Updated: Feb 27, 2020
1. Keep up to Date on Local News
You never know what can happen when you are abroad, and in today’s fast-changing and fast-paced world, anything can happen quickly, whether you are in Paris or deep in the deserts of Central Asia.
It’s good practice to stay informed when you are on the road, and one of our top travel safety tips is to keep up to date with the local news. If it looks like there might be protests in the next city, maybe reconsider visiting, or if there has been an unusual number of incidents involving tourists, perhaps keep away for the time being.
2. Watch the weather
As well as keeping up to date on local news, one of our best travel tips is to also keep up to date on the weather. This is more important in some countries than others, and if it’s going to be a typhoon season in the Philippines, you might want to consider visiting at a different time of year.
But bad weather can affect your travel plans anywhere, and flooding could disrupt transport in England, or avalanches could be a danger in the Pyrenees in spring.
If it’s particularly hot you’ll want to keep hydrated, while if it’s going to be cold, you’ll want to make sure you take adequate cold-weather gear with you.
In regards to the weather, it is absolutely essential that you do your
research on the best times to visit the place you want to travel to. This will give you invaluable insight into what to expect and how to prepare for the time period you plan to travel there.
3. Check Government Websites
Another of our top safety tips for travel is to check government websites before you travel. Many governments and embassies keep up to date profiles on countries around the world, and provide detailed rundowns on practical information such as entry requirements, and also on the political climate.
Websites such as the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office also break down which regions within a country are safe to travel to.
Remember, of course, that these government websites are always going to be more over the top than the actual situation on the ground, and in some cases, government travel warnings can be politically motivated, rather than warning of any likely physical danger.
They are a good place to start though when you are planning your travels, and you are looking for more detailed safety tips for travel.
I can’t stress enough to just use this as heads up of sorts for your travels. We’ve traveled to many places on the warning list and had a wonderful time. The key is to be informed, not paranoid or afraid.
4. Buy Travel Insurance
One of the best tips for travel we can give is to take out adequate travel insurance. Travelers on a budget often overlook this as an unnecessary expense, but when it comes to keeping safe on the road, nothing beats a good insurance policy.
If you get hurt or injured, with a good insurance company behind you, you’ll be able to get instant access to the best health care in the country. If the political situation in a destination deteriorates then you’ll also be able to get out quickly.
There is a multitude of reasons to take out a solid insurance policy, but always read the small print, and check in detail for what you are actually covered for.
Some sporting activities might not be covered under basic policies, such as scuba diving to certain depths or trekking at high altitudes, so always make sure the policy you buy covers you for everything you might need.
5. Leave a Copy of Your Travel Plans with Family
We literally never leave home without emailing copies of our flights, hotels and tour plans to a couple of members of our family. At the very least, your emergency contact should have copies of this information before you leave home.
In the rare chance that something does happen to you, it will go a long way for someone to have your complete travel records. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Create a spreadsheet in Google Docs and send the link.
Be sure to include your flight info for all flights, domestic and international including flight dates, times and numbers, all of your hotels and any tours that you have booked.
6. Check-in Regularly at Home
Now, you don’t have to paranoid about this but once you arrive at your destination, stay in touch back home. Let someone know how things are going and if your plans are going according to the way they are booked. Also, notify them if there are any changes.
This will not only put your family’s worries at ease but also provide the necessary information in the rare event that something happens.
7. Email Yourself Copies of Important Docs
We each have a folder in our email inboxes labeled Travel Docs. This is where we save digital PDF copies of our important documents for our travels.
This includes our passport, driver’s license, medical records, vaccination records, TSA pre-check letter, Global Entry card, birth certificate, marriage certificate, travel insurance policy and any other docs we may need access to while traveling.
In the event that you lose your passport, find yourself in the middle of a political situation, are arrested or any number of other issues, it will be imperative that you have quick access to this information when overseas.
8. Be Medically Prepared
Depending on where you are traveling, you will also want to look into what vaccinations you need beforehand, and what potential diseases you can contract.
If you’re in malarial zones, then take precautions against this, while in some countries, you might need specific vaccinations, such as for Yellow Fever, to even gain entry.
Do not take vaccinations or prophylactics lightly. We highly advise that you make an appointment at an International Travel clinic near to you at least 6 months prior to your trip to discuss with a doctor what vaccinations you may need.
9. Consider Using a Money Belt
Another great safety trip for travel when it comes to keeping your valuables secure is to utilize a money belt or similar accessories to keep things hidden away.
These aren’t always foolproof, as the most intrepid of criminals might always find a way to separate your money from you, but hiding your spare cash and passport can at least stop opportunistic criminals from relieving you of your things.
We’ve also seen people using neck pouches that can be hidden under your clothes. Some claim these are more comfortable and easier to access when you need to.