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40 Essential Travel Safety Tips

World travel can be complicated, between protecting personal safety, climate change, COVID and a host of geopolitical issues. But the good news is, armed with our travel safety tips you can head out there knowing what to do if trouble arises (and still have fun).

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Photo: Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk

Hey, Travelers: The World is Calling

Travel isn’t just back after the pandemic. It’s better because we’re learning how to protect ourselves from diseases and our electronics from hackers. Technology is helping the disabled safely explore far-away destinations. We can buy travel insurance to cover unexpected costs, join programs that vet our fellow travelers for security risks and find places that welcome the LGBTQ+ community and other groups. Use our travel safety tips the next time you venture out to make sure you have a great trip.

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Photo: Michael Jastremski

Know Before You Go

Do your research before you take a trip. The US Department of State has information on every country in the world to help you assess how safe and secure it is to visit. As of October 4, 2022, for example, the website was advising against travel to Russia or, for travelers already there, leaving immediately due to the war with Ukraine. The site also gives details on local laws and customs, health conditions and, in some countries, safety advisories related to the traveler's gender.

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Photo: Shutterstock/Athitat Shinagowin

Safety Tips for Solo Women Travelers

Women traveling alone are often at greater risk than men or people in groups. Consider taking a self-defense class before you hit the road. Once you arrive, ignore catcalls and attempts to strike up a conversation, and take precautions like knowing which neighborhoods are safe and adding the local emergency phone number to your phone if you go out alone at night.

Want to discourage contact? Wear a fake wedding ring and sunglasses. If you're unsure about an area or activity, research it online or talk to the locals. For even more advice and resources, the Solo Female Traveler Network and Solo Female Travelers, both on Facebook, aim to empower lone women travelers with safety tips and advice.

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Photo: EF GoAhead Tours

A Group Tour Can Be Great for Solo Travelers

Tour companies know that not everyone has a travel companion, but they may also not want to travel alone. Companies like EF GoAhead Tours offer “solo within a group” tours that let you join a group for meals and activities but stay in your own private room.

Other people on EF GoAhead's solo tours also travel as individuals. Although the group goes sightseeing together, each person has free time to explore. Gay travelers and women say these kinds of tours help them feel safer than traveling alone and let them individualize their trips.

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