Travel is generally safe… probably as safe as a day out in your city. These five safety tips can help you stay ahead of the ball, and stay even safer.

To listen to the travel safely podcast, hit play below or find episode 272 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud:

Paris’s Louvre shut down for anti-pickpocket strike

Did you see that the Louvre was shut down last week, in staff response to rising crime rates inside France‘s most well-known museum? We don’t talk about pickpockets in this show — we talked about how to avoid pickpockets and bag snatchers here. Today we’re looking at some tips from Craig’s safety book on general travel for people on vacation and long-term travellers.

1. You and your drinks

The higher you go, the quicker alcohol will impair your decision making process. There’s no reason not to have a beer with friends before you board, or a glass of wine mid-flight, but do make sure you’re not going to make a fool of yourself, get the plane diverted, or not be able to react if there’s an emergency.

Leaving a bar drunk can make you an easier target for thieves or other criminals. Of course, you know that — and you know to watch your drinks to make sure they’re not spiked, especially in larger cities.

Alcohol is one of the leading causes of everyday accidents: and if you slip on an icy footpath after a drink or two, your insurance might not cover you.

Beer is awesome... but doesn't help insurance claims.
Beer is awesome… but doesn’t help insurance claims.

2. What does your insurance cover?

In fact, what does your insurance cover? Not just medical if there was an accident on a slippery street, but what activities and what areas. Do read the small print, and if there’s anything you don’t understand, call their customer services number before you sign up.

We have heaps of insurance links and advice here.

3. Dress appropriately

What’s appropriate might be completely different from place to place — even within a country, so do your research before you go, and respect cultural norms, rather than pushing the boundaries. There are often complex social pressures that are at play, so be respectful when buying local ‘costumes’ too.

Burning man women's clothes
Looks desert-conditions appropriate to me. Or Burning Man appropriate at least.

4. Identity theft

Identity theft leads to all kinds of fraud… and there’s all kinds of ways for criminals to find your data. Take precautions when online, especially on open wifi connections and in internet cafes or public computers.

Some useful online tips:

  • Always log out of all accounts before you shut down.
  • Delete cookies and browser history too.
  • Consider carrying an OS or browser on a USB stick; use that on public computers.
  • Don’t log into services on an unlocked wifi connection unless it’s over https.
  • Have a different password for each service that you use: if one’s stolen, the others will be safe.

5. Plan to avoid conflicts

If you’re planning a multi-country trip, be sure that those countries like each other… at least like each other enough to let you in after you’ve visited the previous ones.

The Arab League is the best known, and perhaps most extreme clash, with their refusal to allow entry of people with Israeli passports or Israeli stamps in their passports. Some countries issue second passports which you can use to help avoid this problem.

Plenty more, and in more detail…

If anything here has caught your eye, there’s more stories and more details in the podcast — hit play above or subscribe in iTunes.

There’s also the book Craig co-wrote with security expert Craig Bidois:

Your thoughts on "Travel safely podcast: Five safety tips for indie travellers"

  • These are some great tips that I plan on using when I next travel through Europe. Great post

    on April 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm Reply
    • Thanks Travel Man... Sounds like you're a superhero in any case :)

      on May 4, 2013 at 6:51 am Reply

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