There are some things you definitely won’t forget to do on your overseas vacation. You won’t forget to consume too many calories, to spend too much money or to Instagram too many pictures of your favorite meals. But while you’re busy gallivanting around Europe, Asia or wherever else your world adventures take you, don’t forget the most important detail of all: security.
Sure, security may not be the most fascinating aspect of international travel (that would be discovering that you can buy beer at a McDonald’s in Europe). But the truth is that you can’t have a satisfying trip without also having a safe trip.
With that in mind, here are 10 key travel security tips to keep in mind as you broaden your horizons:
The golden rule of international travel is to pack as lightly as possible. The less you pack, the easier it will be to keep track of everything, and the less likely you will be to lose something valuable. (Not to mention the fact that it’s extremely difficult to lug around two suitcases and a backpack while you are running to catch a bus – which you’ll surely be doing at some point.)
You should definitely spend some time thinking about what kind of purse or bag you want to carry around with you while you are traveling. Over-the-shoulder, bulky purses are not ideal because they make easier targets for thieves. A smaller, cross-body purse with a zipper is a much better choice. You may also want to consider wearing a money-belt to keep your credit cards, passport and other valuable items safe. It may not be the most fashionable of options but it is definitely the most secure.
Before visiting a new country, you should learn a little about its unique customs and social norms. This can help you avoid an unintentional altercation. It may also improve your chances of getting help if you ever find yourself in a bind.
Manners are important, but so are laws. You should try to learn a little about the laws in the countries you will be visiting and how they differ from U.S. laws. For instance, in some countries it is illegal to carry around a pocket knife or pepper spray, so you should definitely leave these items at home.
If you are planning to do extensive international travel, chances are you will end up snoozing on at least a few trains and buses. Consider purchasing a small lock that you can use to secure your bags before you drift off to sleep. You should also remember to keep your purse or bag on your lap while you sleep. This will make it less accessible to thieves who might try to grab it while walking by.
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