So you’ve booked to go travelling. Now you are rearing to head off on your big adventure. In the back of your mind, you are a little scared though. What if something bad happens? How can you stay safe and secure? We all feel like this, even hardened long-term travellers. You can’t always avoid travel nightmares, but we have compiled a list of the best products, accessories and gadgets you can get to keep you as safe and secure as possible whilst travelling. We’ve been travelling for years and have found these travel safety products super helpful.
On this page I have used affiliate links. This means we make a little pocket money if you buy any travel safety products through the links we have given. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you a penny and we will never suggest buying pants products.
Safety And Security When Travelling: Before You Go
Before we start on the best travel personal security products, here’s a handy list of things you need to think about (and sort out) in regards to travel safety before you go. This includes getting travel insurance, sorting out your vaccinations and checking out the countries you want to visit on the Foreign Office website.
Travel Safety Products: Awesome Items To Keep You Safe & Secure
1. A Good Money Belt
We aren’t talking about the usual uncomfortable and sweaty things you wear around your stomach that are really obvious and most thieves know that travellers use. The ones that you have to dig about in your private areas when you want to buy something…
A Belt In Case Of Emergency
When it comes to this travel safety product, we are talking about actual belts (like this security belt and this one) that will keep your shorts up and have a zipped pocket on the inner-facing side. This belt is not for everyday buying stuff use. The pocket is big enough to carry some folded-up emergency money in case you lose your wallet or get mugged.
We carry a couple of hundred in US dollars in ours. US dollars are widely accepted throughout the world and this amount should be enough to get you back on your feet after a nasty incident.
2. Typical Traveller Security Waist Belt
I personally don’t like these and think a proper belt is more practical. But there are some times when a waist belt is useful. They can fit more stuff in, like cards and passports, which a trouser belt won’t be able to fit. Also some people prefer them and depending on your outfit (like a dress or board shorts), the belts suggested above might not work.
If you do want one of these, we recommend this belt from Peak Gear. It is water resistant in case it rains (or you sweat too much). The belt has RFID-blocking protection. This is to stop your card info being stolen or to stop someone with a device taking a contactless payment from your card if the device is passed nearby. The belt comes with $250 cover if a thief does somehow steal your belt or stuff from it.
3. A Money Clip
A money clip is a small rectangular pocket that can clip onto your waistband, belt or underwear. I wear mine clipped onto my waistband, with the pocket on the inside of my trousers and my belt then covers the visible bit of the clip on my waistband. You can keep backup cards in here and a bit more folded-up emergency cash. It keeps your valuables out of your pockets, which will stop them falling out or stop a pickpocket from finding anything of great value.
Tactics Of Pickpockets
In Vietnam one tactic of pickpockets is that a woman will randomly feel a guy up to see what he has in his pockets and then communicate this to a pickpocket or proceed to rob him herself. I’ve also had 3 people in Quito, Ecuador surround me in the street and grab at my pockets to see what was in them.
This little clip can prevent you losing stuff in both instances. We recommend this money clip from Go Travel.
Unfortunately the Go Travel security clip doesn’t have RFID protection. If you want this, you can try this security clip from Lewis N Clark, but the zip is plastic so may not be as robust.
4. RFID-Blocking Wallet
The RFID protection will stop your card from accidentally, or deliberately making a contactless payment. Or your card or passport details being accessed. When things that have RFID (radio frequency identification) tags in them such as bank cards and passports detect a scanner, they share the information with the scanner via radio waves. This is how your contactless card works.
How Thieves Use RFID
Thieves these days can use devices that are RFID scanners to collect your credit card or passport info, if they pass the scanner close enough to your wallet or the pocket your wallet is in. A wallet with RFID-blocking protection will stop thieves from accessing your sensitive data or stealing your money.
Now choosing a wallet is very much down to personal taste. I got a great RFID-protected wallet from London Leather Goods that has card slots, a coin section (as some countries you get tons of coins), 2 separate sections for notes, one of which is zipped and a popper to keep the wallet closed. Unfortunately it is no longer available and may not suit your taste.
5. Passport Holder With RFID Protection
On a similar note a passport holder with RFID protection is also a good idea. This is a decent water-resistant passport holder that won’t break the bank.
6. A Personal Alarm
If you are a solo traveller, you may find this will give you some comfort when you are out and about by yourself. This personal alarm even has a torch.
7. A Waterproof Bag
A waterproof bag can come in handy for boat trips, rafting, rainy days and such. But it also means you don’t have to leave your valuables somewhere whilst you are doing an activity. This Earth Pak waterproof bag comes in various different colours.
8. Super Strong Padlocks
Load up on good strong padlocks. You’d be surprised when you will need to use them. Hostels often have lockers or your hostel door may need a padlock too if it doesn’t have a lock. Whilst trekking in Nepal, the rooms of the tea houses we stayed in had no locks.
Unfortunately padlocks can break so bring at least one back-up. Go down to your local hardware store so you can get ones that will be the right size and strength as it is hard to work this out online.
Safety And Security When Travelling: If You Are Particularly Worried
Now all of the above are fairly small and low-cost items and will probably do you fine in most situations. If you are particularly worried or are going somewhere a bit more sketchy then the following travel safety products might suit you.
9. A Slash-Proof Bag
One tactic some thieves employ is slashing your bag with a knife and stealing your valuables out of it without you noticing, either whilst you are wearing it or whilst it is on the floor by your feet. I have even heard of people using kids to crawl under seats on buses to do this to unsuspecting travellers. Alternatively thieves may try and slash the straps of your bag to make it easier to run-off with them.
Slash-proof bags can stop this from happening. They have a steel mesh within the fabric of the main pockets and the straps that a knife will not cut through. The better ones also come with the ability to use the straps to lock your back to your chair or table to stop someone grabbing it and running off.
Also the best ones include RFID-blocking technology for all the pockets. One of the original and best brands out there is Pac Safe and they offer various sizes for whatever your travelling needs are.
If the price is a bit steep for you there are a few cheaper but still good brands out there, such as Travelon.
10. Bag Protection Mesh
Now if you are worried about leaving your big bag behind when you go out for the day there is an option. Pac Safe make bag protection mesh that you put over your bag like a cover and it stops people accessing your bag. It comes with a thick wire that you can use to attach the bag to something fixed as well, to stop someone from nicking your bag. It also comes in handy if you can’t take your valuables with you for the day or you are going on a multi-day hike and need to leave most of your stuff at your hostel. You can effectively turn your bag into a safe.
There are a few downsides to it. It is a pain in the arse getting it over your bag. The holes in the mesh are big enough to still slash your bag and take out small things. It may signal that there’s actually something worth stealing in your bag (although I use a bag cover to put over the whole lot to hide this). And you feel a bit like part of the tin-hat brigade when using it. If you are interested though, you should get one that is a size up from your bag.
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I hope you now have more of an idea of what travel safety items and accessories you might need to keep you safe and secure whilst travelling. We are only small, so do share this blog if you found it helpful 🙂