A Traveller’s Guide to Personal Safety

Travelling can be one of the most enjoyable and therapeutic activities a person can do. It’s a chance to see the world, observe different cultures, and spend time learning about yourself along the way. However, while personal enjoyment is a priority, so is safety. Protecting your belongings and well-being is necessary to return home in the same condition as you left.

Maintaining your personal safety during a trip doesn’t need to be complicated. By practising common sense and keeping an eye on your surroundings, you can enjoy your trip without worry. Here are some tips to consider before your next getaway.

Packing And Preparation Before Your Trip

Staying safe and healthy during your travels starts before you leave home. If you’re travelling to a different country, research and learn about health risks in the area, such as potential diseases. Even if nothing particularly alarming sticks out, make an appointment with your healthcare provider so you can get all proper medicines and vaccinations ahead of time.

Next, you’ll want to verify that you have all the necessary documents, including your itinerary, credit cards, passports, and hotel reservations. While you don’t want to advertise to the world that you’re leaving town, find at least one person you can trust and give them copies just in case you lose something during your travels. 

personal safety

You may want to consider getting internet in your car if you’re taking a road trip. That’s because you want to avoid using the phone and taking your eyes off the road while driving. A connected car enables you to get directions, make calls, and text via voice command, all without taking your hands off the wheel.

Pack With Self-Defense In Mind

Start packing for your trip at least a week in advance so you can remember everything you’ll need to enjoy yourself and be safe. Pay special attention to your carry-on bag and bring the items that could potentially save your life. Pack a health kit that includes your medication, sunscreen, hand sanitiser, health insurance card, and anything else you feel is necessary.

It’s also wise to think about how you’ll protect yourself in the case of a dangerous confrontation, especially if you’re travelling alone. A way to do that is to bring a self-defence tool, like pepper spray or a stun gun.

Before you leave, consider a class or online instruction that educates you on effectively using a stun gun. It’s a non-lethal device that literally shocks the attacker, but as opposed to a TASER, which can be fired at a distance, a stun gun is used with direct contact. The shock disrupts the body’s nervous system and temporarily incapacitates the attacker. Before you leave for the trip, read the manufacturer’s safety instructions so you can be confident that you can use it when necessary.

Protect Your Belongings During The Trip

Even with proper preparation, you must be smart about how you act and protect yourself while you’re on the trip. When you go out to see the sights, be aware of anyone who approaches you because they could be a thief or someone who means you harm. 

Pickpockets can be a major concern, especially when visiting a busy city or tourist location. You can protect yourself from theft by knowing where you keep your money. Instead of a standard wallet or purse that can be removed or taken off your arm, consider bringing a cross-body messenger bag that can’t be taken from you without you feeling it.

If you stop to rest or eat, keep the bag on your lap. Avoid bringing credit cards out of the hotel unless you really need them. A better idea is to take cash and put it in several places. Some in a pocket, some in a sock, or some in a money belt, so even if you are robbed, you will still have cash to get you back home.

While you want to have a great time during your trip, caution is always necessary when you’re far from home. Even if you’re travelling with friends, try not to let your guard down when you’re in public. One surefire way to get yourself into trouble is to drink too much alcohol. Drinking affects different parts of your body and can be especially detrimental to your cognitive functions and behaviour. Overindulging can impact your ability to think clearly and hamper your motor skills, so you may not be able to react as quickly if you find yourself in trouble.

Alcohol also acts as a depressant that can affect your mood so that you might say and do things you never intended. You may also be less reserved, which can be dangerous if you often post on social media. Sharing your vacation photos tells the world you’re out of town, which can be bad news. If the wrong people see that you’re away, they may try to rob your home.

Safety In Hotels

personal safety

While being in your hotel room is generally safer than being out in public, you still need to be aware of your surroundings even when you’re at your home base. Research locations ahead of time and find a safe hotel. Read the reviews and choose listings with professional photos and good feedback. Trust your gut. Don’t book what appears to be a dangerous hotel just to save a few bucks.

When you get to the hotel, if you have a choice of rooms, ask for one away from public areas like the restaurant or lobby, as it is too easy for a criminal to gain quick access without being seen. Once you get in, before you unpack, inspect your room to verify that all windows and doors have working locks and that there are curtains you can close for privacy.


There are many ways that you can ensure the protection of your belongings and stay safe during your travels. Take the proper steps before you leave, and you can see the world without fear or worry for your personal safety.

Written by Charlie Fletcher

Images courtesy of unsplash.com and pexels.com

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