5 Travel Tools to Keep You Safe

Staying safe on the road is about keeping your wits about you—and carrying the right equipment. Below are the five tools no traveller should leave home without.

Of course, you can and should make adjustments depending on where you’re going and what kind of trip it is. For example, travellers to Africa will probably make a mosquito net an essential part of their kit. And adventure trips that feature activities such as camping, hiking or anything extremely outdoorsy will require a much more severe and durable list of essential items than anything you’ll find here.

1. Money Belt with a Clip Fastener

This is the ultimate in pickpocket protection. Nothing saves a fanny-pack or backpack from being slashed by a knife, and when something is worn behind you, it doesn’t do a lot of good protecting your valuables from enterprising thieves. However, a money belt is worn under your clothing, and your money is always in front of you—so pickpockets will have a much tougher time separating you from your cash.

5 Travel Tools to Keep You Safe

2. Traveller’s Cheques

An old, but still great, way to protect your money while you are travelling. If your cheques get lost or stolen, you can simply report them to your bank and they will replace them wherever you are. Still, you want to make sure you keep the cheques safe while you have them. Sign them all and write down your cheque numbers twice—once to keep at home and once so you have the numbers in a separate location, in case you need to report them to your bank for replacement. Never leave your traveller’s cheques in your checked baggage or your hotel room, and try to have them on you at all times.

3. Fake Wallet

If you do get mugged, you’ll be happy if you’re carrying a fake wallet with just a little bit of cash, along with artificial cards and ID. You can hand the wallet over or throw it a little further away from the thief, then run in the opposite direction. It could be a simple ploy to help minimize the damage.

5 Travel Tools to Keep You Safe

4. Add-A-Lock Door Lock

A simple lock that you can quickly install is recommended when you’re staying at budget accommodations such as hostels, where the possibility of locking your door isn’t always guaranteed. An Add-A-Lock allows you to use a door’s existing door jam and lock mechanism to create a chain lock that you’d usually find on any old-school apartment door. Plus, it’s easily removable when you need it to be.

5. Small Medical Kit

Fill this with aspirin, bandaids, anti-diarrheals, polysporin, bandages and anything else you think you may need. It’s good to keep prescription drugs in their original packages and always have a copy of your medical history, along with a list of the required vaccines that are needed depending on where you are going. You can either make this yourself or buy it pre-made from the drug store.

Aaron Broverman

When Aaron Broverman isn't escaping into comic books, he's escaping to a new area code. Ever since he forged a path of independence by abandoning his hometown of Surrey, B.C. for the big city of Toronto in 2003, he's expanded his horizons even further with trips to Mexico, Israel and New York City, proving there are no limits to where you can go. His travel writing has appeared on the web at Walletpop.ca and in print for Abilities and New Mobility, which are both lifestyle magazines for people with disabilities. The photo was taken in Tel Aviv on Aaron's Birthright trip to Israel in 2006.