Don’t get obsessed
We all want to have the best experiences whilst travelling. One of the most basic steps to enjoying your stay is knowing how to stay safe abroad. Obviously don’t go crazy here, make sure you still trust in humanity. Inevitably though, there are a few dishonest people out there, so please do be careful. If you take anything away from this post, know that – If I see you wearing your backpack on your front, I’ll be laughing at you on the inside. Not only does this look ridiculous, but you are also advertising to would-be thieves that you probably have something they want.
Backup your data to the Cloud
Cloud computing is amazing, even if you only use the backup portion of this wonderful technology. Apple photos and google photos will back up as long as you open the app and connect to WiFi. Make sure you backup whenever you can. The best things you’ll bring back from a wonderful trip are new memories. Don’t forget what you travel for! Take pictures, do loads of stuff, chat to people and back up that camera.
Security on the move
Staying safe abroad means not advertising your cool shit! That is the bottom line. This comes back to wearing your bag like a kangaroo pouch, avoid drawing attention to that sweet ass camera.
Backpackers look like total posers if they have pristine clothes and perfect hair all the time. Embrace your scruff on the road! Don’t get me wrong, I do wash and look after myself from time to time 😉 But If you’re less show and more go, most potential robbers will take the risk somewhere else.
Understand your surroundings
Trips tend to have a vast assortment of locations with and without secure locks and holds. I’m never 100% happy to leave anything behind, but sometimes you have to. Hotels are normally OK, just remember to use the safe!
If you’re staying in places with a lot casual staff or shared rooms such as hostels, be on guard. Make sure to book a hostel which has a locker for your personal belongings – staying safe abroad also extends to keeping your valuables safe. Taking your own lock will help avoid any nastiness. If you get the kind which has a flexible loop, you’ll hardly ever have an issue with weird lock boxes.
I’ve stayed in a hostel where the locker appeared to be safe, with my trusty lock on the front. I checked and found a loose screw holding the entire thing to the wall. The whole locker could be pulled away easily to reveal a thin sliding panel behind which allowed access. Needless to say, always check your locker.
My main advice if you’re moving around a lot and staying in casual accommodation is to assume you won’t have a safe place to leave precious items. Anything ‘nice’, ‘valuable’ or sentimental needs to come with, everywhere, every day.
It sounds a pain, but honestly it’s fine. Just choose the correct tech to take and you’ll be good!
Renting a bike, scooter, motorbike?
Most hire places in Asia are very lax when it comes to hire. Europe is totally different for motorised vehicles and requires all kinds of ID. Don’t forget to take the correct documentation & a credit card, debit usually wont do it. If it’s a new credit card, make sure it’s activated before you head out to hire! Learn from our mistakes.
Lock it up.
Did you know under the scooter seat not only is there space for a spare helmet, but also a metal loop to secure the passenger helmet? Utilise all the tools you have to make sure it’s secure. If you hire a push bike and they don’t give you a lock, you should ask for one. Often it can be the sign of a dodgy company if they are not covering all bases.
Do a quick 360 check of anything you hire. If you’re getting a scooter or motorbike, check all the electrics work. Watch out for my full bike hire guide coming soon! Don’t use the absolute cheapest scooter hire. Use one with good reviews if you possibly can. You might get lucky and end up with a well reviewed and low price company.
This stuff is easily researched the evening before over a beer. Remember to stay travel smart and think about where you park up!
Buy travel insurance
This should be bloody obvious. But get insurance, before you travel!
Ensure your covered for health care, riding bikes or any other risky activities. Lastly double down on Ipad/tablet and laptop cover. You might begrudge paying out a little more for this stuff, but honestly, you will feel much better if you get suckered!
Checkout my post about things me and Leanne take whilst we’re traveling abroad! It will give you some good insight into how we handle security on the road and staying safe whilst abroad.
Featured image by Lerone Pieters on Unsplash