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  • Writer's pictureKrista the Explorer

5 Tips for Staying Safe When Travelling Abroad in 2024

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2024 is set to be a massive year in travel, with so many amazing locations around

the world available with the click of a button. And while travelling is supposed to be a

fun, exciting time, you must never be complacent regarding your safety and security.


That’s because many opportunistic people can strike while you’re abroad,

potentially ruining your entire trip. Thankfully, staying safe is relatively easy – so long

as you bear some critical things in mind.


Below are five simple but effective ways of ensuring you stay safe when travelling

abroad in 2024.


1. Prepare yourself – and your documents

Two Canadian passports with tickets sticking out.
Canadian Passports

Before you travel, preparation is vital. Researching your host country and its customs is one of the best ways of enjoying yourself and avoiding trouble.


Before jetting off, create an itinerary of things you will do and share this with loved ones at home. Include information like where you’re going, where you’re staying, and with whom. Don’t forget to add their contact information and key dates around your trip.


But the preparation doesn’t stop there. When going abroad, every traveller in 2024 should scan and back up any essential documents, such as passports, travel insurance, flight information, reservations, or important bookings.


Keep these digital copies stored in an easy-to-reach folder in your emails or online storage. If something important gets lost, you can get a replacement quicker while abroad or check in to your hotel without delay.


2. Always stay informed about what's happening

Man standing in front of screen at airport with laptop.
Airport

Many things can change while you’re on a trip abroad, some of which can cause significant disruption. These include extreme changes in the weather, civil unrest, or even a health emergency.


For this reason, you must stay informed on what’s happening before and during your trip and who might be nearby to help in your hour of need.


Familiarize yourself with your country’s embassy, and where possible, register your trip with them to ensure that they know you’re nearby in the event of an emergency.


For example, the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program is a free service designed for travellers to enroll for a trip with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This way, they can receive timely information about any changes in security and safety, weather alerts, civil unrest, or any other potential disruptions travellers should be mindful of.


If you need to, you can contact a relevant embassy and get timely assistance, including contacting loved ones, getting help to travel home, or finding a way to continue your holiday.


3. Protect yourself online

Woman typing on laptop with phone and pencils next to it.
Online Protection

Whether checking flight or train times, researching fun things to do in the area, or keeping in touch with family back home, you’ll connect to the internet at some stage throughout your travels. Unfortunately, more cybercriminals are attacking travellers who might have let their guard down and are easy targets.


A virtual private network (VPN) is essential to safeguarding your online activity while on the move. It encrypts your internet connection, preventing criminals from monitoring your activity and snooping on your screen.


A VPN can even protect you on public Wi-Fi networks like airports, cafes, and hotels, which ordinarily pose significant risks to your cyber security. Best of all, many premium VPNs have additional security tools, such as an ad blocker, which can stop intrusive ads from disrupting your screen or consuming unnecessary data when abroad.


4. Don’t forget physical security

Laptop sitting in cafe with coffee cup next to it.
Laptop

Before your trip, remember to set basic protections on your devices. These include setting stronger passwords and PINs and using biometric logins for gadgets. You should enable GPS-location features, such as ‘Find My Phone,’ to quickly relocate a lost or stolen gadget.


Avoid using public charging points to recharge your devices, as these stations can be tampered with in a rising malware attack known as juice jacking. Instead, pack your own chargers and accessories, and if needed, only buy from reputable brands overseas.


Never leave devices unattended or in places where you can’t see them, especially when at tourist hotspots and airports. You should also be wary of people who may look over your shoulder to spy on your screen.


5. Avoid oversharing about your trip

Two men on their travels carrying backpacks and a guitar.
Friends Travelling

As fun and exciting as it might seem, it’s unwise to share too much about your trip, both beforehand and when abroad. That’s because advertising that you’re away can invite local criminals to burglarize your home.


Moreover, cybercriminals might also seize the moment and launch an attack on you as your holiday approaches by pretending to be a booking website, travel agent, or someone related to your trip.


This is especially important if you’re travelling for an extended period. Resisting the urge to share everything could save you from returning to a burgled home.

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