Note: We actually wrote these travel safety tips for couples before we heard about the tragic killing of the solo female traveller Sarai Sierra in Turkey. Our travel safety tips can also be used by solo female travellers and males.
This post is a follow up to our previous article: Travel Safety Tips for Couples, Before you Travel.
We felt obliged to write about travel safety because we get asked a lot of questions regarding travel safety. We travelled to Egypt over a year ago and still get asked “is Egypt safe to travel to?”
Of course travel in Egypt is safe!
We basically consider that everywhere in the world is safe to travel to, as long as you are sensible and take precautions. It is like I said in our previous post, you don’t want to listen to everything others say, especially the media.
The world is NOT dangerous or unsafe. Sure there are dangerous people and destinations, but they are a really small percentage of the world.
And most of the unfortunate bad experiences that happen to travellers arise from them being stupid, drunk or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. By using a few simple travel safety tips, you can cut down your risks.
Travel Safety Tips for Couples
After 3 years of travel we haven’t had anything stolen and have NEVER felt unsafe because we follow our basic travel safety tips for couples, and solo travellers.
Travel Safety Tips: Blend in
One of the keys to travel safety is to limit drawing attention to yourself.
The closer you resemble a tourist, or more specifically the less you resemble other tourists, the better it is for you. Wearing sandals with white socks or sneakers with a large camera dangling from your neck is kind of a giveaway.
Similarly if you are waving around a map you may be targeted.
Travel Safety Tips: Dressing appropriately
Once you have stopped acting like a tourist you want to dress appropriately.
By leaving your valuables at home you should be carrying less stuff as you explore the streets. Everything you carry should be able to fit into your pockets or be within your bubble of “personal space”. Any time someone gets within that bubble you know to keep an eye on things.
There are always situations where this is unavoidable such as tightly packed public transport or local markets. To reduce your risk and avoid being pick-pocketed you want to keep your wallet in your front pocket, preferably buttoned up. Or use the inside pocket of your zipped up jacket.
You might also want to consider buying a “money belt” (examples here) that wrap around your waist underneath your shirt.
Finally, if you are a travelling couple ensure that you both carry your money and that it is not all in the same place. By spreading it out you won’t lose it all if one is stolen or lost.
Travel Safety Tips: Gather your gear
On arrival, or departure you are most likely to lose something.
At the airport you are tired from travelling and rush through customs eager to go exploring. Simply stuffing your wallet or passport at the top of your bag or in your back pocket is not good enough.
Use a money belt or secret compartment in your luggage to store valuable items.
It’s the same situation in a restaurant, accommodation or at an attraction. Take a moment to stop, gather yourself, and your belongings. As you walk away check behind you to see that you didn’t leave anything behind. I always do a quick “pat down” to check my camera, wallet, phone etc are in the right places.
If you know where everything should be then it becomes very easy to make this a simple routine ritual.
Travel Safety Tips: Don’t leave it unattended
We see this all the time. Someone sits down at a cafe and promptly ignores their bag or coat because they feel safe.
Always keep your items in your line of sight and within that personal bubble of space. It isn’t hard for someone to wander by and take something from your chair, or table, when you are distracted by delicious pastries and coffee.
Travel Safety Tips: Stay Alert
Before leaving your accommodation ask the staff if there is anywhere in the city they recommend not going. While you don’t necessarily want to stick to the boring tourist trails, you also don’t want to end up in seedy areas.
It is easy to unwittingly wander up the wrong street when you are gazing at all the sights. Just retrace your steps (guys are a little better at this than girls for some reason) and carry on your way.
The important thing is that you see what is going on around you. Take notice of what strangers are doing because it’s common practice for thieves to work together.
Kids with signs may try to distract you while the others pickpocket you. Or women will beg for money while pushing a crying infant in your face. While we feel bad doing it, we always just ignore them and keep walking. Once you stop, you become a sitting duck.
Our only rule is that if someone outright robs you then NEVER FIGHT BACK. Insurance will cover anything stolen and it is better than getting injured or worse.
Travel Safety Tips: Lock your luggage
While you should travel with minimal stuff, anything you leave in your accommodation should be locked away. Most hotels and hostels provide safes or lockers.
Our small padlocks probably wouldn’t stop a determined thief, but it will make them think twice and/or slow them down. Stealing your stuff is all about speed, so most won’t take that risk.
Travel Safety Tips: Walk away from confrontations
Everyone has been in a situation where someone upsets you or makes you angry. They might have accidentally bumped you or tried to chat up your girlfriend. Some ridiculous people might just be looking for a fight.
Unless you are Chuck Norris, walk away calmly. You never know who that person might be associated with. If they follow you then stick to public areas and find a local spot to ask for assistance.
And by no means are we telling you to avoid people. Meeting people is a main reason to travel!
Travel Safety Tips: Know your way out
Familiarising yourself with local landmarks as you wander around the streets of a foreign city can be very helpful for when you do take that eventual wrong turn.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have taken the time to learn a little bit of the local language then someone will be willing to help you out. Our favourite experiences have been after we have gotten lost then shown where to go by a friendly local.
Travel Safety Tips: Don’t try this on holiday
While we love to step outside our comfort zones, we don’t take unnecessary risks. Especially when something looks a little dodgy.
There are way to many stories of travellers getting injured, or killed, while taking part in something life threatening. Sure we have run with bulls, driven scooters in Italy and scuba-dived in Egypt. But we consider these calculated risks. And we had great travel insurance.
If you want to take part in adventure travel activities then always check that the operators have legal qualifications and a good safety record too. The cheapest option is usually that price for a reason.
Travel Safety Tips Summary
No we are not trying to scare you away from travelling. We just know from experience that people seem to go on holiday without their brains. By showing you examples of worst-case scenarios we hope that we can limit your risks.
Travelling is safe when you reduce your risks and take precautions.
The important thing to remember is that if you do suffer a loss or a problem, don’t let that ruin your trip!
5 Travel Destinations That Will Leave You in Awe
There are many destinations in the world that people escape to for their vacations, or travel to explore and create memories, some for work too.
However, some destinations stand out above the rest with their spectacular, unique sceneries. So, if you are looking for an awe-inspiring destination that enlightens your mind and inspires your soul, here are places you can start with that won’t disappoint:
Thailand is mostly popular for its amazing beaches, thus making it into an idyllic holiday destination. Thailand has 1500-mile-long coastline. The best places to visit along the long coastline would be the Phang Nga Bay and the beautiful Koh Phi Phi islands. The waters around the islands are filled with limestone karst and will give you the chance to snorkel and explore coves.
Thailand will not disappoint when it comes to adventures. From sailing along rivers, water rafting, rock climbing, paddle boarding, kayaking to ziplining, you will not go short of thrill-seeking activities.
Thailand is also rich in culture as this country has many fantastic festivals such as the popular Loi Krathong festival. The festival will give you the luxury to experience the largest water fight in the world. Oh, and the view is priceless.
Romantic, luxurious, unforgettable – these are words that will slip off your tongue after visiting the Maldives. The Maldives offer some of the best private beach destinations in the world.
It is popular with honeymooners because of the scenic white sand beaches, lagoons, and, undoubtedly, the most romantic water villas. The structural designs are unrivaled with their uniqueness and exquisiteness.
The whale submarine gives children and adults memories that they will never forget. The submarine gives tourists a 45-minute tour of the colorful reefs and underwater marine life.
Egypt had to be on this list. It is one of the oldest, most sought-after destinations for explorers and tourists. The country is rich in history dating back to biblical times.
The ancient temples and the pyramids are the fascinating, awe-inspiring scenes that many travelers rush to experience. However, besides these monumental attractions, the red sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Siwa Oasis, the royal tombs of the valley of the kings and queens also offer visitors the chance to experience spectacular sceneries.
Ever fancied travelling to Peru? It is sure to leave you in awe as it is rich in both culture and ancient history; it is a great holiday choice for any explorer. The ancient sites include the city of kings, lima, which happens to be the capital city of the country and Cusco, the home of the Inca empire – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The topography is beautiful; Peru is home to the stunning rainbow mountain. As if the sites in Cusco are not awesome enough, the scene from this mountain is breathtaking. To top it all, the nature trail to the Incan fortress, beautified by stone terraces on the hillside and ending on Machu Pichu will create visual memories that will never fade. You will also get to experience one of the seven wonders of the world.
Like most countries south of the American continent, Venezuela is also rich in sandy beaches and endless national parks. But, the location that will rejuvenate your imaginations is a visit to the Angel Falls. Angel Falls is the only uninterrupted highest waterfall in the entire world and interestingly, the water rarely reaches the bottom as it evaporates midway.
Top 7 Outdoor Activities for your Trip to Alaska
Alaska is paradise to adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. This state offers many outdoor activities from heli skiing and horseback riding to kayaking and mountain climbing. If you have finished your first trip and still want to explore more, plan a second trip, and a third. You will never run out of activities to do or scenes to see in this state that is more than twice the size of Texas. If you need ideas on how to get your Alaskan outdoor activities checklist going continue reading this article on the top 7 outdoor activities for your trip to Alaska. It is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
There are more than 10 miles of horseback riding trails in Anchorage alone. This activity is a great way to explore Alaska because you will have access to places vehicles can’t take you. You are guaranteed to see a lot more in a single day on horseback than if you were to travel on foot and experience the wilderness from a new vantage point. While riding you will gallop across streams and through clearings while you watch all the wildlife Alaska offers. Watch mountain goat trudge through mountain terrain and salmon skip across rivers with your trusty steed.
If you are an advanced snowboarder or skier or just looking for a huge rush of adrenaline then you must check out heli skiing Alaska. It is guaranteed to be an extreme winter sports experience. You won’t be jumping from a ski lift with this intense sport. Instead, you will be given a ride to the tops of the slopes by a helicopter before you are able ski the uncharted terrain. Razor-sharp ridges and plunging chutes are to be expected.
Dog Sled Rides
Some Alaskan cruises include dog sled rides through the snow in their itineraries. As one of the top cruise destinations for adventures, you know that this Alaskan outdoor activity will not leave you disappointed. Dog sledding may be one of the most unique ways of traveling across the fields of Alaska. This fast paced activity allows you to explore a small part of the 1,300 mile long Iditarod National Historic Trail.
Alaska is home to some of the best whitewater rafting sites in the country. If you do choose to participate in this activity then you should do so in Denali, home to Nenana River and Alaska’s top whitewater rafting destination. The Nenana River is the best locations to much of the state’s wildlife such as, moose, Dall sheep, caribou, and grizzly bears. There are rapids tours available for all skill and ability levels.
Visit a Glacier
Most United States glaciers are found in Alaska and you are able to visit them by kayak or seaplane. There is nothing more magical than seeing one of these massive ice sheets up close. Be sure to check into tours that take you over the longest glacier, the Kahiltna Glacier by sea plane.
If you want the true Alaskan experience then you must go fishing. Give fly fishing a try and hand catch your own salmon. Nothing beats the taste of a fresh caught salmon. Catch an arctic grayling, a coon fish in Alaska that populates many of the waters. If you’re looking for a truly authentic experience, give ice fishing a go. There are guides available to help get an ice fishing experience set up for newbies and travelers.
Visit the Totem Poles
Do you remember making totem poles out of oatmeal canisters in elementary school? Do you remember the history behind it? Ketchikan Alaska is home to over 80 Native American totem poles and they are considered to be the state’s most striking pieces of art and they are an attraction that anyone visiting Alaska should not miss. Visit the totem poles and learn of the history and lore while you appreciate magnificent works of art.
Why Traveling Alone Can Be The Best Experience
When you think of traveling, you might think of a big family vacation, a group of friends setting off to see the world, or perhaps a couple’s romantic getaway. What you might not think of is traveling by yourself. However, solo traveling can be an amazing experience, and there are so many benefits that if you’ve been tempted to visit a far-flung destination but didn’t have anyone to go with, you really should just book your tickets and head off to explore! Read on for more details, and you’re sure to understand what we mean.
It’s All Down To You
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau
One of the most significant benefits of traveling alone is that every decision you make is yours entirely. You get to choose where you go, to begin with, without having to compromise because other people you are traveling with want to go somewhere else. You can pick the hotel that you like the look of best, or choose to stay in a hostel or camp out if you prefer. You can go out on day trips or spend a relaxing day by the pool playing games on Unibet. You can make your own itinerary and not have to work on someone else’s time frame. If you decide you don’t like a place, you can move on somewhere else without having to persuade anyone else to. It’s an amazingly freeing feeling.
You Can Meet New People
“Wherever we travel to, the wonderful people we meet become our family.” –
Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!
Meeting new people is one of the joys of traveling, and according to Psychology Today making friends is essential, but it can be hard to do when you’re in a group or traveling as part of a couple. First, it can mean that you tend to stick with the people you already know because there is no real need to look outward to other travelers or even the locals around you.
Secondly, even if you did want to make new friends, those around you who might have struck up a conversation if you had been on your own could choose instead to stay away because they feel you are already with your friends and aren’t looking to meet anyone new.
Either way, you can miss out on some fantastic, life-long friendships in this way and that can be a big regret which Pocketmindfulness.com explains is not a healthy way to live.
You Can Find Yourself
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
It may sound strange to say that you can find yourself when you travel alone, and it might not initially be something you think you want to do. However, if you can start to understand what it is that makes you happy, what fills you with joy, what you want from life and even how you intend to get it. When you return home, you will be more powerful and better able to do whatever it is you want, without compromise, and without damaging your mental health or your personality.
Understanding more about yourself is fundamental to living the best life you can, and when you are traveling alone this is a much easier thing to do!
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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