I love to travel. When I do, I put much time into the planning, the hotel locations, the places to see nearby, and making it all flow together for a great experience.
One of the items I plan on is safety and security.
I want this blog to be an open contribution from the members to list some of the things they do to stay secure, but safe.
In this day and age, one does not have to be paranoid. The threats are out there and they are real. But we have to continue traveling.
Terrorism, hotel theft, personal security while on vacation or business, can be a big concern for travelers.
Some of the items I personally do when planning is it to use moving map apps. Not only can it be a great way to save all of the places you want to visit, but you can also find and mark the locations of the US Embassy and Consulates. Should you get your passport stolen, have an real emergency, the State Departments Embassy and Consulates can be a big support for you. You should also check out the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). They have app and or you can sign up on the internet. You get emergency travel warnings for the area you are traveling as well.
Make copies of your documents, insurance cards. Keep separate from the documents. Even a phone picture or scan.
When moving through the city I visit. I am always scanning for potential threats. Does something look out of place? Is someone unusually helpful? Are they focused on me or others when they should be focused on the sites?
When buying food, tickets to tourist attractions, or hotels, I evaluate the risk factor for credit card theft. If it is a legit hotel I use my Marriott Credit Card. If it is a street vendor, I opt for cash. I also carry a money card I preload with travel money. If it is compromised, all the bad guys get is what was on the card. Poor exchange rates but piece of mind.
My backpack carries my every day items. I secure the zippers with a special lock do add difficulty for pick pockets. I keep some water, cliff bars, small flashlight, portable phone charger and cords, small paper map of the area and other random travel items.
I carry a small boo boo kit. Just like most people do. You know, bandaids, meds, eyedrops, tweezers, and such, I also carry my small trauma kit just like the military or many police officers do. It has a 2 tourniquets, trauma dressing, and wound packing materials and an airway. It only takes up a small space in my backpack. If something happens, I do not have to wait to care for myself or my travel companion. Bleeding only takes a few minutes to kill. Check out “Stop the Bleed” or B-CON” to learn the simple steps to save a live from uncontrolled bleeding.
I keep my wallet in my front pocket. I strip it clean of cards and other items I do not need when traveling abroad. If it gets stolen I do not have to replace the things like Cosco or gym membership cards. I have, at times put some cash in my shoe, but I prefer to wear a money belt concealed to keep documents, cash, and spare credit cards. I only keep $40-60 bucks in my wallet. I just go to a bathroom stall or water closet to reload if I spend it. Again, I only keep $40-60 dollars in the wallet.
**FYI, if police in Mexico stop you and ask for ID, they just want to see into your wallet, as you are pulling it out, how much cash you have. Then they try to tell you the ticket is that much. Respect, broken Spanish, and offering a cold water from my cooler in the back seat, got me out of paying a ticket for doing 40 in a 50. Yes you read that correctly. 40 in a 50. It was just a scam to get free money.
As for the hotel, I always prefer to book my room at least one floor up. This keeps burglary opportunists from coming in with easy access. It also keeps ground level peeping Toms out.
I make sure to look for exits on my floor in case I have to exit in an emergency.
I do not leave any items of value in the room when out exploring. I also make use of the room or front desk safe if available.
If I leave my room to get ice, do not use the latch to keep it open. While you are down the hall on a quick ice run, it leaves your room open to theft or assault on return.
But I really only take what I need. Then I do not have to protect that much.
Traveling is so much fun. But safety and security makes for the best result.
Ok let’s here some of your tips.