40 Essential Travel Safety Tips (From Lessons Learned Abroad)

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I’ve been an avid traveler for many years and have had my fair share of mishaps from getting lost on our way to Italy to trespassing on someone’s backyard in China. I’ve learned many lessons from the road.

I believe that misadventures make for fond memories and happy retellings in hindsight, but when you’re in the midst of trouble, it’s not fun.

I also believe that we can do our best to plan and prepare for the worst and that’s how we as travelers can minimize risks and be aware of our surroundings.

In this blog post, you will be reading about 40 essential travel safety tips from lessons learned abroad that will help keep you safer while traveling so your travel experience will be the best it can be!

Contents show

This is a long post, so here are some more travel tips to keep in mind after you finish reading up on travel safety tips:

Travel Safety Tips Before You Go on Your Trip

Pafoua standing on a walkway in East Lake, Wuhan

1. Always research your destination before you travel.

Once you’ve had a taste of travel, it’s hard to go back. But before your next adventure begins make sure that the destination will be safe and welcoming – know common scams for unfamiliar places as well as sketchy neighborhoods where tourists might get targeted by criminals!

You may get a little anxious when you’re looking through top things to look out for as a tourist, but the goal is simply researching and being prepared before arriving at your destination.

I personally find that by researching beforehand I am more aware of my surroundings, especially in crowded places like large cities or unfamiliar neighborhoods and I am able to enjoy my time more!

2. Make copies of important documents.

Your passport and driver’s license are the most important documents to have on you when traveling. You can’t enter or leave a foreign country without formal identification.

So make a copy of every, maybe even 2 copies, and keep them in a separate location from the originals. Then ensure all travel documents are stored in a secure location so they cannot be stolen, taken, or damaged.

Before leaving your hotel or rental, double-check your bags to make sure you don’t leave them behind before checking out, unlike what happened to us when we were driving in France.

Open passport book with stamps and visas

3. Double-check your travel documents for expiration dates.

Make sure your travel documents are up-to-date, including visas and passports; you don’t want to be denied entry into another country because your travel documents aren’t current.

For passports, keep in mind that you cannot travel if the expiration date is within 6 months of your travel date.

The current wait time for passports in the United States is 8 to 11 weeks. You can always visit the U.S. Department of State for frequently asked questions or more information for your specific circumstance. Plan accordingly so that you can get that passport updated and get onto enjoying your vacation.

4. Choose the right luggage.

I am a huge advocate of traveling by backpack because you get to keep all your things with you and walk off the plane without any worry. There’s no stress about trying to find an overhead bin for carry-on luggage or worse — missing it altogether!

One of the best parts about traveling with a backpack is that you can still enjoy all your favorite activities despite its size. A bonus tip for traveling with backpacks: you don’t have to deal with wheels on cobblestone streets. That’s a win!

On the other hand, I understand that you might need a bigger suitcase for your vacation. You don’t want to be struggling with your luggage at the end of a long day, so make sure you have wheels!

My favorite suitcases are those with 360° spinners: it just feels like less work when rolling down streets and climbing stairs.

A woman with a backpack on

5. Pack a small bag with essentials.

I’ve been very lucky in that flying in airplanes comes easy to me. I haven’t gotten sick yet from airplane food (fingers crossed!) and I don’t get motion sickness, anxiety, or stiff muscles during long-haul trips (10+hours).

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a small medicine bag I keep with me, everything from anti-diarrheal and activated charcoal capsules.

After cutting my knee open, a story for another time, I now carry bandaids and alcohol wipes wherever I go. Suffice it to say, anything can happen so be prepared!

You can also add an extra change of clothes into this small bag for plan B if your luggage gets lost over the trip. Again, I haven’t personally experienced this, but I do think it’s a good idea to have a little something extra.

A list of flight times

6. Share your travel itinerary.

When you’re ready to hit the road, make sure your friends and family know where they can find you. It’s also a good idea for them should any plans change along the way!

Continue to keep in touch with your family member or friend throughout the trip to make sure everything’s going smoothly.

Pro-Tip: Use apps like What’s App or FB Messenger to keep in touch if you are planning on purchasing a SIM card when you land.

Send them a quick text when you’re en route, so they know where exactly you’ll be at any given time!

Carrying this open line of communication may be helpful later down our journey if something goes wrong- which hopefully won’t happen but can always prepare you better just in case.

7. Get travel insurance.

Traveling abroad can be an exciting and adventurous experience, but it also comes with risks. For example, you might end up in an accident that requires medical attention or legal assistance- either one could cause your trip to turn into quite an expensive nightmare!

For transparency, I haven’t purchased travel insurance for my trips abroad. I usually don’t attract terrible misadventures to where I need medical or legal help (not that it can’t happen, it just hasn’t — yet), which is the primary reason why I don’t immediately think to purchase travel insurance.

However, the more travel bloggers I discover, the more horror stories I read about, and the more I lean towards purchasing travel insurance. If you are a collector of horror stories or just want peace of mind while traveling, this safety tip is for you.

The best way to protect yourself when traveling is by getting travel insurance. If you use a travel credit card as I do, then this specific one covers trip cancellation and lost baggage.

However, travel insurance companies go even deeper into providing medical coverage if needed in case of illness or injury abroad – yes, even worse things can happen! The top 2 I hear about often are World Nomads and Safety Wing.

8. Be aware of all travel bans on countries.

Use travel guides or travel advisory sites to ensure that your travel destination is safe. On the U.S. Department of State website, there is a current and updated list of where you should probably not go.

These travel advisories are generally regarding security risks such as terrorism or civil unrest, and sometimes health risks. Remember when the Zika virus came out and we were paranoid of all mosquitoes?

Once you search for your destination, the website is also helpful in telling you important information including whether or not you need a visa, local laws, vaccinations you should get, and more.

There is also currently a list out for the state of Covid-19 per country for more travel advisories. If you’re a visual person like me, visit CDC’s color-coded map or Skyscanner’s map of open borders, which indicate places with a lower risk of Covid.

Glance over these lists or maps before booking your flight. You can also visit the CDC’s website for even more information on how to travel in our current Covid times.

Pafoua's mug shot

9. Familiarize yourself with the local laws in the place you are visiting.

You don’t want to get imprisoned when traveling abroad, which means you should learn the local laws before you visit. There are obvious laws that will get you in trouble such as possession of drugs, sex trafficking, and drinking alcohol on the streets.

Then there are those that might be considered ridiculous laws like chewing gum is banned in Singapore and you may get arrested for spitting on the street. You know what though? Singapore is also known to be one of the cleanest countries in the world.

If you’re a religious person, make sure you know where you’re allowed to share such as Christianity is illegal in China.

Others like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have strict laws about modesty and immorality. Did you know that doctors might ask you to produce your marriage certificate at prenatal visits in the UAE?

When you’re a visitor to a country, you are a guest. Take care of your privilege to enter said country and abide by their laws so you can keep traveling and living dreams.

US Embassy seal

10. Register with your local embassy when you travel.

Before you go, register your travels with the U.S. Embassy. If anything happens to you abroad, you have the ability to contact the Embassy and seek refuge on U.S. soil in a foreign country.

On the other hand, if there is an emergency, the Embassy will be able to contact you as well which could be anything from natural disasters to civil unrest.

Registering is easy. You go directly through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) once you finalize your travel plans.

Pafoua and roommate on a bus tour

11. Make travel arrangements through reputable companies.

I love tours and guides and classes and all the things when booking excursions abroad. But there have been people who learned to take advantage of travelers who either book in advance or set up something while in-country.

Research the excursion you want to do to make sure the company you are planning to book with is reputable: they have many positive reviews, you have received referrals from several people, or they have been around for a long time.

If you know what you want to do ahead of time, Viator and GetYourGuide are two reputable tour companies with several options.

Travel Safety Tips When in Transit

Pafoua and friend holding 2 ice cream cones with their bags

12. Invest in a good day bag.

While exploring a new place, you’re most likely going to do a lot of walking: walking to your next activity, walking from the metro stop to the restaurant, walking to your hotel room or a rental house. Just tons of walking. Because of this, you want to invest in a good day bag.

Of course, a good day bag isn’t just for carrying around your personal belongings. You can also use it as an opportunity to keep things secure and protected so that you don’t have the chance of losing anything important on any given outing!

I would recommend a backpack, a small off-the-shoulder bag, or even a fanny pack. I have used all three and each have its pros and cons. A backpack is nice and roomy if you need an extra change of clothes when going whitewater rafting.

The off-the-shoulder bag is very convenient when walking in crowded areas because it’s hands-free and you can switch it back and forth from front to back for safety. The fanny pack — hands-on and could be well hidden if needed.

4 escalators with many people

13. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially when you’re feeling busy.

You know that movie Home Alone? Hopefully, you won’t forget a kid at home, but you can leave something important behind.

In the hustle and bustle of moving crowds, collecting belongings, and counting heads, take a moment to do a final glance just to make sure that you have everything you need, unlike the time my friends and I scrambled to get a passport back in Paris.

If you’re out in public, like at an airport or train station, keep your bags close to you so your things don’t get swiped.

It’s been known to happen – you take your eyes off something for 1 second and the next it’s completely gone, like the unfortunate time I was too busy collecting my documents in Vietnam and “lost” my phone.

If you do see an abandoned bag, especially in big crowded areas, it could potentially be a family who forgot their diaper bag or it could be something much worse. Use common sense before you do anything — keep yourself safe.

Pafoua and her friends on bikes

14. Take transit like a local.

During the research stage, find out what forms of transportation locals use. You want to use these because then there’s a level of reliability and it’s maybe more cost-effective!

For example, Londoners take the Tube around the city while in China, people avoid high rated taxis outside airports due to high rates and instead rely on underground subways or taxis with meters.

A sketchy-looking ATM machine

15. Exchange currency at a local bank or ATMs.

When exchanging money, go directly to a bank or ATM machine. You can even exchange money after grabbing your luggage, which is my usual go-to. Do not exchange it with strangers, even if they seem friendly!

It’s one thing if you’re going to support an artist or buy someone a meal; however, there are known to be places where tourists are prime targets for schemes run by con artists looking only at making fast cash off well-meaning travelers like you and me.

If you run out of cash in the middle of your trip and need an ATM, find one that doesn’t look shady: set in a public area, doesn’t look to be tampered with, and lacks opportunities for copying your information. You can read more about crazy ATM scams here.

An Asian man looking off to the distance while sitting down

16. Keep your head up and out of your phone.

If you’re waiting for a friend or sitting on the metro to get somewhere, make sure that your head is up. You might be tempted by social media and even listening to music while riding but don’t give in!

Be aware of what’s going around you — take note of people around you, keep track of any friends or family you are traveling with, and pay attention during announcements since those could save time when you are trying to reach stops ahead.

Travel Safety Tips In your Destination Country

Pafoua with her purse in an alleyway

17. Avoid carrying large sums of cash around.

Be aware of the risk associated with carrying large amounts of cash. If you have a lot on hand, use different pockets or travel wallets to spread it out so you don’t lose everything if something happens to go wrong.

I’ll usually have some cash in my pockets and another safe place. Spreading out the money makes me feel more comfortable when pulling out bills to pay for something so I’m not taking out bundles of bills.

Pafoua and her friends getting ready to go whitewater rafting

18. Only take what you need with you when going out.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of deciding what you need for the day, but don’t forget about taking only what is necessary.

For example, unless you plan on spending most of your day in a cafe with your computer, leave your laptop locked up in your hotel room. Or if you’re going to do a water activity, an extra set of clothes might just be all you need.

When you stay at a hostel or hotel, they usually provide safe boxes where your extra belongings can go. I always leave my passport behind and carry just copies with me when out exploring — it’s better to be safe than sorry!

There are some people who prefer bringing theirs along, so do what’s best for you.

Pafoua and her friend standing with big bags

19. Stop using your back pocket.

They are so convenient, easy to store your phone for quick access…and also a magnet for pickpockets who want nothing more than the opportunity to steal all those valuables from you!

I had my phone in one of these deep side pockets on leggings and my phone was swiped. Instead, stick your things directly back in your bag to minimize any risks of it being taken.

travel-safety-tips-dresscode

20. Dress modestly when traveling in conservative areas.

When you visit a new culture, make sure your outfit is appropriate. Keep things respectful by wearing clothes that cover up the skin and avoid provocative clothing altogether.

Entering mosques in certain countries like the UAE has strict dress codes for women depending on where they are located within this region so research what people wear before going there.

Other places like Southeast Asia will require cover-up either with a dress or long pants and men should consider nice button-down shirts rather than casual t-shirts.

When you are going through your packing list, you can do a quick search like “dress code for women in Thailand to see recommendations. It’s better to be prepared rather than be turned away when you’re standing at the doors of where you want to go. I have definitely messed up and had to use a scarf to cover up before.

Pafoua with vintage eyewear

21. Be aware that scams are common while traveling abroad.

Always be wary of people who approach you. One of the most common scams is at the airport with taxi drivers. They may try to get you to hire them and say the “meter is broken” or not give you a price until they have dropped you off (always negotiate first!).

Other scams come in purchasing items such as “real” smartphones, purses, or jewelry. If you are in a large market area, do a walk around the whole area before committing to buying something from a vendor. That way, you’ll get a feel for prices and other offerings before purchasing.

22. Ask business owners or locals for directions.

There’s nothing worse than getting lost on your travels and it can be hard to find someone with the skills needed for navigating through unfamiliar territory.

That being said, if you’re feeling brave, I would recommend asking a local restaurant or convenience store clerk for directions.

My roommate is much better at stepping up to ask questions. I usually have hesitancy about asking for directions, but in all our experiences, most people love to help. They can probably get you to your destination much quicker than you might be able to as well.

pafoua showing she's in front of the london bridge

23. Do not discuss your travel plans on social media platforms.

Creating Facebook albums and contributing photos as a group effort has been one way my friends and I like to share our travel memories. We also enjoy naming these creations creatively, such as “The Great Llama Hunt” or even more normal than that “Bali Baby.”

We always wait until we get back to the hotel, or even home, before adding new pictures though because there are just too many risks involved with social media nowadays, especially if your post isn’t in private mode!

You never know who will be online reading your posts so use caution when sharing pictures and itineraries.

24. Drink only bottled water and avoid ice in drinks or food.

We are lucky in the United States where our water from the tap is drinkable. That’s not the case in other places around the world. Before you brush your teeth or fill up your water bottle from the faucet in your hotel room, do a quick search to see if that country has clean water from the tap.

When you’re out getting lunch or dinner, make sure to drink water that comes from an unopened water bottle to ensure you’re getting clean water. If you order a cold drink, there shouldn’t be any ice cubes in it because that water probably was made from tap water too.

The reason why tap water is undrinkable is that it is unfiltered and may contain bacteria like E. Coli or salmonella. If you drink unclean water, you’ll most likely get sick to your stomach, with the potential of ruining your trip. If you want to take extra care, you can get a water bottle with a filter or a Lifestraw.

A Korean woman cooking street food

25. Watch what you eat so you don’t get food poisoning.

Apart from watching what you drink, you should also watch how you eat. Street food may be one of the biggest culprits of food poisoning due to contamination at any point before or during cooking. It could have also been sitting in a stand’s kitchen since lunchtime!

Rather than getting your snack from that stand, find one that cooks directly in front of you as the food will be made fresh and hot.

When you go out to eat, make sure that the restaurant is clean and pest-free. You might want to avoid places with cockroaches because these bugs can ruin your meal (true story!). If there are any issues with food preparation or quality then let them know — even if it’s not their fault!

Thank goodness I’ve never had food poisoning before. But I am prepared for it with my medicine bag from #5. Activated charcoal is something that you can take; it binds harmful bacteria and releases it from your body usually through pooping (never thought I’d use those terms on the blog!)

Table setting in Italy

26. Never leave drinks or food unattended.

Now that you’re aware of the health risks associated with food and drinks, don’t leave them unattended when you’re out. Even just a second of them unattended, someone can spike your drink. If you need to step away, have a friend watch your drink or just order a new one when you return. The same can be said about your food.

Read about my favorite Southeast Asian countries for foodie destinations.

3 ladies standing under an umbrella

27. Listen to travel advisories and weather alerts.

Check the weather app before you leave! You never know what may be in store for your trip. Just because it’s going to rain today doesn’t mean that the same thing will happen when you get there tomorrow. You never know what may be in the forecast, so take care to be prepared and packed for the weather!

28. Travel in groups.

I usually travel with a group of friends or a travel buddy, but there was one time when I traveled solo in China and almost got myself lost. You can read a short snippet of it here. I learned then that I need to travel with someone to ensure my own safety (and make good choices).

The other, more important, point for traveling in groups is for protection. It’s true that there is safety in numbers. When I was traveling solo, I found a few friends from the nice people I was staying with and we all toured the city together. They were locals and showed me around town so I wasn’t wandering about by myself.

There was another time I was traveling with some girlfriends and we picked up a solo traveler to do a huge 2-day hike with as well. We did use our intuition to make sure he wasn’t a crazy person before we all hung out together. So whether you’re a solo traveler or part of a group, you can find safety when you’re abroad.

A group of ladies posing in front of a window display

29. Stick to high-trafficked and well-lit areas, especially at night.

Keep an eye out for any unusual activity and trust your gut if something feels off. If you hear scary noises or need to walk another block with well-lit paths rather than cutting through the dark alleyway, then do not hesitate!

I make it a rule to be back in my hotel room by 10 PM. Most public transportation stops running around this time, and I don’t want to be wandering around lost with businesses closing down or having less trustworthy sources for information! I also don’t know who might show up on the street corners looking like they have good intentions but really want something else!

On another note, if you’re going out for an evening and you know drinking will be involved, make sure that your safety precautions are in place before starting the night’s festivities so there won’t be any accidents. Find a good medium that works for you to keep yourself safe at night.

Pafoua and her sisters exploring at dusk

30. Don’t show off your wealth.

When you’re out and about, flashing large sums of money or wearing expensive jewelry can make you a target for thieves or pickpockets. If it’s really a big deal to have something precious like your watch or ring getting lost or stolen then just leave the items at home in case anything happens.

One of the best ways to stay safe in a foreign country is by looking like you belong there. Fit into local life and dress accordingly. It will help avoid any potential problems with law enforcement and criminals alike!

Travel Safety Tips in Your Accommodation

a path leading to a villa

31. Research your accommodation and its location.

Before you book your accommodation, do a quick Google map check to see if it’s in the best location. If possible, be close (within walking distance) to public transportation like subways or bus stops. If you plan on driving, your accommodations should provide ample space for parking too.

It wouldn’t hurt if it’s close to restaurants as well so that getting food is convenient. If you are staying near the city center, you’ll want to make sure that your hotel’s location has easy access.

Reviews are a great way to get an idea of what other people think before you go on your trip. Read reviews from Airbnb and Hostelworld, but also take note if there’s any mention of safety or location in those posts — this could help sway how safe or uncomfortable certain areas felt for others who have already been through it before.

32. Lock your luggage securely and mark it with identification tags.

You should always make sure that your personal belongings are safe when staying at a hotel or hostel. You can use the provided locks, but if you want extra peace of mind then bring one from home as well.

You can also add identification information on your things such as your name and the best way to reach you. If something does get lost within the premises, then it’ll be easier for someone to contact you quickly.

an open computer next to a coffee drink and smartphone

33. Use good digital habits.

Now that you’ve taken care of your physical belongings, you’ll also need to practice good digital habits. Don’t keep your password near or around your laptop and make sure no one is looking over your shoulder whenever you do log in.

Getting hacked is not fun. Getting hacked when you’re traveling internationally is really not fun. The best security measure for us travelers though might be using an internet service called VPNs (virtual private networks).

A VPN allows users to encrypt their network traffic but also reroutes all connections through a different IP address. For example, when you connect to the internet from the USA and you use the VPN to choose the London network, it will shield your USA location and make your computer think it’s connecting through London instead. Pretty neat stuff, right?

My 2 favorite VPNS are ExpressVPN and NordVPN. They are both paid options, but for good reason. Both have mobile and desktop options so you can log in to multiple devices and keep everything safe. You’ll want to choose a VPN that has server access in the country you’re visiting as well as speed and adequate protection.

Get a subscription to ExpressVPN here.

4 bunk beds

34. Check the beds for bed bugs.

There was one time my roommate and I thought we got bed bugs from a hostel. We got home and threw everything into a boiling pot of water (China doesn’t have hot water options for washers). We also sealed our backpacks in airtight bags for well over 2 weeks.

We took some precautions after that trip, like checking our bags and beds before we dropped them off at the hotel or slept in them. You don’t want to get bit by a bed bug while traveling nor do you want to take them home! If you see any signs of an infestation then notify staff immediately so they can deal with it and give you a new bed.

a man sleeping on his backpack in the airport

35. Sleep on your backpack if you need to spend the night in an airport.

I have only ever slept in the airport once. It was in Bali and my friends and I had arrived in the city way too early, so we all decided to take an early morning nap before we were able to go about exploring the city.

We all found nice sets of benches nearby each other in the corner of the airport. I used my backpack as a pillow both for comfort and security; I would have noticed if someone had tried to take anything. For covering, I took my jacket and used it as a blanket so I could cover up any pockets and keep myself warm at the same time.

If you find yourself needing to sleep in the airport, don’t sleep too far away from where people are. Keep your backpack close and make sure it’s not being tampered with (trust me, using it as a pillow works well). It may be even better if you have access to an airport lounge. Hopefully, this won’t happen too often for you!

Even more Travel Safety Tips

A woman holding her phone

36. Get an unlocked phone.

The next most important piece of belonging you need after a passport and visa is your phone, which will allow contact with family, friends, the embassy, or emergency numbers if necessary, so it’s crucial that yours works well!

The best type to bring on vacation is unlocked phones. When you purchase your phone at T-Mobile or Verizon, they’ll have a network lock on it so that the only networks that can connect are their own. If you get an unlocked phone, like straight from the Apple Store, then this restriction will not apply and you can use other carriers just fine.

So if you bought your phone through your phone’s network carrier, give them a call and ask them to give you a code to unlock it before you travel internationally. When entering a new country, you can then purchase a local sim card to insert into your unlocked phone and have local access to the internet.

Pafoua standing near the edge at the Cliffs of Moher

37. Use common sense.

Be wise as you travel. I mean, let’s be honest: most of my China stories and travel misadventures were most likely my own fault. However, I was also aware of my surroundings and took note when something felt out of control. I knew how to get myself back on track in an awkward situation or walk away whenever I felt unsafe.

Do the same when you’re traveling. If you see signs for staying on the trails or that the cliffs are not stable, don’t stand too close to the edge of a cliff. Seek the fun, not the danger. (Just my 2 cents.)

Pafoua and her friends squished on a bus

38. Avoid driving if you don’t have to.

I’ve talked about how I got several speeding tickets in France and forgot to mention how I got into a minor car accident in the Philippines. Shameful whoops whenever I tell those stories! I do love driving and that’s why I was so willing to drive. On the other hand, I could have saved myself a few dollars and a headache if I had chosen not to drive.

For those interested in driving, as long as you hold a driver’s license in your home country, it should be fairly easy for you to rent a car and be able to drive. Just keep in mind these things…

Other parts of the world drive on the opposite side of the road and may have the driver’s seat on the other side as well. Some cities have strange roads and crazy drivers. Many cars may not be automatic so you’ll need to know how to drive a manual car. There are probably more things to think about so consider everything carefully before signing up for a rental car.

39. Do not leave anything in your car.

Be careful when you have a rental car! Make sure to not leave anything of worth visible in the vehicle. Bring all your belongings with you or stuff them into the trunk before exploring outside, as it’s easy for thieves who aren’t afraid of breaking windows and bashing doors to just steal what they want.

Pafoua embracing the wind on a bridge

40. Take care of your mental health.

When you’re about to embark on an exciting, new adventure it can be hard not to feel anxious. Travel has a way of taking us down many roads where we might face anxiety and fear along the journey.

Preparing for your trip will significantly alleviate stress by planning ahead so when something goes wrong (and sometimes these things happen) there is always another option available such as creating backup plans that work well, especially if your original ones fall through.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, being prepared and researching isn’t to cause fear, but to help yourself understand risks and take measures to protect yourself on your adventure.

On the other hand, travel can also help improve your mental health as well and even help your mind become resilient for future travel. You can read all about those good things from this big news company and this one too.

Final Thoughts on Travel Safety Tips

Pafoua and her friend sitting on a Chinese scooter

It’s not hard to see why so many people are drawn to travel. There is something about exploring new cultures, meeting interesting strangers, and seeing the world that feels exhilarating.

We all want our travels abroad to be safe, but it can be difficult knowing what dangers lurk around every corner. That’s where these 40 essential travel safety tips come in handy! These lessons learned from my own travel experiences abroad have helped me stay out of harm’s way both at home and on vacation for over 10 years now and I hope they help you too!

Have a tip or two you rely on? Share them with us below in the comments section.


Here are even more travel tips you might enjoy:

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My Favorite Travel Tips + Resources

Here is a quick glance at all my go-to travel tips and resources that I use to plan every trip! For more information, check out my travel resources page.

  • Booking flights: I use Google Flights to check all routes and find the best flights. Then I compare them with Expedia (for reward points) and Skyscanner (for the lowest prices) before I book.
  • Accommodations: I love budget-friendly rentals or booking at a hotel where I can earn points. For hotels, I go through Booking.com or book directly with Marriott (for points + rewards). When I travel internationally, I’ll book through Hostelworld for very budget-friendly stays. For vacation rentals, I usually look through Airbnb, but you could also use Vrbo. Expedia also has some great bundles for hotels, flights, and car rentals altogether.
  • Transportation: For travel in the United States, I love renting through Expedia with Enterprise or Thrifty. They have been consistent and provide the best customer service. For international travel, I’ll book through Rome2Rio or Eurail for trains or bus fares.
  • Travel Credit Card: I book all my travel (flights, hotels, car rentals) through my favorite travel credit card. I also use this card for everything on my trip including dining, excursions, and souvenirs. Apart from earning 5x more points towards free travel, there are amazing benefits: no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement (so I can book worry-free), fraud protection, emergency assistance – it’s really a great deal! Check it out here!
  • Vaccines and Medications: Check the CDC website for updates on necessary vaccines to enter a country, including updates on Covid-19 and recommended places to visit. I recommend getting all the vaccines you need before you go!
  • Tours + Experiences: I absolutely love my tours! Everything from eerie walking ghost tours to food tours, I’ll usually book something every trip either through Viator or GetYourGuide. I also love LastMinute.com for very affordable tickets to theaters and other experiences in Europe.
  • What to Pack: I almost always travel by backpack. For products I like, check out my packing guide page for all the things I take with me on different trips.