Stay safe while travelling with our top tips.
Traveling the world and experiencing new cultures is both exciting and memorable, but staying safe while doing so should be at the forefront of your mind. We’ve put together this handy guide which covers all the basics of being safe while abroad.
Before you’ve even left the airport
Tired and weary travellers make excellent targets for scammers that are waiting around in the airport.
Staying vigilant will prevent you from falling prey to their tricks such as ‘the bump and grab’, currency exchange scam and distraction techniques.
Read about more airport scams here
Don’t be too flashy
Leave that Rolex at home unless you want to become a target for pickpockets and opportunists. When travelling, it’s best to blend in as much as possible and not look like a tourist.
Before you leave for your holiday, research what the locals wear and pack accordingly - leaving named brands and obviously expensive clothes or accessories at home.
Also, a suitable day bag with zips and a strap so it can be worn across the body is better than a shoulder handbag or backpack.
Top tip – Don’t wear your camera around your neck or carry it in your hand when you’re not using it. Keep it out of sight or have the strap across your body to help it blend into your clothing.
One of the main reasons to go on holiday is to relax, but that doesn’t mean that you can let your guard down.
Always be aware of your surroundings and who is around – especially at bars and busy tourist attractions.
There are lots of scammers and pickpockets looking for distracted visitors to rip off or trick.
Never put things in your back pockets
Putting valuables such as mobiles and wallets in back pockets is the easiest way to lose it or have it stolen as you’re less likely to feel it fall out or be removed by unwanted hands.
Always keep these types of items in either front pockets, zipped up pockets or secured in an inaccessible bag.
Secure your hotel room
When you leave your hotel room, whether it’s just to go for a quick bite or a day trip, ensure that you have closed and locked all windows and balcony doors as well as the main room door.
Don’t think that, because you’re not on the ground floor, it’s safe to leave your accommodation unsecured – you never know who is about.
Lock all valuables away in the safe and don’t leave anything expensive out in plain sight.
Always have travel insurance
Travel insurance is relativity inexpensive in comparison to the cash price you would have to pay for medical treatment and a comprehensive policy will give you peace of mind all holiday.
Depending on your policy, you will be covered for anything lost/stolen/damaged, cancelled flights or medical expenses if you fall ill while in a foreign country.
Be careful when you get a taxi
Hailing a taxi abroad can sometimes be a gamble due to the number of unlicensed vehicles, inflated meter charges or drivers who just take advantage of tourists.
Before jumping into the first cab you see, always ensure that they are legitimate (Google can help with this) and negotiate the rate for your journey beforehand so there are no nasty surprises at the other end.
Top tip – Ask at the front desk of your accommodation the expected local rate for a taxi ride if you have a tripped planned. This should help you prevent over-paying.
Only take the cash you need
Instead of carrying all your spending money around everywhere you go, play it safe and only take out what you need per day. Not only will this stop you from losing everything in case it is lost or stolen, but it will also help with budgeting.
The safest way to protect your money is to keep it in a secure pocket or a money belt. Even better, preloaded travel cards, which can be picked up from most bureau du change.
Be extra vigilant when alone
If you’re traveling alone, then being on guard is important. Try to stay in tourist-friendly or urban areas rather than wandering off the beaten track.
Ensure that friends or family know your itinerary and that you check in as regularly as you can. If you want to learn more about travelling alone, then check out our guide to travelling solo.
Keep the address of your accommodation
If you are visiting a country where you’re unable to speak much of the native language then it’s always good to have a copy of your accommodations address/contact details when you go out.
By doing this, you can always get home by showing this to a taxi driver rather than a very awkward exchange of trying to explain using hand gestures.
If you need a helping hand so that you can enjoy a well-deserved break abroad, then check out our low-cost holiday loans. Starting from just 3.2% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000.
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