Regardless of whether you’re walking home alone or taste-testing Gelati around Europe for three months, it’s important to arm yourself with tools that can help keep you safe.

Nowadays, you can create a digital support system so you’re on the grid, even when you’re off the grid. Get travel-savvy here, so you can focus on the fun stuff while you’re away!

1. Do your research before you fly out and remember to register your trip

Find out as much information about the neighbourhood you’re visiting as possible by reading profiles and reviews from a range of credible sources like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and Airbnb.

Be sure to check out the area’s safety rating on smarttraveller.gov.au, and while you’re there, register your trip and subscribe to travel advice. IAMAT.org is another good place to access information about the health risks in the area you’re planning to visit, including recommended vaccinations and the quality of food and water.

2. Get travel insurance

This is a non-negotiable. Don’t have time to shop around for a good deal? Organise your travel insurance through your bank – it’s a quick and easy process that could save you thousands of dollars later.

3. Download the iFirstAid app

It’s so important to have up-to-date first aid information on hand, so you have the confidence to act quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency.

The Survival iFirstAid app logs you and your family’s immunisation and vaccination records, lists emergency contact numbers for countries you’re travelling in, and provides essential first aid information including voice instructions and a CPR compression timer.

You can allow loved ones to access your travel itinerary within the app, and it’s easy to make an emergency broadcast of your GPS coordinates, should you need to. Downloading the app to your mobile phone is a simple, easy step you can take to feel a whole lot safer, at home and abroad.

4. Create a Dropbox account

If you’re yet to discover the convenience of Dropbox – now is the time!

This is where you want to keep a password protected folder containing a copy of your Passport and any other important documents. In the unlikely chance you lose all your belongings – you’ll be able to access this anywhere with Wi-Fi.

5. Invest in a portable phone charger

Smartphones are so… well, smart, but they can’t help save your life or someone else’s if they’re out of charge. A pocket-size cordless power bank can provide your phone with 80% extra battery life when you’re out and about. Pick one up from Officeworks for around $20 and keep it in your wallet, always.

6. Divide duplicates

Speaking of wallets, you need three. Carry a small wallet that holds your day allowance, keep your real wallet locked away in your main bag at your accommodation, and slip a back-up bank card into another hidden section of your bag (a toiletries case is a good spot) for added security.

7. Document your day

Yes, it’s a tad creepy, but taking a quick picture of your driver’s number plate or simply your location can give you some peace of mind when you’re travelling in an area you’ve never been before. Documenting details about your day is not only great for your travel diary, it can be a huge help if you lose something and need to retrace your steps.

8. Dress accordingly

If you can, leave the expensive jewellery at home and dress like an expat, not the woman that’s taken annual leave for the first time in years and has five sarongs in her luggage. Talk to fellow travellers and take note of what the women around you are wearing, to avoid being disrespectful or a target for pick-pocketing.

9. Invent an imaginary friend

You may plan to eat dinner alone, but the local you met on the bus earlier doesn't need to know that. If you’re feeling unsafe, drop the partner you’re meeting soon, or the travel companion you’re without right now, into conversation.

10. Walk like a local

Exude confidence! Clutching your bag whilst trying to navigate a map on the side of the road screams ‘Tourist’. Keep your valuables in front of you, as opposed to on your hip or back, and if you do get lost, stop and find your bearings again in a café.

Safety doesn’t need to be stressful. Keep these tips front of mind, make important downloads before you leave the country, and you’ll be set for the trip of a lifetime.

Safe Travels,
The Survival Team