Money Belts- You need a money belt! Money belts are extremely good at three things.
1-Your important documents are safe.
2-Your documents are nice, neat, and organized.
3-Your documents are easily retrievable.
I was once traveling with someone who didn’t have a money belt.
A few days into their travels, they had dropped their debt card and I.D into the crowd of thousands at a summer solstice party at Stonehenge (they were never seen again).
That hurts! Not only is it a huge hassle to replace these items and cancel out the lost ones, but it also takes away from your precious travel time.
Honestly. I hardly wear my money belt anymore. I just have it in my daypack that never leaves my side. Money Belts are good to keep your documents organized, and if you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable situation you can always put it on.
Carry Emergency Cash- Always have enough cash tucked safely away so that if necessary, you could live for a couple of days. This has saved me more than once when I have had problems with my debit and credit cards.
Extra cash always gives you relief that if something happens you will be ok.
Know What Areas To Avoid- I was in Athens, Greece when they were having the bad forest fires that crept up to the city.
I was also in London during the riots of 2010, and in Egypt during the protest.
Was I nervous? No, not really. Why?
Because I knew exactly what areas to avoid.
If I am nervous about being in a country talk to people who live there.
People who work at hostels are great for this. They will let you know what areas to avoid.
Mobile Apps – We live in a world of apps.
I bet I could find an app to scratch my back if I wanted to.
There are some good travel apps.
You can find apps that let you plan your itinerary, like Trip it, to apps that translate languages for you like Google Translate.
These great tools for new and veteran travelers alike.
Don’t Carry Everything- I always carry one credit/debit card and a photo ID (never carry your passport if you plan on drinking) in my money belt and leave the rest in the hostel.
Likewise, when going out at night, take enough cash out with you so that you don’t have to go to an ATM unless it’s an emergency.
Let Your Bank Know Your Traveling- Let your bank and credit card company know you are leaving. I have seen banks and credit card companies shut down people’s spending power after a couple of weeks because they are unsure about all the foreign transactions.
It is much easier to let your companies know that you are leaving the country and how long you will be gone. This ensures that you will have nothing to worry about.
Arrive During Daylight- No matter what method of travel you are using, picking an arrival time during the day will make you feel a lot safer.
While I have never felt unsafe traveling at night, it is intimidating to arrive in a strange city at an ungodly hour.
I also try to take long journeys on buses or trains at night to save on accommodations with the added bonus that you also usually arrive sometimes in the morning.
Beware: train and bus stations are not as safe as airports, so you want to keep an eye open for pickpockets and scammers.