4 Travel Safety Tips Anyone Can Use
Here are some travel safety tips for avoiding trouble on your trip.
Secure Any Door
Have you ever stayed at a sketchy motel or hostel? Travel locks are a great accessory that can be easily carried in luggage and used to upgrade your room’s security whenever desired. There are a number of different designs, but the basic idea is a device that is easily fitted to a door . And it is just as easily removed without any damage or modification to the existing lock hardware.
The benefit is that these locks can foil common exploits that circumvent standard locks. You might be surprised at how easily this is done. It is very common that improper fitment makes door latchesdefeatable with improvised tools.
Since you may not always be able to predict where you’ll be staying when you are traveling, these could be a great addition to your travel kit. The best part is that they don’t take up much space in your luggage. They are easy to always have on hand.
A similar option is a door wedge. This is a pretty simple device and serves the same purpose as a portable lock. More advanced wedges have pressure-activated alarms that will sound a loud siren if the door is pushed against it. You can buy one of these and use it as an alternative or complement to your portable lock.
Pick Up a Money Belt
A great alternative or compliment to a decoy wallet is a money belt. They provide you with backup cash and cards in the event that you lose your wallet for any reason. It doesn’t just have to be a mugging – there is always the possibility of you absentmindedly losing your wallet at a coffee shop or airport. That is inconvenient enough as it is, but if it happens overseas you are going to have a bad day. A money belt can help.
Money belts can come either as regular-looking belts with just enough space to stash a few bills inside or as specialized pouches that give you enough room for cards or even a passport. If you opt for the latter, make sure you wear it underneath your clothing – not outside. Nothing says “tourist” like someone walking around with vinyl pouches strapped all over them.
Make sure that you don’t use your money belt for everyday transactions. It should just have money and items for an emergency in the event that you lose your wallet for some reason. Regardless of your destination’s culture, chances are that unlatching your belt at a cash register is going to create an awkward situation.
Use a VPN
Is digital securitypart of your travel preparation? If not, you may want to think about how indispensable your devices are.
Virtual private networks are a good way to add an additional layer of security to the wireless connections of your devices. Since they can be used to bypass speech restrictions in certain countries, you may want to check that they aren’t problematic for where you are traveling to. But assuming you are in the clear, they can help increase your digital security while traveling by making it more difficult for hackers to intercept your information.
VPNs work by creating an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the websites you are visiting. If you are visiting a website prefixed with “https” then traffic back and forth should already be encrypted. But information sent to and from http sites as well as applications and processes running in your computer’s background could be easily accessed by anyone who wishes to capture the data being sent back and forth. If you are going to be using airport, hotel and other forms of public wifi, this is an important consideration.
Set up a Decoy Wallet
Decoy wallets are an extra wallet you keep as a precaution in the event that you are mugged. You can load it with a small amount of cash and some inactive or expired cards. You might consider including an expired or extra driver’s license as well. If you really want to make it convincing, toss in a couple of useless rewards cards and the next few receipts you come across. Now you’ll have a convincing looking wallet that you can easily give up with little or no consequence.
Is this paranoid? It depends on where you are going and how essential the contents of your wallet are. Decoy wallets are a very simple and low-cost precaution. If you find yourself without your wallet while abroad, the consequences could be major. Imagine needing to replace items like your photo ID, passport, etc. without access to credit or bank cards, cash and without your phone (since that would likely be taken with the wallet). All of this is further amplified if you will be in a place where you aren’t fluent in the predominant language. In comparison, putting together and carrying a decoy wallet sounds like a great idea.
An even smarter strategy is to load your decoy wallet with a bit more cash (enough for a day or two) and use it as an actual wallet just for that purpose. Why do this? One of the highest risk moments to you and your wallet is when you already have it out in your hands. It would be a shame to carry a decoy only to have your real wallet stolen anyway when it is out at a register or ATM.
A perfect setup would be to have a traditional bifold decoy wallet stocked with a moderate amount of money . This you can use for cash transactions and a low profile. It is a minimalist wallet with just enough room for your essential cards and a couple of larger bills. Put the decoy in your back pocket and the minimalist wallet somewhere more discreet.
If the event that you are ever mugged, hand over the decoy wallet and take off before the mugger has time to ask any more questions. You won’t be left high-and-dry without your ID and cards. And after that you will still be back home in time to tell your friends a highly embellished version of the story involving your fearless exploits in the face of danger.