10 Travel Safety Tips

10 Travel Safety Tips

By Lloyd Figgins, Travel Risk Expert and Author
 

•   Plan and Prepare Thoroughly - Check out the country or region you are thinking of travelling to and look at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Advice first. 
    However, don’t just stop at the UK Government advice, also check out Australia’s Smart Traveller site.
 
•   Splash Out on the First Night - On accommodation, that is. While budget is a major consideration for many travellers, it’s always worth researching and booking a decent room for when you first arrive in a new country or town. Even if this is just for a night, it will allow time to get your bearings and spare the pressure of finding somewhere to sleep when you step off the train, plane or bus – when you will be at your most vulnerable.
 
•   Road Traffic Danger - One of the biggest hazards facing travellers is that of road traffic.
According to the World Health Organisation, over 1.2 million people are killed on the world’s roads every year. Therefore, make sure you always were a seat belt and don’t be afraid to ask your driver to slow down or not to use a mobile phone while driving. Avoid travelling at night.
 
•   Research BEFORE You Venture Out - Make sure you plan where you are going before you go out and about in a new place. Take time to research how you’re going to get there. Don’t look lost, as this makes you stand out as a potential target. Walk with confidence and purpose.
 
•   Places of Safety - Get into the habit of identifying places of safety and how you can get there if you feel threatened or in danger. Places such police stations, embassies, hotels, banks or places or worship are good examples.
 
•   Dummy Wallet - Take a dummy wallet or purse with you. This should contain small denomination notes of the local currency, an expired credit card and other things you would normally find in a wallet. If you are robbed, hand over the dummy wallet and then put as much time and distance between you and the robber. Criminals rarely check the contents of a wallet at the scene of the crime.
 
•   Social Media - Avoid posting your whereabouts on social media. Criminals use social media as a way of tracking movement and learning the location of their intended targets. Don’t make it easy for them by posting your every move on social media.
 
•   Time and routine - Learn to be unpredictable in your movements. Don’t leave your accommodation at the same time everyday and don’t take the same route. Vary both, so that you’re not route and time predictable.
 
•   Get the Right Room – Avoid ground floor rooms, as these are easiest for criminals to access, but don’t go above the 4th floor, as fire service ladders rarely reach beyond this level. Know where your nearest fire exit is and walk the route you would take in an emergency.
 
•   Door Wedge - Take a simple door wedge with you to put under the door when you are in your hotel room. That way, even if someone with criminal intent has a master key, they won’t be able to enter your room.
Lloyd Figgins is a Travel Risk Expert and author of The Travel Survival Guide - Get Smart, Stay Safe published by Portico.
 
Lloyd Figgins is a travel risk expert, author and speaker. He is a former police officer and international security advisor who has worked in over 80 countries, including some of the world’s more hostile and remote regions. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and internationally respected authority on the subject of travel risk and crisis management, he often provides commentary in the media and makes regular appearances on the BBC, ITV and Sky News. 
 
Lloyd is also the Chairman of the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP) Group which specialises in keeping travellers safe.

Lloyd Figgins will be hosting The Travel Safety Clinic located on Stand D5 at Destinations - for expert advice do stop by.