fake camera bag
My friend and professional photographer once told me, its not only your camera gear that attract thieves but also you camera bag and backpack. This is why I decided to carry my camera in camera bag that looks like regular bag, so nobody can assume I carry around my full frame dslr.
Take your hotel address
When are you new in town do not forget to take your hotel address and reception number with you. Usually you can get a card at the reception and when you are ony your way back to the hotel in the evening you can just show your hotel card to the taxi driver.
Read my other tips for budget travel
Try not to look confused
This is not the easiest task when you are traveling but try to be as self-confident as possible. It helps if you study maps in advance and if you can learn a few words of local language.
Hide the map
Do not pull out your map in the middle of the street. THIS is how you look lost and confused and in need of some help. If you are really lost, sit down at the corner of the bar and café, and try to find your way to the hotel or site you are looking for. And it´s always best to ask the waiter for help than just wait on the street.