Whether you like it or not, when we think about traveling, safety considerations should come as a given. There is virtually no place that is 100% safe and using common sense is crucial to traveling well and without any major issues. As frequent travelers, it goes without saying that we have encountered our fair share of travel hiccups, ranging from stolen bags to being held at knifepoint! The most oft-encountered crime is theft, but there are plenty of ways to protect your belongings from changing owner involuntarily. Here are our favorite tips to keep yourself and your things safe.

1) Bosch Smart Home

Every journey starts at home, and travel safety should too. For total peace of mind while you’re away on your adventures, invest in the Bosch Smart Home security system; it’s customizable, flexible and can be remotely controlled and operated using an app downloaded to your smart phone. To protect your home from fires and intruders, alarms can be triggered by smoke, motion detectors, or window/door contact. Start your trip as you mean to go on by ensuring optimum safety for your home and treasured possessions!

2) Secure your luggage

There’s little else guaranteed to take the wind out of a traveler’s sails like getting to a destination and finding that items are missing from a suitcase. Although theft by airport staff is not a common occurrence, anti-theft luggage is a great idea if you’re traveling with valuable items; not only will your possessions be protected en-route, you’ll also have your very own safe to store things like money, documents and other precious items in when you’re out of your hotel room. Pacsafe is a great brand with a range of options for anti-theft luggage; check out their website here.

3) Wear a money belt

In any tourist trap, pickpockets are and always will be an issue. Traveling to places with large crowds mean your attention can be easily misdirected and wandering hands can go unnoticed. A money belt worn close to the skin and under the clothes is the perfect way to be certain that your cash and valuables are safe; plus it’s that much more accessible than digging around in a rucksack or bag for your wallet. Choose one with plenty of pockets and compartments, and, if available, a waterproof outer shell to keep those paper notes crisp!

4) Choose good insurance

Decent travel insurance is really important if you want real peace of mind during your trip. Your plan should include healthcare costs, cancellations, missed flights or other connections, and loss or theft of property. Healthcare is the most crucial aspect of travel insurance, because even just a short hospital stay can rack up tens of thousands of dollars, so make sure you’re covered for a minimum of $100,000. Don’t bother buying through an airline or tour operator, as the costs will be inflated to give them their cut – just use one of the many comparison sites on the web, and be sure to read the small print for any exceptions and exclusions so you don’t get caught out!

5) Back up your documents electronically

If you are unlucky enough to fall victim to theft or loss of personal property, having electronic copies of all your essential documents can be a lifesaver. Scan a copy of your passport or ID card and email it to yourself, along with your travel insurance plan and a list of emergency contacts, such as credit card cancellation numbers or your insurance provider.

6) Book trusted accommodation before you arrive

Having a place to go to straight from the airport or station, especially if you’re arriving late at night, is a good idea for optimum safety. These days it’s pretty easy to find a decent hotel, as websites like Booking.com and Tripadvisor list nearly every establishment in the world, with comprehensive reviews and rating systems – and there are options for every budget.
Often you’ll find lots of hotels within walking distance of major transport hubs like airports or stations, but sometimes you may need to take a bus, train or taxi to get to your accommodation – researching how you’ll do this before you leave will save you a lot of stress when you arrive.

7) Adopt an adventurer mindset

By this I mean – be open-minded, but cautious; be spontaneous, but not naive. Use your intuition when connecting with new people, don’t be ashamed to keep your guard up somewhat, and – if you’re traveling solo – be sure to let family at home know if you suddenly make a plan to go somewhere with a fellow traveler you’ve met on the road. If you’re partying, don’t get too wasted; try to drink a soft drink between each alcoholic one, don’t accept drinks from random strangers, and keep a very close eye on your drink at all times.
Finally, research your destination beforehand to make sure you understand social mores and customs, dos and don’ts; this won’t just make you streetwise and safe, it’ll ensure you’re more respectful and sensitive towards your host country too.

8) Take advantage of apps designed for safe travel

Modern technology is a wonderful thing; these days there’s practically an app for every situation! You can download apps to help you find your country’s embassy, apps to alert friends and family if you’re in danger, apps to inform you about real-time events in the world that might disrupt travel plans, apps to meet other female solo travelers, and apps to let you know how safe or dangerous a particular place is. A reliable weather app is a must if you plan to hike or travel on foot, and a translation app for the language of the country you’re in will enable you to ask for help from the locals more effectively.

9) Try not to look like a tourist

This is easier said than done, but dressing like a typical tourist with flip flops and a big DSLR round your neck will make you an immediate and obvious target for scammers and pickpockets – so try at all costs to look like a local. Research your destination and see what the general dress code is. There may be some places where blending in is simply not an option due to your skin color or ethnicity, but you can still look like you belong there somewhat, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.

 10) Make sure somebody always knows where you are

This is not an easy one and no one expects you to call mom 3 times a day to inform your folks where you’ll have dinner that day. However, it’s good to at least give a trusted friend or relative a good idea of your itinerary so if you’re not heard from all of the sudden, someone is there there to help. This especially applies for anyone who wants to explore things off the beaten track. I have found that the easiest way of informing loved ones of my whereabouts has been instagram and insta stories in particular. For the social media buffs out there, no need need to share with the world what you are up to but a private account with only 2 or 3 trusted followers can go a long way in letting those who care know what you are up to.

 

What are your favorite tips towards traveling safely? Share them in the comments!

 

*This blogpost was created in collaboration with Bosch SmartHome.