How to keep yourself safe whilst travelling.

Don’t walk where the locals don’t.

This was the number one tip I heard at the start of my travels, and it has stayed with me throughout. It sounds so simple but its effective. If there are no locals walking/driving/cycling down that path, and it’s not well lit, then you have absolutely no need to go down it yourself.

Take a small torch.

I’m lucky that in England, roads and paths are very well lit. But not all countries are like this and sometimes you can walk out of a restaurant or bar and find yourself a little lost in the pitch black. It’s amazing how much difference a small torch can make. And there’s less chance you will stand in dog poo.

Take a padlock.

Lots of hostels give you a locker without an actual lock; so carrying a padlock enables you to lock away your valuables when you’re out exploring for the day. Also, it can be handy to put on your backpack or suitcase when getting onto night busses/trains/planes.

For goodness sake, don’t take drugs.

I could ramble about the dangers of drugs, never mind drugs in a foreign country, for hours. But I guess, you’ve heard all this already from your mum. You don’t know what you’re buying. You don’t know who you’re buying from. And, in a lot of countries it’s punishable by death. Just don’t.

Don’t carry around more money than necessary.

Have a chat with your bank before you go about getting a bank card with the smallest fees when withdrawing money abroad. That way you only will have the need to withdraw small amounts and the creepy guy down the street doesn’t see you stashing a tonne of notes into your purse.

Don’t trust someone just because they speak your language/don’t dismiss someone’s help just because they don’t.

This one might seem a little odd, but when you’re in a country where not many people speak your native language, it can be comforting when you find someone to chat to. But this doesn’t always mean you should trust this person, or the fact they are going to give you a better ‘deal’ on whatever you’re trying to buy. In contrast, don’t disregard someone because their English isn’t very good. Usually, they’re just trying to help. And if you learn a few words of the local language, you can normally muddle through a conversation together (with plenty of elaborate hand gestures of course).

Take a bum bag.

And wear it. I like to keep the majority of my money in my bum bag and then leave a few small notes in my pocket. This way, you’re not dipping into it constantly and it’s much more difficult for someone to pick pocket your money when it’s wrapped around your waist.

Photocopy your passport.

Imagine this, you’re in the first country of your 6-month travels. You go to check into your hotel and you’ve only left your bloody passport on the bus. Yes, this is probably going to take you a few days of faffing to sort out, but with a photocopy getting a replacement passport at the local embassy will be so much easier.

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