Travel Safety Tips 2020-07-29T11:01:56-04:00

The following is a list of some common travel injury and crime prevention recommendations. It is included on our site to serve as a good starting point for your own travel safety research and planning, but is not all-encompassing. For instance, it does not include specific activities (ie. swimming) or specific trip genres (ie. hiking, camping). Researching all destinations in advance for potential issues and hazards will likely yield more helpful “tips” than a list that any one information resource can provide…

Travel Safety Tips

  • Copy all important documents (passport, driver’s license, etc.) and leave the copies at home, where they can be located in an emergency.
  • Let others know your itinerary (preferably not through social media!).
  • Consider registering with the U.S. Department of State's STEP Program.
  • Update friends and family about your location or allow them to follow you with a tracking app.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Dress appropriately for the country you are visiting.
  • Look confident when walking, even if you do not know exactly where you are going!
  • Consider carrying a whistle or a personal alarm.
  • Avoid wearing clothing that identifies you as a “tourist.”
  • Consider planning your route, not just your destinations, in order to avoid higher-crime areas.
  • DO talk with people you have never met before (!), but avoid giving out travel specifics (hotel address, exact itinerary, etc.).
  • Avoid public wifi.
  • Avoid public protests and demonstrations.
  • Try to stay at the edges of crowds, not in the middle of them.
  • Use ATM’s in well-lit areas, observe who is nearby when taking out money, and cover your pin so a bystander cannot see it.
  • Split your money and have it in two separate locations (and never in your back pocket).
  • Even experienced travelers can be scammed…if something seems wrong, it probably is!
  • Try not to stay above the 6th floor (fire equipment max height in many smaller cities).
  • Try not to stay on the 1st floor (break-ins).
  • Consider bringing your own door security device, so no one can enter when you are asleep. Some accommodations may have no door locks whatsoever.
  • Consider bringing a personal smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, and flashlight on your trip.
  • Plan your emergency exit from your residence and walk the route in advance.
  • Don’t let anyone in your room if you did not call for them to be there.
  • When you leave to go out, close the window coverings and leave on a light.
  • If you engage in activities with significant accident risk (rock climbing, scuba diving, etc.), understand that help may not be easy to reach in an emergency and may be inadequate once you find it. This can elevate the risk of any given activity abroad.
  • Try to identify good-quality healthcare facilities that are reachable before engaging in high-risk activities (and, in general, before any trip...) See Travel Health and Safety Websites.
  • Avoid two-wheel motorized transportation, particularly if you are an inexperienced operator.
  • Using roads in many countries can arguably be considered a “high risk” activity itself, resulting in more deaths among international travelers than deaths by illness. Try to avoid riding in or driving vehicles that are in disrepair and driving on poorly-lit roads or at night.
  • Avoid very small airplanes (<30 seats) and flights that are not part of regularly-scheduled routes.
  • Avoid becoming intoxicated.
GO HAVE AN ADVENTURE! Just try not to “throw caution to the winds.”


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