Traveling around the globe is amazing and full of great experiences almost all the time. However, one can risk getting into unfortunate and unpleasant situations. With the right thoughtfulness and preparation, you can avoid the vast majority of things that you may encounter on the trip. We have gathered some recommendations based on general travel tips , but also based on our own experiences on travel. Here we give you 20 tips for a safer journey.
1. Wear a helmet
First, never get into a vehicle if you have been drinking alcohol, no matter where in the world you are.
Secondly, always wear a helmet when you get in a vehicle. With this, you protect yourself and the memories you are about to embark on. We have tried to drive around on trips, and no matter how good you are at driving, you will always be in the danger zone of being exposed to accidents.
We have even tried to get off on the wrong path, and have fortunately escaped without intimidation. Traffic accidents are among the biggest causes of backpackers dying, so always wear your helmet no matter how confident you are.
2. Do not use your back pockets
This is probably the oldest and most well-known tip to avoid theft on the trip. If your valuables are in your back pocket, they are extra vulnerable and easy for thieves to steal. Most of the time, you will not even notice that pickpockets are running away with your cases. Therefore, use your front pockets, as these are much less exposed as you have more overview in front of you.
3. Know the exits in buildings
One piece of advice that could just as well be taken out of an action movie is to know the exit of the building you are in. If an emergency or the like arises, it is a security to always have an overview of your ways out of the buildings.
4. Invest in a good backpack
Your backpack will be your home during the journey. Therefore, invest in a backpack that can last for the trip, and keep in mind that scares on the bag can also be good memories you can think back on when you get home. Your backpack carries around all your personal belongings during the trip and should be able to protect this.
Therefore, look for a backpack with good straps, durable material and good storage options. This will give you a backpack that can hold many memories and be your second home during the trip.
5. Save your money
If crime is high in the country you are going to, it is a good idea to save your money well away. This can be in special to sewn pockets in your pants, bags , jackets, etc. There are many creative ways to save his money where thieves will not immediately look.
Most problems you encounter during the trip will involve money. Your safety during the trip usually involves money. Therefore, do not walk around with money that can be seen, and make sure that your wallet is tucked away.
6. Pay attention to strangers who follow you or are too friendly
This is not a call to become paranoid and feel persecuted everywhere. However, there may be strangers who are overzealous towards you, and this may be a sign that they will cheat on you in one way or another.
Of course, you should also be kind to strangers, but keep in mind that you may be at risk of being cheated. Especially if you have been drinking or have precious things on you.
7. Lock your things
As a backpacker, you often stay in hostels and other forms of accommodation with other people. Although one does not think it is necessary to have a lock on one’s belongings in the room, this is sometimes the case. We have even tried to lose less valuable items as well as clothes when one has been on the go, throws the bag on the bed and on into town.
8. Do not drive yourself in hectic traffic
In some countries, getting out into the traffic is very hectic and with life at stake sometimes. Therefore, consider whether it is absolutely necessary to rent a car to drive yourself. It is unknown terrain and in some countries traffic rules do not exist. Therefore, think about whether you should take public transport or similar when you travel around.
9. Do not lose sight of your things
Most people get their bags stolen when they are on their way on the journey, and just put the backpack in for a moment without keeping an eye on it. This can be under a table, in the bus while you sleep or just in a moment of inattention in traffic.
A good tip is therefore always to fasten the backpack to something if you put it somewhere and it is therefore not on your body.
10. Be aware of gender differences in the country
Although it is fortunately not a problem at home, unfortunately there is still a difference in how gender is treated in some parts of the world. In most places where there are gender differences, women are treated differently than men, for better or worse, and for different reasons. Depending on where you are and how the female gender is treated there, problems can occur to a greater or lesser degree.
As a female traveler in the vast majority of Europe, you will not experience problems, but this can happen if you travel to e.g. some places in the Middle East or Africa. Here you can experience gender differences for better or worse, which is why you should check this before departure and pay attention to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
It must of course be said that there is no reason to cancel or fear her journey as a woman, as many women also have good experiences even if they travel alone and experience gender differences.
11. Purchase a first aid kit
When you are in the mountains or other remote locations on your journey, it can be a long way to the nearest hospital. Here it will be a good idea to be equipped with a first aid kit in case the accident should be out. This can be anything from minor scares to a broken arm that needs to be wrapped. Normally you will hopefully not need it, but it does provide some reassurance to secure your own first aid kit. In some cases, the conditions at the hospitals or hospital will be poor, and therefore your first aid kit may also be of benefit to the doctor or nurse who is to treat you.
12. Only use ATMs in established branches and banks
You probably know the situation. You are in a stressful situation and need to spend money quickly when you see a half-aged ATM on a street corner. You think that probably nothing can happen about it and raise a few hundred kroner. In some cases, these ATMs may be programmed by criminals to steal your information and then make transactions on your card.
In other cases, there may be scary types around ATMs that are not located near cameras, and you will therefore be extra prone to theft if you use these ATMs. Therefore, always use only ATMs located at authorized branches and banks.
13. Share your location
As a backpacker, you often move out to locations that are deserted and far away from populated areas. You may not think about the fact that you may have an accident on the trip, and therefore you forget to tell someone where you are going. If the accident is out, it will always be a security if someone knows where you are going, if you do not return at the expected time – even if it is your acquaintances back home in Denmark.
This tip can, in extreme cases, help save your life. Many apps today are equipped with tracking capabilities, making it easy to automatically share its location with others. That way, you can share your location all the time so you don’t forget it.
14. Be 100% sure the water is clean or use a water filter
Drinking water from dubious sources can, in extreme cases, be life-threatening. Drinking water that you are not sure is clean can have side effects that can be violent and long lasting.
Therefore, it is always recommended to have a water filter with you if you are traveling in countries where you know that the standard of drinking water is not top notch. This way you can always have a water bottle on you, and purify the water almost regardless of which source it comes from.
15. Be with others in risky situations
Being with others on the trip can generally save you from many dangerous or unfortunate situations. If you are part of a larger herd, you will be less exposed to assailants and thieves, as well as wild / dangerous animals in the wild.
Many people travel alone, which is also cool, but if you are going on a major mountaineering or hiking trip, it may be wise to be with others if something happens or dangerous situations arise.
16. Fasten securely
Part of traveling is also occasionally partying and getting loose. It can be tempting to get carried away too much when the cold beers are hugely cheap in many places in the world. Before you look around you are well drunk and the party is running from there. However, remember to know your limit and never leave your drink out of sight at the bar. This will prevent some malicious people from throwing drugs into your drink, which can have major consequences. Also, do not get drunk so drunk that you can not find a safe home, or at least make sure to be with your friends.
17. Do not show expensive jewelry in public
Although at home it is part of his daily look to wear a watch, necklace and other jewelry, it is in many places an invitation to thieves. Of course you can walk around with jewelry on, but you get more noticed by scary people.
Therefore, keep your jewelry, cameras and phone hidden if you do not need it. A good rule of thumb is that if the locals do not walk around and show jewelry and precious things as you would at home, you should not as a starting point.
18. Be confident without being overconfident
One of the best things you can do for your own safety is to appear confident and make sure you know what you are doing. This can make you appear more authoritarian and more intimidating to thieves or other criminals. This is especially important if you are traveling on your own.
However, do not seem arrogant and as if you own the place as this can be provocative towards the locals. Self-confidence is not everything, it is also a trade-off of being vigilant and wise.
19. Know the local emergency number
In emergencies, you do not have time to research for the country’s emergency number. It should sit as a reflex, just like 112 here in DK. Therefore, learn the emergency number of your travel destination in your head, and try to call it when you arrive to test if it works.
20. Have good travel insurance
Having good travel insurance can be worth its weight in gold if the accident is out, and it can not be said enough times how important it is – even if the money is tiring to get rid of in the beginning. We ourselves have tried to need the travel insurance to a greater or lesser degree, and for that reason we have not been totally ruined by medical bills, etc. when we have been out traveling. Therefore, this last tip can also be said to be the most important tip at all in this guide – never travel without a good travel insurance.