The best vacation can turn into a nightmare when things you love are stolen or you are threatened. TRAVELBOOK has put together 21 tips so that you always stay safe while traveling.
1. Your life is more important than your valuables!
Please keep in mind with all the safety tips in this article that it is not worth playing the hero in an emergency. When your life is threatened, try to stay calm and hand over your valuables.
2. Read the travel warnings from the Federal Foreign Office!
The website of the Federal Foreign Office lists all countries for which travel warnings or partial travel warnings are currently in place. In addition, risks from the recent past are listed for each country and areas that are better to avoid within a country are named.
3. Find out more in travel guides, on travel websites and among friends!
Every country is different. It often helps a lot to see what experiences other Germans have had in this country. Many long-term travelers write about their experiences on their travel blogs. Or maybe you have friends who have already been to your holiday destination? Then get the information first hand.
4. Talk to the people on site!
Whether the receptionist in the hotel or the landlord of your holiday apartment: The people on site have the best insight into the current security situation and can give you tips on which districts or areas are better not to visit and which are particularly safe.
5. Choose vacation spots that suit your security needs!
When planning, consider your personal need for security. For example, if you are a woman traveling alone for the first time and you are a more cautious type, you should choose a travel destination that has the lowest possible safety risk.
6. Do not go to unsafe neighborhoods – especially not at night!
If you do your research, you will know which neighborhoods to avoid. Some neighborhoods that are busy during the day change as soon as the sun goes down. So you shouldn’t stroll through the downtowns of many large American cities at night. In many large cities in South America or Africa, too, you should know beforehand where you want to go at night and how to get there safely.
7. Accompanied travel increases your safety!
Even if you are traveling alone, it is worth taking certain excursions with companions or in a group. Hostels are a good place to socialize here. Many travel providers also offer group tours. The larger the tour group, the lower the likelihood of being mugged.
8. Only visit unsafe tourist attractions with a guide!
It is entirely possible to visit sights in less safe areas, but this should only be done with a qualified tourist guide.
9. Celebrate in moderation!
Drunk people are grateful victims for con artists. So don’t overdo it. At least one member of your group should stay sober and keep track.
10. Be confident!
Con artists are a bit like dogs: they smell fear. So if you accidentally find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, stay calm and confident and move back to a safe area. And if it does get tricky: Be sure to follow tip 1!
11. Don’t be too polite!
Even if we have been trained to be as nice as possible, a clear “No, thank you” at the right moment can prevent unpleasant situations. Travel blogger Ute Kranz recommends in a post on her blog “Bravebird” : “In South America, Africa and various countries in Asia, locals have neither distance zones nor fear of contact. Due to a lack of experience, we usually don’t know exactly how to deal with it. ”Ute advises setting clear boundaries when a stranger becomes too intrusive.
12. Wear a wedding ring as a woman traveling alone!
In some countries it can be helpful to travel with a wedding ring even if you are not married at all. This will minimize the number of unwanted advances.
13. Take only what you need with you.
Check what you really need before you travel. As banal as it sounds, what you don’t have with you can’t be stolen from you.
14. Leave your valuables in the hotel safe.
You don’t have to take jewelry and expensive watches with you to the beach. Most of the time, your most important documents are also better off in a safe. If you have to prove your age in bars and clubs, a copy of your passport is sufficient in many countries. Find out more here in advance.
15. Do not leave your valuables open in the car.
Pack them in the trunk or carry them with you. This also applies if you just want to take a quick snapshot of the beautiful panorama.
16. Keep your money in different places.
In addition to the wallet, suitcases or rucksacks can be used as storage space. Travel blogger Carina Herrmann from “Pink Compass” hides some money in places “that do not call for storage, such as in a pair of (clean) socks in shoes”.
17. Do not carry your wallet in your back pocket!
Alternative storage places for cash, credit cards and papers are the good old neck pouch, a fanny pack or the money belt. Travel bloggers Tanja and Stephan Neu from the “Auszeitnomaden” recommend the “robbery wallet”. For this you need “an old wallet with one or two expired EC or credit cards and some money”. The robbery wallet must then be “easily and quickly accessible in the back pocket, so that you can hand it in as an alternative in the hustle and bustle of the robbery”.
18. Store important documents as digital copies in online storage!
It is advisable to save the most important documents (passport, insurance card, driver’s license) as digital copies online. This makes it easier to apply for replacement documents in the event of theft.
19. Only use safe taxis!
In some South American countries, it is best to avoid hailing taxis on the street if possible. It is better to order a taxi. In general, you should always discuss taxi prices in advance so as not to experience any nasty surprises at the end. If you have the opportunity, check with your smartphone in the taxi whether the route to the destination makes sense. A popular alternative to taxis, especially in unsafe countries, is to use Uber, as prices are negotiated in advance and all drivers are listed centrally.
20. Watch your drinks!
There are bars in Mexico City where you’d better make sure the waiter really opens a fresh bottle for you. You should also always keep an eye on your drink so that nobody can add anything to you. If you notice a strange taste in your drink, it is best to leave it and change the location.
21. Do you know the popular scammers’ scams!
There are other popular tricks in every corner of the world. If a friendly local offers you an inexpensive sightseeing tour, you may find yourself in a jewelry store shortly afterwards and not allowed to leave until you have done some expensive shopping there. If you get paint spilled on your shirt in Buenos Aires and a helpful person comes along to help you wipe it, chances are they’re after your cash. Find out about the special meshes in your holiday destination and be prepared!