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 last week. Our travel safety tips can be used for solo female travellers (and males) as well as travelling couples.
We get asked a lot of questions regarding travel safety tips for couples because we like stepping outside of our comfort zones. That is not to say that we put ourselves in harms way, we aren’t that stupid. But we travel with open minds rather than being shrouded in fear.
6 travel safety tips for couples, before you travel
Don’t listen to what others, mostly the media, have to say.The world is NOT dangerous or unsafe. While there are dangerous people and destinations, they are a really small percentage of the world.
You are probably more likely to get into trouble in your home country rather than from travelling.
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. And it has happened to us. We think we travel smart and our experiences prove that. But we have also had our fair share of things go wrong while travelling.
A broken collarbone, internal bleeding, lost luggage and lost passports to name a few.
But after 3 years of travel we think that is pretty good. Especially since we have yet to have anything stolen (touch wood). By using a few simple travel safety tips, we have cut down our risks.
And minimising risks doesn’t start when you begin travelling. Travel safety starts at home before you go.
By using our travel safety tips for couples, and solo travellers, you can minimse your own travel safety concerns.
Before you go: Travel Safety Tips for Couples
These are the travel safety tips you should implement before you actually leave home.
Travel Safety Tips: Do your research before you travel
The first thing you want to do is research the destination. You can quite easily find out from locals, not other tourists, the safest places in a city. Online there are local forums, websites and other travel blogs for every destination in the world.
Read it all and talk to your friends. But please don’t discount somewhere just because of one persons bad experience. Use your own common-sense to decide if you really should go or not.
No two peoples travel adventures are ever the same.
Travel Safety Tips: Buy Travel Insurance that covers everything
So far our travel injury bills after 3+ years have totalled more than $105,000.
Adela broke her collarbone, I ruptured my appendix and had internal bleeding from a snowboarding accident. Luckily our comprehensive travel insurance meant that we were fully covered for the full amounts.
Take a moment to think about what you might get up to while travelling as not all travel insurance is the same. For example, some may include snow adventures and other extreme sports, while others won’t. You can usually add on extras if you know what you what activities you might be doing.
We recommend you check out World Nomads Insurance who will cover most situations. Just be sure to read the fine print.
Travel Safety Tips: Leave your valuables behind
In most countries you should try and blend in and not advertise that you are a tourist. And more importantly, a wealthy tourist. You will likely stick out like a sore thumb anyway, but advertising it by wearing fancy jewellery or carrying an expensive camera around is best avoided.
Adela always leaves her jewellery at home but will usually end up buying something locally made. It supports them and ensures you won’t get your nicest stuff stolen, or lost.
Depending upon where you travel, you may also want to consider leaving laptops and other expensive gear at home. If it is not feasible like us, as we travel with a lot of gear to keep this travel blog running, you can usually lock gear in your room safe or behind the check-in desk.
Much better than carrying it around all day too. You might also want to consider buying a “money belt” (examples here) that wrap around your waist underneath your shirt.
Travel Safety Tips: Get vaccinated
Vaccinations can be quite tricky to organise. We recommend visiting your doctor a few months before you travel to find out what you may need to get vaccinated for.
Some vaccinations/immunisations for certain destinations will actually require you to have several injections over the course of a few months. You may also need to prove to border control that you have been immunised when you travel.
Travel Safety Tips: Scan all your major documents
The final travel safety tip is to make sure you have a copy of all your travel documents. We used to carry around a folder with photocopies of our passports, relevant visas, travel insurance etc. As well as leave copies with our families.
Now we are able to just use Dropbox to store all our important travel documents online. Extra travel tip: We also use Dropbox for storing our photos online so that we won’t ever lose them.
These online copies can then be used if we ever need to print off documents or in case we lose something important while travelling. Of course if you are trekking through remote areas it might be best to print them BEFORE you leave!
Travel Safety Tips: Notify your bank
While notifying your bank that you are going overseas won’t stop your credit cards or money getting stolen. It may stop them (hopefully) from cancelling any cards that they suspect are being used fraudulently while you still have them.
Banks monitor suspected fraudulent use and will stop a card from working if they suspect it has been used in the wrong place. It should only take one phone call to reactivate it but letting them know your travel plans never hurts.
They can also provide advice on who to contact should your cards be stolen. Which means that you should keep a record of your credit card numbers and bank phone numbers if you need to cancel them. Just don’t record the security numbers too!
Do you have any special travel safety tips you do before you leave home?
How To Keep Yourself Occupied When Travelling
Many of us find ourselves constantly in and out of airports, for business or pleasure or whatever the reason may be, and would like to make better use of that dead time, of which there can be a lot, especially on long multi-segment trips overseas, for example. Here are some quick suggestions to ponder:
Travel time is actually excellent for absorbing a couple really good books, and it’s a great time to catch up on some much-needed reading. You have so many options for ebooks I don’t think it’s even necessary to list them here. You also have your preference of audio books or regular text books; it’s completely up to you. Text is a lot faster if you’re a reasonably good reader, but audio books allow you to do things like walk around and eat while still getting the book “read to you”
Online casinos are an excellent way to kill time on those long layovers. In fact, the hours can go by in a blur when you’re gaming in this way; make sure you have an alarm set so you remember to get to the gate on time for your connection:
Guts online casino with mobile games is a prime example of a great casino site where you can keep yourself occupied for hours on end. One of the nice things about Guts is how comprehensive it is. This allows you to get all your online casino fun in on one app only, thereby avoiding having to spam separate apps on your phone for poker, slots, blackjack, etc.
Other Games on your Phone:
There are obviously tons of possibilities here. Once again, to avoid that dreaded app spam on your phone, pick a couple of really good games that you like a lot and aim for complete and total domination and mastery of them. This will also keep you focused and help with your mental hygiene.
It’s a good idea, actually, to have at least one game available on your phone that does not require an internet connection. This is for both being on the plane itself, and also for being in strange towns where there is no roaming, no wi-fi and no SIM card available for you. You will be grateful to have that one reliable game to pass the time during those gaps in the internet service.
Take A Look Around Town:
This is a final option, but can be a really good one. There are several factors that need to be in play for this option to be viable and workable.
-The security check-in process can’t be overly complicated or slow
-The time of the layover must be enough and must be at a time when there is actually something going on in the town you are in for the layover. Some major cities are closer to being 24 hour towns than others.
-The airport must be reasonably near to the interesting parts of town in that city, unless you don’t mind spending big bucks on transportation. Rideshare has, however, mitigated this quite a bit. Be realistic about your travel times. Remember traffic can be hell in some cities, hell like you wouldn’t believe.
Honestly, the best way for this strategy to work is to know what you want to see beforehand and just go there. Wandering around is usually a waste of time. Do your research online beforehand to make sure you get a positive experience out of this.
Layovers don’t have to be purgatory for you. There are options to make the experience better and more edifying.
Do you have another way you spend your time travelling productively that you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Top ways to keep yourself entertained while traveling
Traveling can sometimes be a boring time. Long waits in airports. Traffic jams. Ferry crossings with nothing but water for scenery. No matter whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or ferry, there will always be times when you’ll wish that you had something to occupy you.
Thankfully, in today’s fast-moving world, there are plenty of options to keep your mind occupied when you’re on the road, in the air, or at sea. Here are some great ways to entertain yourself while traveling.
Read a good book
Don’t waste your time with glossy magazines. Most of them will rot your brain and you’ll be done reading them before you’ve even made a dent in your journey. They also take up as much space in your travel bags as a good book, which will occupy you for far longer.
Many people also find that reading a book helps them get to sleep. If you’re one of the unlucky people who finds it difficult to sleep on planes and in cars, a book can help you doze off naturally.
If you’re one of the super-unlucky people whose motion sickness can be exacerbated by reading, there’s a great alternative: audiobooks. Downloading audiobooks to an audio device such as an iPod takes up very little space and frees up luggage room. It means that you can take a whole collection of books with you on your travels so that you’ll never get bored!
iPad or tablet
Don’t rely on airlines, bus terminals, or ferries to provide high-quality visual entertainment. Loading up an iPad or tablet with the latest movies puts the ability to occupy your mind in your own hands. Also, bring an iPad charging station just in case your iPad, smartphone, and other devices need some power, and charge them simultaneously in public charging stations.
iTunes is a great place to download the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies, as well as fun games and eBooks.
As many public places now offer free Wi-Fi, a tablet is also a great way to stay in touch with friends and family while you travel. Best of all, using a tablet to entertain yourself instead of a smartphone means that you won’t drain your phone’s battery. This is important as charging points can be scarce on the road and you may need phone access in case of an emergency.
Play the lotto
Playing the lotto can be a fun way to pass the time while traveling. Firstly, there’s the welcome break of pulling over at a rest stop – or dipping into a terminal convenience store – to pick your lottery numbers. Many people play the lotto using numbers with personal significance, such as birthdays, so the mere act of deciding on the numbers that will make you rich can be enough to while away some downtime.
Then comes the best part – daydreaming of what you’d spend the jackpot money on. This is by far the best way to while away the hours of a long journey. Whether you’d buy a house, a car, or simply want to fantasize about traveling somewhere far more thrilling, you can let your imagination run free. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination!
Once you get there, you can check your numbers on the Mega Millions numbers CA website to see if you’re a winner!
Discover new music and podcasts
When was the last time that you discovered a new band or artist that you really loved? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got your favorites that you’ve stuck with for the past few years. Now that you’ve got some downtime on your journey, you have a great opportunity to find your next favorite band.
Audio services such as Spotify provide recommendations for new artists based on your existing preferences – so if you really dig Led Zeppelin, Spotify will find out if an emerging band from Israel fits the bill. Best of all, the Spotify paid subscription service now allows you to download songs and playlists to your phone – so even if you’re out of cellphone range or you don’t want to drain your data allowances, you can still get inspired by some fresh sounds. Simply load up your device with songs and playlists before you leave and you’ll have no shortage of new material to help you pass the time on your journey.
In fact, you could even choose a road trip playlist based on the route that you’re traveling – there are thousands of songs about places all around the world! The same goes for podcasts – why not search for and load up some podcasts about your destination? Not only will you whittle away the hours of your journey, but you’ll also be armed with a ton of new knowledge about your destination.
How Tourism Can Keep Up With Modern Technology
There is no denying we live in a digital world, as nearly every aspect of our modern lives involves some level of technology. Advanced technology and consumer electronics impact the way we interact with one another, do business, stay safe, learn and take in most of the relevant information that our brains see on a daily basis.
It should come as no surprise that travel and tourism industries have also felt a major impact from the ongoing technological revolution. With the ever-increasing pace of advancements in smartphones, social media, GPS and the other tools we use to travel safely and efficiently, it can be easy for traditional hospitality, travel and tourism businesses to fall behind.
Fortunately, those in and around these industries are just as innovative and pragmatic as anyone, and technological advancements have also had major positive impacts on tourism. As is the case in any industry, it largely comes down to the willingness to adapt and the ability to utilize modern, efficient tools and applications to your advantage.
Our Global Community
Perhaps the most meaningful impact of all major advancements in the last two decades deals with the interconnectivity of the new global community. Through the internet, social media, advanced networks, global economies and other innovations, anyone can be immediately connected to anyone else or anywhere else in the world. We have the ability to close immense physical distance and do what was once impossible with devices that are constantly at our fingertips.
Although there have been challenges presented to traditional tourism by modern technology, there are also countless opportunities for tourism to flourish. No matter how advanced we may become, the basic concept behind tourism has been and always will be true and consistent: People want to visit new places, and they require help and accommodation to do so.
Modern technology encourages exploration and travel, and the tourism industry can benefit greatly from this. One of the key elements of embracing travel technology and using it to your advantage is understanding why people would want to travel. While pictures and souvenirs are nice, travel is always about the experience, and those in tourism would benefit from taking any necessary steps to improve the visitor experience.
It is important to understand that a traveller’s experience does not begin once he or she arrives at the destination; modern technology has allowed the travel experience to begin from the very moment the person decides to go somewhere. All of the planning, booking, researching and reviewing that goes into a successful modern vacation means that travellers are already in the midst of their travel experience well before the bags are packed and the plane arrives.
Hotels, travel companies, amusement parks and anyone in the various branches of the tourism industry should take any necessary steps to make this pre-experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. If you sell tickets for an NYC tour, is your eCommerce site simple and user-friendly? If you manage a hotel, can guests easily locate your establishment through a search engine?
Understanding what it takes to help travellers before arrival is half the battle, and it is the half that is most largely influenced by modern technology. No matter what service or products you provide within tourism, there are some simple steps any tourism business should take to ensure their service is up to tech-savvy visitors’ expectations.
- Make your website is easy to locate from search engines and related sources.
- Ensure your site can easily be navigated from a computer or mobile device.
- Get visitors excited about the trip with beautiful images and helpful blog posts.
- Make booking/reserving as simple and easy as possible.
- Ensure visitors will have a platform to share their experiences with friends, family and potential future visitors.
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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