No matter what kind of travel you love most – whether it’s relaxing by the sea, backpacking adventures, road trips, or city breaks – no one wants to have to worry about their safety and safe travel while on holiday. Unfortunately, however, time away from the daily grind can be ruined by illness, accidents, pickpockets, or muggings. With our 8 tips, we help you improve your safety while traveling.
1. Prepare Well For The Trip.
Before you start your trip, you should inform yourself about the safety in your destination country, in the city, or individual districts. A good source of information is the travel and safety advice of the Federal Foreign Office. You can also find information about your destination in the Federal Foreign Office’s safe travel app.
You will be notified if there are any changes to the security situation in your country and can prepare for your trip with a checklist on the topics of security, entry, and health. You can also ask the locals, for example at the reception of your hotel or a tourist information office. These people can advise you from personal experience which places you should avoid and which you should visit.
It is also important to protect your health! Find out here in advance whether you need a vaccination to protect yourself against diseases at your travel destination. You can also get advice from a tropical institute or your doctor before you get vaccinated. A small first-aid kit and good mosquito repellent are also recommended.
You can find information about mosquito-borne diseases here. Also, find out whether you can drink the local tap water and, as a precaution, only eat cooked or peeled food to protect yourself from illness.
Prepare your arrival well by planning your trip so that you arrive in the daylight and you have already booked the first nights in your accommodation. Take your time to get used to the country and its people. This way you can start your holiday relaxed and better assess your safety.
2. Dress And Behave Inconspicuously.
In addition to safety and health advice, it is also advisable to be aware of the dress and behavior rules of the local culture. This is not only respectful towards the locals but also helps you to attract little attention from pickpockets or pushy strangers.
Therefore, dress modestly and don’t necessarily show off your branded clothes, valuables, or expensive jewelry. In many places, women should cover their hair, shoulders, or knees.
In this country, great importance is attached to politeness. In many cultures, however, this is not the standard and your friendliness can be taken advantage of or misinterpreted as an invitation or approval. It is therefore better to keep your distance and politely but refuse offers from strangers on the street. Be self-confident and show the other person your limits.
3. Protect Yourself From Theft.
For your luggage, the less you have, the less you have to look after it. Don’t carry too much cash or valuables. It is advisable to take only as much cash as you need for the day. Also, don’t keep all your money and important cards in one place, but spread them out or use the safe in your hotel room.
The valuable things you have with you should always be carried close to your body and stored in lockable pockets. You can also secure your wallet with a carabiner in your pockets or use safety nets to further protect yourself from theft.
You should also never leave your luggage and valuables in the car. You can also prepare yourself for possible theft by carrying a second wallet with old and expired cards and wearing it quite obviously to distract the pickpocket from your real wallet and valuables. When withdrawing money, make sure you are unobserved and do not let your credit card out of your sight when paying in shops and restaurants.
If you get mugged despite all your precautions – don’t be a hero! Be cooperative, hand over the items or money, and never risk your health or life. In the best case, you will “only” be robbed and not injured. In this case, it is advantageous to be well prepared. Make copies of your ID, passport, driving license, insurance card, and travel documents in advance and save them in a cloud.
It is also very helpful to have a printed list of emergency numbers to contact if your documents and cards are stolen. Write down the number of the German embassy, your bank to block your cards, the airlines, tour operators, and your accommodation. Be sure to remember the local emergency numbers so that you can call for help quickly in case of an emergency.
4. Keep An Eye On Your Drink.
Never leave your drinks or food unattended! If you have lost sight of your drink or suddenly notice a strange taste, you should order a new one to be on the safe side. Especially when traveling, make sure you drink alcohol in moderation. Drunk people are much easier prey for tricksters and can quickly get into dangerous situations such as an argument or an assault.
5. Move Safely Through The City.
It is safest to arrive at your accommodation before nightfall and, if possible, not to travel alone at night. It is better to move through the city during rush hour when the likelihood of encountering criminals (apart from pickpockets) is rather low. In general, however, you should avoid uncrowded streets and alleys and, if in doubt, take a taxi or Uber instead of public transport to increase your safety.
6. Share Your Location With Your Loved Ones At Home For Safe Travel.
Especially if you are traveling alone, you may feel insecure. With our KommGutHeim app, your loved ones can digitally accompany you on your trip and see where you are via live location transmission, and notice if something doesn’t go according to plan. In case of an emergency, you can use the emergency button to quickly alert help.
7. Join A Group for Safe Travel.
Even if you like to travel alone and enjoy the freedom, you should still join a group or at least be in pairs for some excursions, when partying or on dangerous hikes. This reduces the chance of being attacked. At the same time, you can meet new people and get help in case of an accident.
Why not take part in a guided city tour or a group tour offered by a travel company? Groups often get together in hotels and hostels for an excursion.
8. Know The Scams Of The Scammers.
There are countless scams that you can encounter on your travels. It can therefore be very helpful to know the most common scams.
Taxi drivers often try to cheat tourists. For example, they give too little or no change, take unnecessary detours, or have a broken or manipulated taxi meter. To avoid such a scam, you should find out in advance about the usual taxi prices and discuss the approximate price for the route with the driver.
Also insist that the meter is turned on. It is also advisable in many places to use alternatives such as Uber because the price is very cheap and fixed in advance.
Incorrect information and tickets
They stand in front of hotels or sights and claim that they are already fully booked. They then want to lure you to another place that will cost you significantly more. Therefore, always ask the hotel or attraction directly first and have the information confirmed.
Similarly, scammers also try to sell fake tickets in long queues, which supposedly allows tourists to avoid waiting time. To avoid this scam, you should only buy your tickets directly from the organizer.