If you’re concerned about your safety and security on the road, you are in a much better position than those who consider themselves indestructible. You’re not going to let concerns hold you back from traveling and you will take reasonable precautions to prevent situations from occurring. My aim is to prepare you and enable you to alleviate as many worries when you’re actually traveling, not to have you cowering in fear in your hotel room.
The first thing to define about your concerns about a destination – is this a place where I have to worry about petty theft, or violent crime? You can always replace items, but you don’t want to put yourself at risk.
In most places you’re likely to go petty theft is an issue, but violent crime is less likely. And despite what we see on the news, most violence occurs between people who know each other, not random tourists. Taking precautions can prevent most of these petty crime situations.
As a woman who frequently travels alone, I tend to avoid places with reputations for violent crime – or do my sightseeing in daylight hours and make sure to book a hotel with either a good restaurant, or a few I can scurry to next door.
Where do you find out the true situation for a destination?
Local newspapers for the destination are usually a great place to find information that pertains to safety.
The area web sites where expats trade information usually give you a true feel and less rosy picture than guidebooks and travel sites.
Valuable information can be found on the forums on Tripadvisor.com. Often the FAQ for each forum will showcase security prominently, because its one of the most commonly asked questions about any destination. When you notice locals getting riled up about constant safety questions, its a good sign that the area is safer than the image.
US State Department. It’s always worth checking this site for traveler’s advisories about your intended destination.
The following ideas and tips to keep you safe have been categorized by pre-trip, in transit and at the destination. For maximum safety and security, its a good idea to consider all 3 of them in advance of your trip.
At the Airport, Train or Bus Station