These days, it might be a little intimidating to make travel plans. On the news we hear reports of terror attacks at major airports and in city centres, but that doesn’t mean we should never leave our homes. Cancelling our holidays would signal that we are too afraid to travel. The best response is exactly the opposite – we need to carry on with our regular routines as much as possible. Still, in this day and age it is essential to take precautions. Better to be safe than sorry. The following tips will help guide us on our journeys.

Safeguard your money – Even if you were to win a huge prize when playing the EuroMillions, you can’t afford to let someone steal your cash. To avoid pickpockets, keep your wallet in a secure, front pocket and make sure your purse is not loosely slung over your shoulder. Use debit or credit cards whenever possible, and cover the keyboard when typing in your pin code to withdraw cash at an ATM. Never carry around more money than you actually need.

Hide your valuables – While flashy jewellery may be appropriate for fancy restaurants, you certainly don’t want to flash it when you’re busy sightseeing. Keep valuables, expensive souvenirs, and important documents in hotel safes.

Make copies of all documents – What could be worse than losing your passport when traveling in a foreign country? Make electronic copies of your passport, medical cards, driving license, travel itinerary, and hotel reservations so that you can quickly access them with an internet connection no matter where you are. Know the phone number of your credit card provider so that you can quickly block the card if it is stolen.

Get travel insurance – Medical emergencies do happen and suitcases do get lost. These inconveniences could spoil your trip so at least make sure they won’t make your trip any more expensive than necessary. You and your belongings should be properly insured before your departure.

Don’t stand out as a tourist – While this may be hard to do in an unfamiliar environment, make efforts to blend into your surroundings. Travel in pairs as much as possible and plan your routes in advance. Keep your head up and walk with a purpose, as if you already know your way around. Avoid walking in dark areas at night. Take extra care when you’re traveling on your own.

Stay healthy – Before you depart, make sure you have received all required vaccinations. Know the health concerns of your destination and pack a sufficient supply of your prescribed medications.

Don’t get drunk – It’s okay to party but if you become intoxicated, you will be an easy target for criminals. Never leave your drinks unattended. After clubbing, return to your hotel in a registered taxi, preferably not alone.

Be prepared for the unexpected – In airports and on the streets, things happen quickly and thieves use chaotic moments to their advantage. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If something seems to be happening, hold tightly onto your valuables and avoid being a hero by moving away from danger as quickly as you can.

Don’t be careless – If you’re a seasoned traveller, you probably will easily land on your feet in new places but that doesn’t mean you should drop your guard. Trust your gut but take all necessary precautions as well.

Stay alert when you travel and you will stay safe.

Written by Jennifer