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  • Writer's pictureYllara Maia

7 Safety Tips for Traveling Anywhere in the World

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

When you travel to a new place, the last thing you want is to feel unsafe. No matter if you’re traveling alone or with a group of friends, it’s important to be mindful and aware of your surroundings. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of seven safety tips that are essential for any traveler — no matter where they go in the world.

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Stay Safe When You Travel

Whether you’re a frequent flyer, an adventure-seeking backpacker, or a luxury traveler, safety should always be your top priority when planning a trip. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can stay safe and secure no matter where your travels take you. Here are some essential travel tips for every type of adventurer.


#1: Do Your Research Before You Go

Researching a new destination before visiting is always helpful — especially when it comes to safety. Make sure to read reviews online and do your own research about what areas might be unsafe or dangerous. Additionally, always make sure to check the local news and alerts from the US Department of State before leaving home. This will help you stay up-to-date on any potential risks or warnings associated with your destination.

If you're planning on traveling alone, I would avoid cities don't rank high on the safety spectrum. There are plenty of destinations out there that have been deemed safe by travelers from all over the world. A study done by World Population Review ranked the world's safest cities according to digital security, health security, infrastructure, and personal safety. Some of the top safest cities were:

  • Tokyo, Japan

  • Singapore

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Toronto, Canada

  • Melbourne, Australia

#2: Keep Your Valuables Secure

When traveling, you should always keep your valuables safe and secure at all times — especially when out in public areas like airports and train stations. Be extra careful around train stations and near tourist landmarks in Europe. European cities are notorious for pick-pocketing, and getting your phone or wallet stolen can easily ruin anyone's trip. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, jewelry, or expensive electronics while out exploring; instead, bring only what you need and store them in a secure purse or backpack when not using them.

This is me with my mini-purse at the Palace of Versailles, which is notorious for having pick-pocketing incidents. I always bring a crossbody bag with me when I travel, and make sure that it has a zipper. Professional pick-pocketers are very savvy when it comes to stealing, so don't make it easy for them.

Additionally, consider investing in a money belt or pouch for extra security and never - and I mean never - carry your passport around with you. Instead, make a colored-copy of it and store it tightly in your bag.

If you follow those simple anti-theft tips, you'll be better off than most on your next trip. If you want to go above and beyond to avoid getting your valuables stolen, here are some of my favorite travel safety items that you can easily find on Amazon:

  • Unisex Travel Money Belt - Designed to be worn underneath your clothes for protection. If a thief can't locate your valuables, you're less likely to be a target.

  • Phone Lanyard with Anchor - This one was designed as an anti-drop device for your phone but I found that it's perfect to prevent pick-pocketing. You attach the sticky part to the inside of your phone case, and then hook it to a belt loop, purse, or bag. Some bags come with extra straps and loops on the inside, so I'll always attach mine to those.

#3: Stay Alert While Out Exploring

Being aware of your surroundings is key when it comes to staying safe while traveling — no matter if it’s during the day or night time! If you find yourself out exploring alone at night, avoid dark alleyways and stick to well-lit streets whenever possible. Whenever possible, try to walk with someone else or use public transportation rather than walking alone.

It’s also important to remember that pickpocketing can happen anytime — so don't lose sight of your things! If you're a solo traveler - especially women - it's always good to carry some sort of alarming device or pepper spray with you. When I took a self-defense course in college, one of the instructors said that an aggressor is more likely to leave you alone if you are loud, obnoxious, and can show that you are crazier than them.

In the case of mugging, it's always safer to let your things be taken to avoid any physical harm. If someone is trying to physically harm you, however, that's when you should take action. So, if the pepper spray and the alarm don't work, you should scream and act absolutely insane to hopefully discourage the aggressor from going any further.

#4: Avoid Getting Scammed

We've all heard the stories about tourist traps and scams, especially if you've traveled abroad. Everyone wants to avoid falling for a scam or paying too much for something; but unfortunately there are many people out there who are preying on unwitting tourists. So what can you do?

The key is to become familiar with some common tourist traps and scams. For example, when taxi drivers overcharge because the meter was supposedly broken, or when souvenir sellers inflate prices expecting tourists to be too embarrassed to haggle. Fake transportation services might also be offered in popular tourist spots, giving tourists inflated prices for regular travel.

Other examples of scams can be when locals offer you something for “free” - like a bracelet or even just advice - and then request payment right after. Right where I took this picture in London, there were a group of women dressed in long colorful skirts and braids giving out roses. They come up to you and insist that you take a rose, then make you pay a ridiculous amount for it.

Thankfully we were already aware of the scam and kept our distance. Additionally, be sure to avoid anyone offering “rare” tickets or discounted tours at seemingly great prices - oftentimes this is an illegal scam that could leave you out of money completely! Knowing these traps ahead of time can help you avoid their risks, meaning that you can enjoy your vacation worry-free!

#5: Ensure Safety in Your Stay

Hotels are generally very safe, but it's always good practice to take a few extra measures to ensure security. Before booking a hotel or Airbnb for an international stay, make sure to do your research into its safety record; read reviews from past visitors and look up online reports about the hotel's security measures.

I always like to Google the safest or best areas to stay in a city before I book my hotel. TripAdvisor also has a travel forum where you can ask questions about a specific location and people who have visited will answer them for you. In this case, the internet is your best source of information.

Once you arrive at the hotel or Airbnb, double-check that each door is secured with a working lock, check out the hotel's emergency evacuation plans and ask if there are any measures like surveillance cameras that have been put in place to protect guests. Last but not least, use common sense when staying in an unfamiliar area. With these small steps, you can rest assured that your hotel or Airbnb stay will be safe and enjoyable!

#6: Know Where to Get Help

If you find yourself in a pinch and need help, knowing where to turn is key. Research local police departments, hospitals, and embassies before beginning your trip. Each location can be advantageous in different scenarios so familiarize yourself with their contact information in case of emergency. Below are some emergency contact numbers for popular tourist destinations around the world:

  • USA & Canada: 911

  • Europe: 112

  • UK: 999 or 55

  • Australia: 000

  • Japan: 110 (police); 119 (ambulance & fires)

Additionally, having travel insurance with reliable customer service can give you the extra peace of mind to let you focus on creating unforgettable memories.

#7: Other Things to Keep in Mind

  • Consider carrying a 'dummy' wallet holding a small amount of cash. If you are directly confronted by a mugger, you can hand over the dummy wallet and avoid further distress. (This is mostly if you have to be in an area that is typically not as safe)

  • Match your dress style to that of the locals. Don't wear an obvious 'tourist' outfit like a loud shirt with a camera slung around your neck.

  • Don't share taxis with strangers.

  • Use ATMs during the day, when there are people around.

  • Don't hitch hike.

Whether you're traveling around the world or just taking a weekend getaway across state lines, safety should be top priority for everyone! By following these seven tips—doing your research before leaving home, keeping valuables secure, and staying alert while out exploring—you can help ensure that your travels remain safe no matter where they take you! With these tips in mind, now all that's left is booking that flight—safe travels!


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