Travel Safety Tips
There are a few simple things you can do to travel more safely. Here is a small but growing list of tips to help you and your belongings safe while you’re out on the road exploring.
I always travel with locks and I currently have three. Two are TSA-friendly travel locks that allow me to quickly secure the main compartments of both my day and overnight backpacks. In general, I try to do carry-on only and not check my bags. But if I do check my bags, I always put a lock on the main compartment(s) to prevent strangers from intentionally or accidentally opening my luggage (in the case of look-alike luggage).
Using locks has come in handy at times outside the airport as well. I’ve often checked bags into a bag room at both hotels and hostels, and locked the bag while it waited in a room that both travelers and hotel staffers walked in and out of all day. I’m not convinced anyone is out to steal my stuff, but just having the locks in place gives me peace of mind and one less thing to think about when I’m navigating a new country.
Locks have come in handy other times as well. I was in a grocery store in Thailand with my backpack, and they forced me to check it at the door just to shop. I quickly locked it up, handed it over, and didn’t think twice about it as no one could get in easily if they wanted to. A similar scenario happened when I went ocean kayaking at Railey Beach, and my backpack was not a welcome addition to the small, thin seabound boat. The locks bought me peace of mind and made my bag a less attractive hit when it was visible to the public but away from me.
I also have a heavier steel lock that I routinely use in hostels. Most hostels have lockers in your room and/or below your bed. Many offer locks for rent, but I have my own, and it paid for itself the first time I used it as I didn’t have to pay a rental fee. The lock allows me to store things like my laptop or camera, or entire daypack in my locker and know it’s locked up with steel. My three locks have keys, but you can also buy locks that let you create your own numerical combination.
Travel Door Stop
I have used door stops a few times, and highly recommend them. For just $2 USD you can buy a rubber door stop that will give you enough peace of mind to sleep or relax safely in your room at any time. I’ve used it on a couple occasions when I was in rooms in hostels in third world countries that did not have locks on the bedroom door. I am not certain my door would have been opened, nor my safety compromised, but having the door stop in place was a small measure that helped me fall asleep and stay asleep more peacefully.
Safety Whistle for Travel
I have yet to use it, but I have a safety whistle attached to the outside of my day pack. This gives me great comfort knowing that if anyone bothered me, including humans or even random wild monkeys who grab glasses off your face in Bali, the piercing whistle will slow them down and most likely quickly scare them off.