Travel safe: 10 things you should NEVER do while traveling!

by Aug 26, 2021Safety & Security

Ten Things You Should Never Do While Traveling Selfie

Travel is fun … until it’s not. Like when someone breaks into your home because they knew you were away or robs you at your hotel because they knew you were coming. Know the 10 things you should never do while traveling to ensure your safety and protect your valuables.

Even if you are a travel veteran or you’re finally heading out on your first travel adventure with a brand-new passport, make sure you know the 10 things you should never do while traveling if you wish to protect your valuables and ensure your personal safety.

  1. Post photos of your trip while you are on vacation. It may surprise you to read that Therese and I never post travel updates live on any social media feed, ever. We do this to ensure our personal safety and to protect our home and the house-sitters or friends who are taking care of our home. Consider that local thieves make a habit of trolling social media posts looking for targets. That includes at home (where you are not) and on the road (where you are). Posting those photos of you in a lovely hotel pool at sunset may seem exciting, but if you do this while you are still at the hotel, local thieves will know where you are staying, and criminals at home will know you are somewhere else with an empty home just waiting to be burgled. It’s an open invitation for trouble. But, you say, I restrict all my posts to just friends, so that’s safe, right? Not really. You should never assume the privacy settings on social media will mean only your immediate friends and family will see posts. What if a friend’s brother, who’s not so trustworthy, sees cool photos of you in a luxury hotel living large at the beach. That untrustworthy family member might just decide you can afford it if they head over to your home and relieve you of a few valuables – or they share that you’re out of town with their unscrupulous friends!
    Selfie Things You Should Never Do While Traveling
  2. Become part of someone else’s social media posts when traveling with a group. For the same reasons as above, we always ask people we are traveling with not to post photos of us or tag us in any photos while we are on the trip with them. Tagging reveals a current location, too, and even if the people you are traveling with don’t care, you don’t want this information about you and your travel plans floating about. To stop people from tagging you, enable Facebook’s tag review. That will allow you to approve all tags before they publish.
  3. Post your travel plans leading up to a trip. Yes, I know you are excited about your upcoming trip, but posting on social media how excited you are to be traveling to, for example, Venice next week, staying at such-and-such hotel and dining out in various fabulous restaurants just gives criminal trolls time to plan. It is what they do best.
  4. Leave on a trip without ensuring your home security. This can be as simple as making sure you have locked and secured all doors and windows (even upstairs ones), unplugging various electrical appliances, and putting your valuables in a safe and secure place. Bonus points if you have a fireproof safe. I’d also recommend a good home security system, one that will monitor your home when you are not there for fire and break-ins and offers video surveillance to allow you to see what’s going on at home from anywhere in the world.
  5. Post photos of your boarding passes, passports, COVID vaccination cards. Burglary isn’t the only type of theft that you can encourage by broadcasting to the world you’re traveling. For some reason too many folks love to post photos of their boarding passes, tickets, and passports as they’re headed out on a grand adventure. In the wrong hands those seemingly innocent photos can be just what skilled criminals need to steal your identity. (If you really can’t help yourself, at least make sure any personal information is blurred or completely covered up.)
  6. Leave home without telling your bank and credit card companies your travel plans. Be sure to check in with your bank and credit cards to let them know of your travel plans, in detail. That includes when you are leaving, when you will be returning, and in what countries you may be making purchases on your credit card or withdrawing money on your ATM. While an increasing number of banks no longer require travel alerts, you don’t want to find yourself trying to pay for a purchase and have your credit card frozen.
  7. Skip purchasing travel insurance. Now, more than ever, you absolutely need travel protection that includes excellent medical evacuation options, travel insurance options and advisory services if you have emergency needs or questions. Though there are many options, we rely on Global Rescue to protect us should the need ever arise.
  8. Travel without needed vaccinations or proof of vaccination documentation. Know which vaccinations are recommended before you travel for your destination by visiting the Center for Disease Control. Global Rescue also provides its members with updated information on safety and needed vaccinations specific to each country on its website. Be sure which health documentation you will need, from proof of a negative COVID test to proof of COVID vaccination and other vaccinations, such as yellow fever and more. Keep in mind that if you choose NOT to get a recommended vaccination because it is not required, should you contract a disease that might have been prevented, the provider of your travel insurance could refuse to pay out for a claim. Travel Safety Hacker 5332676 1920
  9. Connect to public Wi-Fi without a VPN and updated antimalware/antivirus software. Act like everyone is after your digital identity and wallet when you are traveling, because in all likelihood, they are. Assume that all public Wi-Fi is unsafe and ensure at least a basic level of digital security by relying on a VPN (virtual private network) when connecting.
  10. Be casual with your passport, your wallet, or any other vital documents. I’ve witnessed friends having fun with another friend when traveling, picking his pocket, or swiping his passport and ID left sitting next to him on a restaurant table. Funny when it is friends. Not so funny if it’s someone with undesirable intentions. Keep your important documents and wallet always secured in zippered pockets when you have them with you and locked away in a hotel safe when you don’t. NEVER put them down on a table, counter, or surface next to you, even for a second because a second is all criminals need to make off with what is so vital. Be sure you have copies of important documents and IDs in your luggage should the worst happen as well as digital copies in another secure cloud location. And invest in RFID wallets and sleeves to carry these essentials for more protection.

Robber Snatching Card From Woman's Hand Using ATM

And finally, a bonus thing you should ALWAYS do while traveling. Become hyper aware of your surroundings, where your exits are, who is in a room with you, who is standing near you at an ATM, who is walking up behind you, etc. Keep your eyes open, your head up and on a swivel, and stay alert. If you are traveling with one or more friends or family members, work with each other to stay alert and watch each other’s belongings and back. All this mandates being more aware of where you are than what alerts are popping up on your phone.

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