HOW TO TRAVEL SAFELY – BEST TIPS AND PRODUCTS UNDER 20$ FOR A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE TRAVEL

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My friend Sue finally landed in Jamaica after 11 hours flight from Frankfurt. All she was thinking about at this point was how awesome it will be to jump into refreshing ocean water, right after she checks in to hotel room. Emigration check took a while, but fortunately the luggage came out quickly. Now it’s just an hour in a bus, swift check in with delicious drinks in their hands and nothing else stood between her and the sunny beach. Let’s just find the bikini and enjoy the rest of the day in the sun. 

– Did you change the code to the bag? Sue shouts to her husband, who admires stunning view from their balcony. 

– No, why?  

– Come here! I cannot open it!

Both of them examine the luggage closely only to discover a tiny little tag attached to it. They didn’t have such tag on their bag – it’s not their luggage!

Many weird things tend to happen while you are traveling, most can be predicted, some are really unbelievable!  

Ok, so how can we protect ourselves while traveling? How to travel safely?

Let me share with you advice, based on mine (and not only) experiences while traveling.

Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. I only recommend products that I use and love!

how to travel safely

LOST LUGGAGE

Is it likely that someone else has exactly the same luggage as you, or similar enough to make a mistake? You would be surprised how often it happens, especially after a long-haul flights when people are exhausted and all they want is to get out of the airport ASAP. 

Ok, I have to be honest with you. My friend’s name is not Sue.. but the story is real! What would happen if a nice German lady didn’t have a tag with her mobile number on her luggage? How fun their two weeks vacations in Jamaica would be, with someone else’s luggage they cannot open and without their meticulously packed holiday clothes and cosmetics? I guess thy would spend all this time trying to figure out what to do and a small adventure would become a disaster. 

ADVICE:

  • when you take a bag from the luggage line take a look at the label attached by the airline – yes, the one that most people tear off and throw away immediately – it should contain your name and the destination. Even if it looks like your bag, someone else may have the same model.
  • attach a luggage tag with your name and phone number to the handle of your bag (in case someone else takes it by mistake and realize it only in the hotel). It’s also useful in case the airline looses your luggage during changes – believe me or not it happened to me and Greg at least five times.
  • when you realize that you took someone else’s bag from the luggage line – FOR CRYING OUT LOUD PUT IT BACK ON THE LINE ! – this one is from Greg, who once waited for the luggage till all the bags and people were gone, only to realize that someone took his bag from the line, noticed it’s not his and put it aside. 

LUGGAGE TAGS with durable steel cable

Those are maybe not so sturdy, but soooo cute! And you will see it’s your luggage from far far away!

BACKPACK PROTECTION

My husband is totally paranoid about locking our backpacks while we travel. I never really understood this obsession, until he explained it to me easily. You watch your backpack on a bus or train, you keep and eye on it in the airplane, but what happens when you finally get on the plane? You put it somewhere over your head, sometimes far behind you, as there might be no space in the compartment right next to you. How can you make sure that no-one will look through your backpack while you nod off or watch a movie (especially on a long-haul flight)? How to make sure that no “suspicious package” will be added to your backpack while you are not watching? 

What about leaving your things in a hotel or hostel, while you’re awaiting for the transportation? Coming back from our last travel we had 6 hours between room check-out and the flight. We left our bags and backpacks in a hostel for three hours and went to the beach. We could indulge in our last sunbathing in Jamaica with a calm mind, as all out bags including backpacks were closed and secured.

ADVICE

  • lock your backpack every-time you don’t have it under direct supervision (on a plane, if you have to leave it in the hotel or hostel)
  • after your re-claim your backpack – check small pockets that were not locked, in case someone put something inside

LOCK WITH 3-DIGIT COMBINATION

 

RELATED ARTICLE:

Is Jamaica safe to travel? – TIPS ON HOW TO STAY SAFE.

MONEY

Our former boss had a really nasty experience after one of his travels to US. Few weeks after he came back, substantial amounts of money started disappearing from his account. Apparently someone was shopping with his credit card in London. The credit card however was safely in his wallet.. Safely? Apparently not. 

Back in that time electronic pick-pocketing wasn’t so common in Europe, so this came as a big surprise. Since I strongly believe that it is always best to learn from someone’s mistake, not mine, first thing I bought when I came to Miami was wallet with RFID shield.  

ADVICE:

  • place your credit card and passport in RFID wallet or cover
  • place money and important documents by your side – not in the backpack
  • try to place cash and credit cards in at least two different places (just in case you loose one of them)
  • don’t put your wallet, phone or documents in the back pocket of your trousers (many guys do that!) – it’s just an invitation for pickpocketer

NECK WALLET WITH RFID SHIELD against electronic pick-pocketing or identity theft

This one is cool, because you can put it under your sweater or jacket and all your belongings will be safe just in front of you. That’s really handy on the airport! It gives you easy access to your passport and boarding passes. I hate taking those things out of my overstuffed purse and putting them back numerous times while navigating through the airport. And I think we all agree that pocket is not the safest place to keep such important stuff. 

 

CREDIT CARD AND PASSPORT WALLET

If you prefer something more elegant this wallet is nice and goes in forty different colors.

 

And if you need something smaller just for the credit cards, this one is just too cute and there are dozens of colors. I actually need to buy one too, as mine is already battered after few years of traveling with me everywhere.

 

BELT WITH MONEY POCKET

To be honest I’m not a big fan of credit cards. I know they are necessity nowadays, but still I feel better when I have cash with me. You know, things happen, ATMs malfunction occasionally, sometimes there are crazy fees for withdrawing and in many places I traveled they accepted only cash in shops. 

I never rely solely on cards and always bring some cash while traveling. I keep it by my side and preferably in few places. Pick-pocketing is one of the biggest threats on the way, so hiding your money in few “not-so-obvious” spots is clever thing to do. 

Why not a belt?

SCARF WITH POCKET

Ok, when I saw this one for the first time I was like ‘why on Earth didn’t I think about it before?’. That’s so ingenious, and sneaky and chic! And I want it NOW!

I wear a shawl or a scarf on a plane anyways, coz I’m always chilly and with this smart pocket you can always have important things right under your nose! Did I say ingenious?

SECRET POCKET

Another solution for ladies, and this one is so clever! If you don’t like to take a purse when going out (I don’t!), secret pocket is just perfect. You can pack it with some cash, credit card or other small but necessary ladies accessories. And isn’t it sexy to take money ‘out-of-a-bra’? Like in a movie!

 

not-so-FUNNY ACCIDENTS

Ok, one more story – I promise it’s the last one 🙂 My colleague’s colleague (for sake of this story let’s call him Jim) went with his family for holidays to one of the Caribbean countries. They slightly over-packed while flying there, that happens to everyone. I’m guilty too! But you know how it is on holidays – two weeks later and couple of souvenirs and few t-shirts more they had a hard time to pack to go back. After struggling for a while, Jim finally managed to close the zip of his and wife’s bag. Phew, what a relief!

Have you ever seen airport staff loading the luggage to or from the aircraft? I have, and believe me they are far from gentle. Needless to say that zippers in Jim’s bags didn’t survive this journey and he found his belongings on the luggage belt in few transparent plastic bags. It was hilarious to hear this story being told my my colleague, but honestly I would go mad if I was Jim and saw this disaster after few hours flight. 

LUGGAGE STRAP WITH A LOCK

Luggage strap is a great solution to avoid such a nightmare, and this one provides additional protection from theft, as it has 3-digit lock.

 
I hope that you liked my advice on how to travel safely and you found the products I choose for you useful. My experience taught me that there are many unpredictable situations on the way, but the better prepared we are the easier we’ll deal with them.  Let’s be aware and wise travelers!
 
PIN this post for later not to forget the tips HOW TO TRAVEL SAFELY
 
how to travel safely
 
If you have some important safety tip to share with us, please do so in comments. I’d love to hear from you! The more information we share as travelers the more prepared we can be.
 
I also prepared printable check-list, so you could remember the most important tips on how to travel safely.

how to travel safely


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36 thoughts on “HOW TO TRAVEL SAFELY – BEST TIPS AND PRODUCTS UNDER 20$ FOR A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE TRAVEL”

  1. Pingback: IS JAMAICA SAFE TO TRAVEL? - TIPS ON HOW TO STAY SAFE

  2. Thanks for your super helpful guide to traveling safely. As a solo-female traveler safety is always a concern of mine and always important to consider. Love the taking the money out of the bra comment too haha.

  3. Great tips! Along with the lost luggage advice, I always print out my name/address/contact info and put it INSIDE the luggage as well, in case my luggage tag were to fall off somehow. I also always take a picture of my luggage – if it gets lost, having a picture speeds up the process quite a bit!

    1. Fantastic advice Anna! I will start doing the same 🙂 Unfortunately airline staff is far from gentle with luggage, so having additional contact information inside the bag is very reasonable.

  4. Such a useful post. Truthfully i’d never considered securing my backpack on the plane, but it makes so much sense. Thank you for such an informative article

  5. I have a black suitcase. Pretty average, hu? Not so much! I have a bright red leather luggage tag on it. Can spot it a mile away. I also always position myself at the airport where I can see the luggages popping out.
    I would also add that have your luggage wrapped whenever possible. Especially if you come to Hungary. It’s well-known that there is a maffia at the airport and they regularly open suitcases, sometimes with knives, or just break off the hanging locket. While the plastic wrap doesn’t always deter them, it’s more likely to, and in some cases it comes with insurance, so you can get back your money. And for heaven’s sake, don’t put money, computers and valuables into suitcases you send on the plane! Actually, anything with a Li-ion battery has to be in the carry-on.

    1. Hi Izzy,
      Wow, I didn’t know such things happen in Hungary. That’s terrible. I always traveled there by car somehow.
      Maybe apart from stretch wrapping the bands with a lock would help not getting your luggage robbed.

      Yes, I agree – all electronics and valuables should be in cabin bag!

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your tips and recommendations. That secret belt looks so cool, and I never thought about pockets in a scarf. Great ideas!

  7. These are great tips! I also have the belt money cause I want to have my passport with me all the time and my money too, I just wanted to make sure that they are safe with me haha.

  8. Great tips. I have never thought of locking my backpack before putting it in the overhead bin in a plane or train. I will be doing so from now on!

  9. I’ve always been lucky in terms of travel safety, but I have always visited relatively safe countries. As I venture further I think these great tips will be really handy! Love the scarf in particular!

  10. I love this!! I already have a few of this items (like the belt) and I have to say they are very useful. No one wants to have problems when travelling far away!

  11. Great ideas and products to keep oneself and belongings safe. I loved the idea of the scarf with a pocket. I think I’m gonna buy this ? We never check our bag when we collect it from the luggage belt. Actually, never thought of this. I’ll take care from now on.

  12. I travel by myself so I’m always a little paranoid about my stuff but Japan being super safe, I lose that sometimes. I’ve been considering getting a lock for my bags. And to be honest, I’ve never stayed in a hostel because of the whole “what about my stuff?” issue lol. So I loved these tips!!

    Kristen | kristenabroad.com

  13. Thanks for sharing this great post on travelling safely. You have given some great suggestions, I especially like the idea of the scarf. Think I really need to invest in one of these. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I always carry extra clothes in my hand luggage incase my luggage goes missing or its picked up by someone else at the airport. I lost my luggage once and had no clothes for my holiday.

  15. I had no idea about the scarf with a pocket or the secret pocket! Definitely looking into these two, they’d come in handy. I’m thinking the scarf on colder weather and the secret pocket during summer or when going to clubs or pubs.

  16. Pingback: WHAT TO PACK IN CARRY-ON LUGGAGE – MUST HAVE FOR FLIGHT AND AFTER

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