Safety and Security in Travel: a Comprehensive Guide for Security On the Go

While situations threatening safety can happen at home just as they can somewhere else, it might be more stressful to have a problem of this nature when you’re away from the resources you have at home. To avoid some of these travel dangers, I employ a few strategies to stay secure.

Surfshark VPN

In the digital era, it is more important now than ever before to protect yourself online. My husband and I have purchased a Surfshark VPN subscription (click for a discount!) that keeps our information safe online for peace of mind while using public WiFi. The VPN has even come in handy outside of traveling in many situations. In the non-rev lifestyle of making last-minute bookings, using a VPN allows for peace of mind knowing your credit card information is secure. Surfshark also offers antivirus and incogni for your devices. Services like these can keep your online accounts safe while traveling and in daily life.

REIT blocker

Another method to make sure your credit card information stays secure is to use a REIT blocker. Many wallets have REIT blockers, but if you already have a wallet you’d like to utilize, I’d recommend purchasing REIT blocker cards to put in your wallet. I found these on Amazon. They don’t take up much space and are pretty cheap. They prevent someone from scanning your chip data inside your pocket, purse, etc.

Outsmart Pickpockets

A thieving situation has the potential to mar what could have been a stress-free trip. There are a few things we employ to try to avoid this situation. For one, keep your valuables in front pockets. If you carry a purse, consider a pickpocket-deterring bag. My bag has zippers that lock into place, keeping your valuables secure. It also utilizes anti-cut fabric. The fabric makes it harder for someone cut your bag off of you or cut out your valuables. I also have an anti-theft backpack that has a pocket for your valuables that rests securely against your back. For an extra precaution, I bought clips to hold the zippers together. It’s common for zippers to unzip while walking and the clips help avoid this and deter ill-intentioned individuals. You could also use a money belt, which discreetly hides your things underneath your clothing.

We try not to wear anything that will make us stand out as targets. Leave the Rolex, diamond earrings, and luxury-labeled clothes at home. (Not that we have those anyways) Take special care where there are crowds. Always have a grip on your stuff and be aware of your surroundings. This tip is also wise at restaurants. Do not drape your purse over your chair, especially when seated outside. Someone could quickly grab it and go. Or perhaps you could leave it behind in an absent-minded moment. (I have done this) Keep a grip on it just to be safe.


Another thing I do as a secondary precaution is to keep one credit card, some cash, and a copy of my passport/license in the hotel’s safe. This practice would be a lifesaver if you got unlucky and still got pickpocketed. You wouldn’t end up with no money whatsoever somewhere other than home. I experienced this while on a trip abroad with my parents growing up. When my mom had her wallet stolen on a trip abroad, we had no money or credit cards other than a local friend’s generous help. It will also make it easier to get a document from the embassy to embark home with a copy of your documentation.

Google/Apple Pay

You can also download a form of mobile payment to your phone as a backup. We used this a lot on our trip to London. I still like having access to some of these essential things physically because if your purse got stolen, you could lose both your phone and wallet. On that note, password-protect your phone and any sensitive information on it! Consider using a find my phone app. Some phones allow you to clear the data off the phone to secure your information.


In addition to physically securing your stuff, consider a quick search on area-specific scams. Awareness of scams prior to arriving will help you have an easier time avoiding such attempts. I have encountered scams a couple of times on my travels. One of these times, I was in New Orleans when someone asked me where I got my shoes. I had a funny feeling about it and was traveling alone, so I gave a weird look and walked away. Later, I found out the follow-up to this question is that they bet you they can tell you where you got your shoes and then proclaim “on your feet.” After this, they hassle you to pay up on your ‘bet.’

I have also encountered a situation when traveling with family where a boat operator fielded us to a restaurant on an island in Italy. The restaurant did not include prices on the menu, and the only option was an expensive multi-course affair that was mediocre at best. I have seen that restaurant scams are on the rise abroad, so it is good to do a little research so you don’t end up paying an unreasonable amount for blasé food. I am sure there are a variety of other scams out there, so do a quick search to avoid any pitfalls. Chances are high that your security precautions will be unnecessary, but they certainly can’t hurt. It is best to be safe rather than sorry.

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