Travel Safety tips for a stress free holiday

Going on holiday abroad or in your own country can be a joy, but it’s always sensible to take a few precautions to ensure you say safe, don’t lose precious possessions and return home in one piece.

Holiday hat and suitcase

Here is some practical travel safety tips based on personal experience. Make sure your luggage has secure locks. I once had a load of CDs stolen from an unlocked suitcase in an African airport whilst in transit. Keep an eye on all your belongings, especially on public transport or in open places. My purse was nicked whilst celebrating New Year’s Eve in Trafalgar Square. Avoid ‘dodgy’ areas of cities – ask a local if you are not sure. I ended up staying in a ‘short-time’ hotel  ie brothel in Singapore and found myself in a very dodgy situation that night! Don’t take your favourite/most valuable jewellery away with you. I left my engagement ring on a hotel bedside table and checked out. Only realised it had gone the next day – too late.

Sharon Matthews Travel CounsellorTravel Counsellor Sharon Matthews provides a wide range of leisure and business travel services to her customers. She very kindly agreed to share her top 5 travel safety tips from over 15 year’s experience in the retail travel industry.

Use a Safe

Hotel Safe Box

If you have the option to use a safe in your hotel room, take advantage of this. I would always recommend you don’t travel with unnecessary valuables but ensure any jewellery you aren’t wearing is tucked safely away with cash, currency cards, phones, cameras, tablets, tickets and passports. If not you can usually give it the hotel for safe-keeping.

Be accessible

More than ever before we seem to want to be in contact with home or work whilst we are away. Call your mobile provider before you travel to see what bundle deals are available to you before you go. Sometimes for just a few £’s a day you will be able to access your voicemails, make and receive calls and text messages that would otherwise add an additional unwanted cost on your holiday. Always use free wi-fi where you can to avoid downloading emails at a high cost.

Get your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)

Passport and EHIC - image Zoe Dawes

Passport and EHIC

The EHIC (formerly E111 card) does not replace travel insurance but you may be asked to produce it in European Economic Area countries as it may give you access to state provided healthcare at a reduced cost. There are obviously conditions applicable to this so it is equally important to have travel insurance too as well.

Take a copy of your passport

Make a copy of your passport/s before you travel and email it/them to yourself. In the unlikely event your passport is lost or stolen this inconvenient event will be made simpler if you have a copy of your passport available. If you’re travelling as a family or group make sure someone has a copy of all of them.

Be aware of where you are

Quebec City, Canada in the evening - image Zoe Dawes

Quebec City in the evening

In most tourist destinations you will find your bearings pretty quickly, but if you are travelling alone, or just have a couple of nights in each destination, it pays to have a map and seek advice from your accommodation on what to see and do, both day and night. Do not head off the beaten track at night, stay in well-lit areas that are busy and plan your route back to your hotel in advance. Always have the number and address of your accommodation on you (often you can pick up a card at reception) in case you find yourself disorientated plus local currency ’emergency funds’ should you need to get a taxi.

London street scene - image Zoe Dawes

London street

So, wherever you go this year, follow these simple travel safety tips and you should be fine and dandy 🙂

More on holiday travel: 9 Tips for a stress-free airport experience and for a bit of light relief my worst airport fiasco!