how to stay safe while traveling

Traveling is always fun. It doesn’t cure depression as some people claim, but it will definitely make you happier. But “fun doesn’t always mean safe. If you’ve ever watched the movie Turistas —which is a good movie btw., — then you’ll think twice about your safety before planning any trip, especially alone.

I’ve researched the topic of safe traveling, and here are the five safety tips experts believe you must follow before traveling anywhere.

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

When it comes to money; try not to keep it all in one place. S**t can happen, someone can break into your hotel room or you get mugged, and they will definitely take all the money they can get. So, play it smart and keep someone hidden for an emergency. Hide an extra $200 in some pants that you leave in your hotel room, distribute some money among your friends and if you’re taking a credit card with you, don’t move around with too many cash.

Finally, Don’t forget to protect your house before you travel

According to the traveling expert, Mark Wolters, there are eight things you should do to protect your home while abroad. Here they are:

  • Hold your mail and newspapers:

 A pile of newspaper on your front door may not be a huge deal to you, but it is for thieves. These are the quickest ways they use to see if you’re home or not. So make sure that you go online and hold your mail and/or newspaper for a month or so until you come back.

  • Put some of your lights on timers:

Lights definitely scare watchers, but you don’t want your lights to go on at the same time every day. Wolters says you should get lighters that alternate the time so it looks like there’re people at home.

  • Don’t announce that you’re leaving:

Bragging on the Gram may emotionally satisfy you, but the cost can be much more than a lousy comment. Stay calm, Wolters says, and post your food pictures after the trip. Only tell a trusted neighbor and ask them to keep an eye on the house while you’re gone.

  • Invest in a decent alarm system:

One that you can monitor online, and goes directly to the police.

  • Hide your most valuable stuff:

Pay a quick visit to your local bank and keep all your jewelry and important documents in a safety deposit box there.

  • Get a house sitter:

If you have a nice home, many will be delighted to stay in it. Just pick someone trusted.

2. Get a portable door alarm

Before you scream, it’s only $10. Portable alarms are easy to use and work miracles. Connect it to your phone, put it on your doorknob (from the inside of course), and it will scream when someone touches your door it will go on to wake you up or to alarm you in case you’re out.

3. Safety also means good hygiene

When it comes to hygiene, you should be 10X more careful when you travel. Follow all the basic hygiene rules. Use your own towels, know what diseases are common in your place of travel and ask your doctor for vaccinations if needed. I recently dodged food poisoning with a group of friends with a simple, 3-minute search.

We were in Hurghada, a great place with amazing views and wonderful people, and we found on the internet that a British family had picked up Salmonella poisoning somewhere in the city, so we spent the whole week eating McDonald’s and Tuna.

Luckily no guest was poisoned in the resort, but a couple of them said they had gut problems — a seasoned phrase for diarrhea— after dining at a nearby hotel.

4. Think: Travel insurance

It’s rare to find somebody that own just one expensive gadget. According to a UK survey, 68 percent of British adults travel with an expensive gadget (and up to 81 percent among young adults). When you plan a trip, there’s always your smartphone, your laptop, camera, smartwatch, game console, and maybe a tablet or a Kindle reader, and this stuff will hurt your pocket if you lose them.

So what to do?

Get travel insurance, and make sure it covers all gadgets when lost, stolen, or broken. There are so many insurance packages to choose from depending on your destination, how long you’re traveling and how many gadgets you want to cover.

5. Move around with as little as possible

You’ll be visiting places, going to beaches and moving around a lot, so there’s no need to take so much stuff with you, especially when you go out. Either you leave them at home or somewhere safe in your hotel room like a hidden place or a hotel safe.

I usually keep my passport and any gadget other my phone (and sometimes camera) in the hotel. I keep a copy of my passport along with a driving license or any less-important ID in case something happens. I normally use a small carry-on bag but if it’s safe to keep money in my hotel room, I move around with an extra safe belt or a secret mini-wallet attached to the inside of my pants.

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