Personal Security Tips When Travelling Abroad
The most important tip before you step out of the door of your home to start your trip, notify your immediate family of your departure, and return dates. Now, there is a second part to this, don’t publicize your travel or vacation plans. Make a point always to leave your itinerary and local contact information with your close friends or members of your family. Ensure they have an exact itinerary, the names and contact telephone numbers for the hotel or resorts, and your flight or transport information. Also, leave a copy (digital or photocopy) of your passport with your friends or family.
Here are some other tips that will make your travel more secure:
* Register your trip with the state department online before your leave or register with your consulate or embassy upon arrival in your destination country.
* Always have the arrival and departure times of your plane, train, or bus times before your travel. These can easily be found on the companies’ websites.
* When choosing a seat, if possible, plan to sit near aisles or exit doors. If the seating is general, sit close to other people. Know your surroundings and be cognisant of the emergency exits.
* When you are using public transit, especially in a foreign country, stay alert and stay awake, mainly if you have never visited this location you are traveling to before.
* When planning your trip, plan your clothing and look for special travel wear with special pockets or storage areas to keep your passport, credit cards, and cash. As for money, it is always best to keep it hidden in something that you always carry with you, and if possible, use a Prepaid Visa or Mastercard that you can load up and top up as you go. If you lose it, you have only lost the amount on the card, and you can quickly get a replacement no matter where you are.
* Always have your valuables kept out of sight, and your luggage should stay close at hand. If you want to take a handbag with you, carry it in front of you and make sure it can close, even better if it locks. Men who have to carry a wallet with them when they travel keep it in their front pocket to avoid easy removal when traveling through large crowds or crowded train or bus stations.
* If, for some reason, someone does try to take your bag, just let it go. If it does get snatched by thieves, it is not worth injuring you or others traveling with you. If you have taken the steps mentioned already, you will be in good shape to recover, get a new bag, replace the items and money you need to keep enjoying your trip.
* Close to your departure date, go online and check for any travel advisories at or near your destination. It pays to be prepared and know if there are any issues before you arrive.
* Take your travel attire seriously and plan ahead It is always best to dress casually, dress down if you can, and be aware of local dress and customs and traditions.
* Never wear unnecessary jewelry or expensive watches, bracelets, or necklaces. Reduce the amount cards that you carry in your handbag or wallet. Unless you plan on going to a Costco at your travel destination, there is no need to carry that card around on your travels. Take 5 minutes and look at the contents of your handbag or wallet and ask yourself, “Do I really need this with me?”
* When you arrive at an airport, especially if it is not a familiar location for you, check-in quickly, and then proceed through security and wait at the boarding area. As most people in this area have cleared security, it is usually the most secure place inside an airport.
* When you must move through any crowded area, be vigilant and know your surroundings. These congested areas are often created by pickpockets whose prime directive is to distract you and take your belongings. They are exceptionally good at what they do, and if you keep your handbag, wallet, or backpack in front of you, you will have a much better chance at beating them at their own game.
* If you are using a calling card to make phone calls in a foreign country, you need to know who is close to you before starting dialing. If anyone is trying to observe you while you are calling, they are most likely looking to steal your card number and PIN. The easiest way to thwart these would be number thieves is to hide your fingers when dialing.
With the COVID pandemic shutting down the world, now more than ever, there are more and more people needing to find ways to get money. This means that in most countries that depend on tourism, the rise in thefts has almost doubled. This does not mean that you shouldn’t travel, maintain a low profile, know where you are going, plan ahead, and you will have a safe trip.
Common sense goes a long way, and if a situation feels wrong, it usually is and means you need to move and get to a safer place. We hope that nothing ever happens to you or your family when you travel, but to minimize the chance of any incidents, follow our Personal Security Travel Tips, and you should have an incident-free vacation.