Travel Safety

Travel Guide General Guides Travel Safety



If you are going to travel, whether it be just for the weekend, or for an extended Round the World trip, the last thing you want is to get involved in any unsafe situation. If you are not worried yourself, at least your parents might be worried about your first trip alone to the other side of the world. Safety in general is not restricted to possible criminal activities you might be exposed to, but also includes subjects like natural hazards and traffic.



10 Golden Rules of Safe Travel

  • Let others know where you're going
  • Don't take along what you cannot part with
  • Don't be a hero
  • Don't flash your wealth
  • Know where you are and where you're heading
  • When alone or in pairs, don't leave the beaten track
  • When alone or in pairs, stay in public places
  • When alone or in pairs, stay sober
  • Make local friends
  • Be respectful and assertive, not aggressive



Public Transport

Apart from renting a car, many (budget) travellers tend to travel by public transport, most notably trains and buses. Along with other crowded places, like markets, these are one of the main targets for pickpockets and other criminals. Some general rules apply here as well:

  • Be careful in crowded subways/metros, train stations and especially bus stations.
  • Don't talk with strangers regarding your travel plans.
  • Don't look lost and keep confidence about where you are going, even when you’re actually lost.
  • Only take official taxis, which are marked and metered and preferably call one first instead of halting one down on the streets
  • Don't take food or beverages from strangers in trains or buses when offered.
  • If you are taking an overnight train, always lock your compartment if possible. Otherwise if you can, take turns regarding sleep!
  • Also on sleeper trains or buses, tie your luggage with a chain lock.



Solo Travel

In general, you are more vulnerable when travelling alone. This applies even more to women, especially in certain countries where both different dressing codes as well as the fact that blond hair is not natural, means you have to take extra precautions. There is no need to panic however, it's just advisable to be aware of those differences and to adjust your own behaviour and dress accordingly. Being respectful to local culture and customs is one of the most important things to bear in mind. And more than travelling as a couple (or group), try to travel during the day and avoid walking alone at night, take taxis instead. Especially backstreets or badly lit and uncrowded areas should be avoided.



Advisory Services

Many governments have travel advisory services to let their citizens know about potential safety issues in different places around the world. It is a good idea to have a look at your country's advisory service when planning your trip. Don't be too alarmed by some of the warnings though - they aren't always as severe as they might seem.

English Advisories

Non-English Advisories



Emergency Numbers

Emergency phone numbers vary from country to country. It's good to be aware of the number wherever you are. If you have to remember one, then 112 is the best one, because it is used on GSM networks across the world.

Some common ones are:

Mobile Phones

Most GSM mobile phones have several emergency numbers pre-programmed, usually 112, 999 an 911. These numbers work even when the phone doesn't have a SIM card, the keypad is locked or when the number is entered instead of a PIN. If you have any GSM coverage at all, then this is a good number. It will work on any GSM network worldwide.

Elsewhere online

Jessie On a Journey has some excellent tips on keeping your belongings safe using clothing with hidden pockets. Worth a read..


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