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While a vacation is an opportunity to take in the beauty of a new city or country, it is also a time when your safety could be in jeopardy. Many people will be able to tell you’re a tourist and some may take advantage of the fact that you are out of your depths. Here are a few key travel safety tips that you’ll want to keep in mind on your next vacation:

  1. Leave an itinerary and emergency contact with a friend

It can be refreshing to unplug from your life, but it’s important that you’re somewhat connected so that you can ensure your safety. Make sure you leave an itinerary with a trusted friend or family member back home. The itinerary doesn’t have to be detailed; it could just include which city you’ll be visiting and when you’ll be coming back. Try to check in with this friend or family member every day. This way, they can alert the authorities on your behalf if something happens. This is especially important if you’re traveling solo.

2) Scan a copy of your passport

We all know that travelling internationally requires a passport, but once you get to your destination, you should lock your passport safely in your hotel so that it doesn’t get stolen. Before you leave the country, scan a copy of your passport so you can use the copy while you’re out and about instead of using the passport itself. In addition to decreasing the chances of your passport getting stolen, this makes replacing your passport easier in the event that it does get stolen.

3) Research and keep emergency numbers

Remember that emergency numbers are different everywhere. In each destination, you should find out the local emergency hotlines. Save these numbers to your phone, preferably on speed dial, in case of emergency. You should also research the consulates or embassies of your home country that are closest to where you’re staying. Save those phone numbers and addresses in your phone as well.

4) Know your escape route

Take note of specific buildings and landmarks when you’re walking around in unfamiliar areas. It’s always good to know of a “friendly” place nearby, such as a bar, shop, cafe or gas station, so that you can go there if you ever feel threatened. Once you duck into this place, you can either call for help or wait for the threat to pass. You should also review the escape route in your hotel. Once you check into your hotel, take a look at the emergency escape routes.

5) Guard your cash and valuables

When you leave the house, take some spending money with you and leave the rest hidden. You won’t want to show off a big wad of cash each time you pay. You may also be tempted to have your smartphone out so that you can take photos or look up directions, but be aware of your surroundings. It is common for thieves to grab cell phones from people who are using them and then run off the train at the next stop.

When you’re having a wonderful time exploring your surroundings on vacation, it can be easy to forget about your personal safety. But when you’re travelling to a foreign country, this is a the time to be especially mindful to your surroundings so that you don’t get robbed or put in any kind of danger. Follow these tips to make sure you can have the safest vacation possible.