When you're travelling it's a good idea to take extra precautions for your personal safety. You're in an unfamiliar environment and many of the usual protections that we put in place in our daily lives are absent. While you generally can't bring bulky or fixed security items with you on vacation, there are quite a few things that can come along for the trip that will greatly increase your safety and security while travelling.
16 safety and security products every traveller needs
The top priority when it comes to safety while travelling abroad is obviously yourself. Although you don't want to end up in a situation where you have to, most things can be replaced, so focusing on personal safety first is wise.
The most important thing you can have on any trip is travel insurance. It may not seem like a big deal when things are going well, but if anything goes wrong you'll be incredibly thankful that you took out a policy before leaving home. Especially since many countries don't offer subsidised healthcare like Australia does, so you could find yourself stranded and stuck with a nasty bill if you need assistance and don't have cover.
Personal safety alarm
A personal safety alarm is a good item to carry even when you're simply out and about in your own neighbourhood, but it becomes essential if you're travelling overseas. In unfamiliar places it can be easy to wind up lost and find yourself in an area that isn't the best, so being able to call for help easily is vital.
If you'd like to pair your alarm with an application, check out our list of the best personal safety apps.
Depending on where you're headed, public places and restrooms aren't guaranteed to be clean, and you may even find you don't have access to running water. For this reason, carrying hand sanitiser with you is highly recommended.
To prevent yourself from getting sick, you should also use sanitiser any time you touch objects that may not be the cleanest. Even if a location seems clean enough, we suggest ensuring you have plenty.
First aid kit
A first aid kit may seem a little over the top to carry with you everywhere, but as mentioned above, not all countries will have accessible healthcare. Carrying a first aid kit could also save your life if you're somewhere you cannot get proper medical care, and comes in handy for everyday scrapes and scratches as well.
Phones are essential for navigation, safety and more these days, so having a flat phone in a foreign country is never a good thing. Even if you think your battery is going to last all day, it's a good idea to keep a fully charged power bank on you at all times.
Finally, if you'll be accessing any sensitive data such as hotel bookings, online banking or anything else that has significant personal data tied to it, we suggest the use of a VPN. Short for Virtual Private Network, these types of services greatly enhance both privacy and security so they're a useful resource no matter where you are in the world.
For your belongings
In addition to taking extra steps to protect yourself while travelling, it is also a smart idea to add some extra security to your belongings.
RFID passport wallets
RFID passport wallets help prevent the theft of your personal information by blocking any RFID attacks launched against you. We suggest storing your passport, cards and any other belongings with RFID or NFC technology within this type of wallet while travelling.
Anti-theft bags are made from stronger material than your standard options. This makes them harder to slice open or break the handle of, therefore offering better protection for your belongings. They also tend to have either shorter straps or a cross body strap in order to make them harder to snatch, and some options offer a locking mechanism. This helps keep your items secure and in your possession for the duration of your holiday, something that can be a bit of a struggle in certain destinations.
As the name suggests, luggage locks help ensure that nobody is able to open your luggage. This small addition can provide greatly enhanced security with very little investment or effort, and we strongly recommend making use of luggage locks on all suitable bags and suitcases.
If you're prone to losing things, or heading to a destination where theft is common, attaching an AirTag to your valuables is a wise move. Not only will this help you find anything that goes missing, but it can also help you prove that you actually own the item in question.
Cash is still king in many places, and you're not always guaranteed to have your card on you, so it certainly pays to have a suitable amount of emergency money on you at all times. Having said that, cash is one of the most commonly stolen items when people are away on holiday, so it's a good idea to keep your stash in a money belt.
While hotel safes certainly offer better protection than simply leaving your valuables around your room, they're not always going to be available. If you're staying in a hostel, for example, secure storage for valuables often isn't provided, and if it is, it may not be to the standard you desire. By the same token, hotel safe codes are generally known both by staff and previous guests of the room making them less secure than a personal one. The good news is that portable safes are readily available for those who would like some extra protection, so we suggest getting one before leaving home if you'll be travelling with anything particularly expensive or sentimental.
For your environment
Finally, it is also a good idea to do your best to secure the environment that you're staying in. While this is never going to be completely doable, some extra protection is better than none, and it's relatively easy to achieve.
Travel door locks
Sometimes referred to as portable door locks, travel locks are a must no matter where you're staying. Hotel key cards are notorious for working on multiple rooms and you don't want someone stumbling into your space at 2am because they had a bit too much fun and forgot which room was theirs. These locks work by preventing the door from being opened from the outside - even if whoever is trying to enter has unlocked the door - and are an incredibly helpful addition to your travel kit.
Door stop alarm
A door stop alarm serves two purposes—letting you know that someone is trying to enter your room, and buying you a little extra time to react. While a door stop alone won't stop a determined intruder, this alarm will at least notify you that something is wrong and may even scare the intruder away.
You never know when you're going to need to secure an item to or within something, so it's a good idea to carry a padlock or two with you at all times. This is more relevant for those staying in hostels or other shared accommodation but it's worth carrying one no matter where you're staying.
While most accommodation is cleaned regularly, those who want extra peace of mind will benefit from taking sanitiser wipes with them on their travels and giving their room a quick once over upon arrival. Focus on high touch areas if your supply is limited, but if possible, we do recommend going over the entire room.
If you're catching public transport, its worth giving your seat a quick once over for that extra layer of protection, especially if you're travelling in an unfamiliar country.