When it comes to traveling, safe is smart. Whether you are traveling for your job or for vacation, domestically or internationally, it is vital to protect yourself and your belongings. Safe travel practices should begin the very moment you leave, and continue until you arrive home again. The following travel safety guide has been put together to help keep you and your possessions safe on your next trip.
1) It is important to make sure that your luggage consists of a sturdy bag that has either a combination lock or two zippers that come together in the middle, because this will allow you to slip a padlock between those zippers as an extra layer of security. If you find yourself using a bag that does not include these security measures, consider purchasing luggage wrapping at the airport.
2) Before you depart, make sure to tell family and friends about your travel plans. Give them the contact numbers and the details as to where your hotel or motel is located.
3) Visit government or travel sites for the most current health or safety warnings applicable to the country or region in which your destination is located.
4) Make sure that you have all the necessary vaccines for the area you intend to visit. This varies depending on the destination.
5) Give the embassy your contact information if you intend to travel abroad. If there is an emergency, this may be the only point of contact.
6) Place all valuables (such as credit cards, money, keys, ID, and passports) in a small carry-on bag that can be worn close to your body, like a money belt. This is most important when you travel to areas known to be at high risk for theft. Finding affordable airfare in and of itself is a challenge, but imagine losing your most expensive belongings on top of that. Keep your valuables secure!
7) As with most situations, it's advisable to take nothing more than what you know you will need. Avoid carrying large sums of cash. Instead, consider bringing your money in other forms, like traveler's checks or a credit card. Try not to wear expensive jewelry.
8) Think about swapping out your expensive cell phone in favor of a calling card. Public phone booths can be found nearly everywhere in pretty much all countries, and you can get a calling card for as little as $5. If you are traveling abroad, remember to get an international calling card.
9) Whether or not you bring your cell phone, try to bring a notebook with all emergency contact numbers, like your family, your country's embassy, and local police.
10) Do some research on foreign etiquette or laws. In some countries, public displays of affection are illegal. It is ideal to purchase a travel guide, but a quick Google search on your destination could provide some of this information as well.
11) If there's a language barrier you are worried about, invest in a quick language course. Many can be found online so you can learn the basics.
12) Do not leave valuables unattended at the beach. You can buy waterproof pouches to bring your belongings with you into the water.
13) Invest in travel insurance. If you do lose something valuable on your trip, it may be covered. This could save you a huge headache later on.