There are many important factors to consider when traveling effectively and efficiently. This includes mindful packing, making sure you’re equipped with all necessary documents and of course, verifying the travel safety of whichever place you’re visiting.

Whether you’re flying across waters into foreign lands or road-tripping to an unexplored destination, it’s always important to know the economic and social climate of where you’re headed. Some cities are dubbed a safe haven for solo travelers, while others may require you to exercise more caution.

Being distracted while wandering a new city and taking in new sights can leave you vulnerable to petty theft and common scams. Here’s a go-to guide on how to stay as safe as possible while nurturing your inner explorer.

Travel Safety Tips

While staying safe varies from place to place, some universal tips can help any traveler stay safe, no matter where they are.

Be Aware of Travel Advisories

A state of unrest can happen anywhere overnight. The U.S. Department of State’s website keeps a continuous list of travel advisories in destinations worldwide, helping you be aware of any fluctuating conditions wherever you’re traveling. This will equip you with the knowledge of which conditions you’ll find when you arrive or which areas to avoid.

Digitize Your Documents

Losing important documents while you’re away from home is an unwanted headache. It can directly impact how quickly and easily you get back home, plus put you through the stress of replacing those documents. Your wallet or purse is usually filled with those crucial documents that criminals can exploit, so it’s imperative to leave unnecessary items at home, like your Social Security card. To help yourself, it’s recommended to keep copies of everything you would need in an emergency, like prescriptions, your ID or your passport. Take a picture and upload it to a secure folder online. This way, if anything is stolen, you can easily take steps to reduce the damage.  

Share Your Location

Not only should you be sharing your location with anyone you’re traveling with, but you should also share your location with someone back home, too. Alongside your itinerary,  you can engage in a regular check-in to let them know that you’ve made it to your next destination or back to your hotel. 

Get Travel Insurance

No one can anticipate an emergency, but being equipped with travel insurance sure does come in handy in the off-chance that something occurs. To protect both your physical and financial safety, purchasing a travel insurance policy ahead of your trip helps avoid out-of-pocket expenses for emergency medical treatment, trip delays, cancellations or lost luggage.

Carry Less Cash

These days, most retailers accept credit cards or digital forms of payment like Apple Pay and Venmo, even if you’re traveling abroad. Not having as much cash on you minimizes your wallet’s value to a thief, plus it’s easy to dispute unknown charges from a card.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Unless absolutely necessary, avoid logging into public wi-fi. It can leave you vulnerable, opening your devices and sensitive information to skilled hackers. Using a VPN service is one of the most efficient ways to stay safe wherever you’re surfing the web.

Be Aware of Scams

From being offered a rose or friendship bracelet, to being thrown a fake baby (yes, a fake baby) and overcharged by a taxi driver, there are plenty of ways that trained scam artists get you distracted and vulnerable. Remain skeptical and alert if anyone ever approaches you, discuss prices beforehand and don’t be afraid to ignore or walk away from someone who intuitively feels ill-intentioned.

Travel Safety For Solo Travelers

Traveling alone is an expansive and one-of-a-kind experience. When it comes to safety tips for traveling alone, one major key is to blend in as much as possible. The more you dress and act like a local, the less risk there is from criminals targeting you as a tourist. This means not making it so obvious that you’re foreign by adapting to the local style, walking with confidence, and keeping items like maps more discreet. Please familiarize yourself with whatever journey you’re about to embark on before leaving your accommodations so that you’re not overly dependent on your phone and can glance at it more quickly.

Similarly, stashing some extra cash in an inaccessible location can be lifesaving when you least expect it. Store money away in a money belt, bra, or neck stash as a discreet and recommended safety net.

Another helpful tip is to schedule your arrival during daylight. Whether a hotel or hostel, arriving in the mid-afternoon latest will give you the opportunity to really see what kind of area you’re staying in, as well as enough time to book a new stay if you’re uncomfortable with your accommodations.

Travel Safety Tools

One travel safety item that has proven to be a lifesaver for many is a portable hotel safety lock or doorstopper. Small and light, these tools will keep you safe in your hotel and prevent any intruders from entering your space.

Other helpful travel safety tools include:

The Safest Countries To Travel

Are you wondering which places would let you roam the most worry-free? Scandinavian countries, renowned for their stability and effective governance, remain among the safest travel destinations. Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland and Denmark rank in the top five in Europe. Also included in the list of safest countries in the world are Canada, Portugal, Japan and Australia, though comfort levels vary from city to city and should still be thoroughly researched.


8 of the Safest Countries in Africa To Visit

The 6 Safest Countries in South America To Visit

The safest country in South America is Uruguay. It is also the second-safest country in Latin America as a whole, right behind Costa Rica. Mauritius is considered to be the safest country in Africa, while Singapore and Malaysia are said to be Asia’s most inviting. If you’re exploring within the US, San Diego, CA, Virginia Beach, VA, Raleigh, NC and Honolulu, HI are ranked among the safest cities to explore. 

When it comes to areas to potentially avoid, the riskiest country in the world is South Sudan, followed by Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Somalia. Petty crime is rife in the Virgin Islands, and one statistical study ranked Brazil even higher than the in terms of violent gun crime. Within the US, Baltimore, MA, Detroit, MI and New Orleans, LA should be visited with caution.


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