Having been to 55 countries, some alone, some with family members and some with a small baby – I have developed my own checklist for safe travel. Here are my favorite tips:
1. Always inform family and friends exactly where you are going and staying – I always forward a copy of my flight confirmation and addresses of my stays to one or two family members. When I check into a hotel I’ll often let them know what room I am in as well.
2. Always make copies of your passport, credit cards and ID. I usually carry a copy with me and keep it somewhere separate from the actual items. I also keep a copy with a family member at home.
3. Always register with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you are enrolled they will notify you directly of imminent danger. Also, always check the State Department website for travel warnings and heed them.
4. Find out from a local where NOT to go and listen. This is one of the best things I like about staying with locals.
5. I prefer to travel with a cell phone that operates locally. You can get a local SIM card or you can have an international carrier as I do (AT&T) and change to an international plan. A cell phone is a perfect way for State Department to contact you immediately in an emergency. If you have a problem with a cancelled flight you can just call airline directly instead of waiting in long lines.
6. Don’t take your flashy jewelry, really expensive handbags – leave them at home. It’s just an excuse for a thief to target you. Carry a really safe cross body bag with with reinforced straps that can’t be cut. MEN – never put wallet in pants back pocket. Also, always keep small bills on hand.
7. Always use the safe in a hotel. When you are carrying money on your person, breaak it up – put some in your sock, some in a money belt, etc.
8. Facebook has a Safety Feature where you can notify family and friends in the event of a natural disaster. Hopefully you will never need it but with horrific natural disasters happening regularly, it’s a a nice thing to have.
9. I have never lost a suitcase (cross my fingers) but just in case I always take photos of all my bags so when I file a claim I have a photo to show them exactly what is missing.
10. Last but not LEAST, pay attention to your surroundings! This is so important! I had a male friend say a group was approaching them and one guy asked for time (it was a distraction to pick pockets). He realized right away and his friend starting yelling and making a scene. The group dispersed but it was a close call.
Travel safely and travel smartly.
🌎 Travel FREE like ME!