Knowing how to travel safe is the most important part of traveling.
Traveling abroad is one of the most exciting things a person can do and no doubt is something that you are looking to do in the near future.
Knowing how to pack a suitcase and knowing how to pack a suitcase safely are two entirely different things.
Read up on the quarantine laws to ensure you’re not importing anything illegal – this can include things as simple as wood carvings, skins or even food – or even something as simple as a tooth from a monkey that you found at a temple. The penalties are can be extremely harsh and vary from country to country– in Australia, you may receive an on-the-spot fine of up to $AU220, or, for a more serious offense, you may be prosecuted and potentially face a fine of up to $AU66,000 or even 10 years’ in prison.
So please make yourself aware of what you can and cannot bring across borders.
When packing for a holiday we need to be as practical as possible.
It is understandable if it your first time traveling overseas if you are unsure what power adaptors the hotel has, if they have a hair straightener for hire or even how many pairs of shoes you need in case one gets wet… what if you need to to go out dinner “Should I bring a set of heels?”
There is an old saying that “Less is Best” and when it comes to packing a suitcase this is very much the best practise.
Consider where you are headed and what you may be buying whilst on your holiday and remember – It is much easier to get travel and keep an eye on one bag rather than two.
Spend the money and invest in a hardcased suitcase with built in locks, these help to deter would be thieves and you can still throw a zip tie on the zippers for additional security.
This one is fairly obvious but it can be so easy to offer someone else assistance with there luggage when they are struggling, the rule on how to travel safe is simple:
So many travellers have been caught out simply trying to do the right thing and had to spend their holiday time rotting in a jail cell.
Don’t be fooled – Even the frail elderly have been known to smuggle contraband (Due to health reasons some elderly start smuggling to help support their family once they are gone as they have nothing to lose).
Know the contents of your bags at all times, if customs pops the question you should be able to at least generally note the contents of your bag (an “I don’t know” or “just the usual stuff” will prompt them to search your bag and waste everyone’s time).
Although Zip ties (also known as cable ties) don’t replace secure luggage locks, they are incredibly useful for ensuring that your luggage isn’t tampered with. You or customs can easily cut them off, but they do prevent easy access for opportunists and would be thieves.
Most zip ties are black or white, however I suggest purchasing some colored ones for extra luggage identification.
If your luggage arrives on the carousel at the airport with the zip ties missing or a different color, don’t touch the bag, call a security officer and tell them you think your bag’s been tampered with.
You will be subjected to a thorough search of your belongings, however if any contraband has been planted in your luggage, you’ll have a good alibi and have covered your tracks.
Keep a couple of spare cable ties with you while travelling just in case your baggage does get searched at the airport, this way you will always be able to easily identify your luggage.
Lost luggage is very inconvenient and it can completely ruin a holiday! Items can be expensive to replace, including the luggage itself.
To lighten the stress, ensure you get the right level of insurance cover to meet your needs, this is even more important if you’re carrying expensive items such as laptops, cameras or smartphones.
Always read the policy description all the way through, for your own piece of mind check these items will be fully covered.
In some circles light packing is considered an art.
It goes without saying that while you may travel safe sometimes losing things can be unavoidable.
Things do get lost whilst travelling but the core of good packing is to not pack anything which you could not bear to lose, this is especially fundamental with sentimental and valuable belongings.
A child’s favorite teddy bear for example is a lot better off missing the holiday than to be missed forever.
The trip from the airport to the hotel is not always a short stop and can sometimes be multiple stops before you arrive… especially with friends.
The airport lounge, the beach, a café or wherever else you may find yourself spending time with your luggage means there are potential scouts looking to take advantage of you.
Always keep your luggage by your side and if you do need to go to the restroom as a family member or trusted friend mind it for you.
When you arrive at your hotel make sure your room is lockable and secure and take advantage of hotel safes (make sure they are reliable first).
when you do leave your luggage in your hotel room, make sure you lock it up.
Always keep your valuables (especially your passport and money) hidden on your person, rather than in your luggage.
If for whatever reason you find yourself out with your luggage, place the handle of your luggage under your chair leg or secure it to the table.
Whilst travelling overseas take everything valuable out of your luggage and stuff it into your day pack prior to getting onto your flight, or better yet just pack your day pack with it already inside.
Now all you have to do is sit back in the airplane with your bursting at the seams day pack onto your lap for the next few hours not having to worry that someone is stealing your laptop, camera or diamond earrings.
The same as getting good luggage, you will also need to get yourself a good day pack.
make sure to have all zips secured – it’s too easy for pickpockets to steal your gear (they do this for a job remember) … or worse yet it could fall out and smash which you would have no one to blame but yourself.
To travel safe in crowded areas such as markets, airport terminals and train stations, it may not be the most fashionable choice but wearing your day pack on the front of your body can save you a number of hassles.
These types of places are renowned as being so busy that travelers easily lose focus on their belongings because there is so much else going on.
Not only are you able to easily access the items within your pack when it is in front of you but you will be at less risk of getting robbed.
Hot Tip: To travel safe handbags should be worn across the body with the strap diagonally over one shoulder. Don’t let your bag hang loose from your shoulder as this makes it an easy target for snatch-and-run thieves and drive-by grabbers.
Now this travel safe tip may sound a little far fetched however as an additional safety measure to prove that you filled, locked and zip tied your suitcase.
This may help your case if someone has tried to smuggle something in with your belongings.
There is no way to 100% guarantee that your belongings will be safe and secure when you arrive at your destination, however you can take valuable steps to minimize the risks.
we have a free downloadable checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything next time you travel, you can find it right here.