Safety Strategies While Traveling

Traveling the world is a great way to experience different cultures and food. One thing I learned from my travels is that I have much more in common with people in other areas/countries than differences. Unfortunately, one similarity is crime. No matter where I've gone, from the sleepy little town in Kentucky to the hot tourist spots overseas, and everywhere in between, crime is a factor.

Targeting the Visitor —

Criminals are everywhere and always work to take advantage of the unsuspecting. Tourists, and yes, grifters can tell, are easy targets. Tourists probably don't know the language or culture. For example, it's hard to distinguish subtle cues of danger when you're not sure what people are saying or typical behavior. For example, it's quite common for middle eastern men to shout and get very close during normal conversation. This behavior differs from how western men typically converse.Not knowing the language also makes it more difficult to ask for help or convey what happened should you become a victim, and criminals know this.   

Visitors may not know the high-crime places to avoid and stumble into a location or area that they would avoid had they known. This is an issue not just when traveling to another country, but even when you're on a business trip or driving through states to reach a destination. 

It may seem minor, but visitors fall victim to financial crimes, particularly in other countries. You must know the conversion rate because if you don't, an unscrupulous person will almost certainly swindle you. Some places the police are corrupt and will stop you and demand you pay them or they might tow your car, arrest you. Tourists become the targets for all types of financial crimes and schemes, which can lead to physical violence.

Ask Yourself These Questions —

What would you do if a criminal took your money, id, and cell phone?? How would you call anyone? What’s the emergency number for local law enforcement? How do you get back home? How do you get money? How do you prove you are without identification??

You can see why visitors are such a prime target for criminals.

responding to a mass shooting

Some Safety Suggestions for Traveling —

Here are some suggestions to decrease your chances of being a victim:

  • Research the area, hotel, transportation, night light ahead of time. Make reservations ahead of time with reputable businesses and avoid accepting a ride or room from someone you have not thoroughly checked out ahead of time.
  • Check the hotel location or Airbnb for reviews and also the type of security the residence has.
  • Check out  for information on the area you are staying or visiting.
  • Check with your hotel or the host about secure areas to park and procedures for late night arrival.
  • Check the door and window locks on your when you check-in to make sure they are secure.
  • Lock up valuables in a safe if provided or bring locks with you.
  • Keep valuables with you and don't leave them unattended in public places like beaches and hotels. It only takes a second for an experienced criminal to take your phone, wallet, or other valuables.
  • At night, ensure you use the deadbolt and anything else to secure the door. Remember, most locks these days are electronic and most hotels do a good job in changing the codes/cards, but you want to take the extra precaution for your own safety.
  • Check out health care in the area you are visiting because in case of a serious illness or injury, you may have to be transported a long distance. Several years ago, a cruise I was on stopped in Cancun to offload a patient who was in serious condition. Healthcare is different in foreign countries and when traveling internationally, look into supplemental insurance to cover you and the potential transportation back to the US.
  • Don't travel with large amounts of cash. Use credit cards where you can. If you have to travel with a large amount of cash, break it up between what you are carrying on yourself and what you leave locked in the room. The idea is, you won't lose everything if someone robs you. Consider wearing something like a traveler's belt that can stash away money or documents.
  • Check out local customs if you are going to a foreign country because what might seem perfectly fine from a US perspective could offend in that country. For example, you don't want to use your left hand to shake someone’s hand in the Middle east.

Consider Rideshare Safety —

You may have to use rideshare services on your trip. For domestic travel, it wouldn't hurt to learn about the firearm policies for Lyft and Uber. Here are some safety strategies for using a rideshare, and also the importance of being aware of your surroundings while waiting for a ride share

What types of things do you do when traveling domestically or internationally? Share away in the comments.

About Rob Beckman

Rob lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and was introduced to firearms and the outdoors a long time ago in the Boy Scouts. He writes blog articles for and his own site http;// on self defense issues. He is a USCCA Senior Training Counselor, a NRA Training Counselor, and and has received his Firearm Instructor Certification from International Association of Law Enforcement Instructors (IALEFI). Graduate of the MAG40 and Modern Samurai Project Red Dot Instructor Course. When not working he enjoys learning about nature and camping and educating others on hunting and trapping. His focus is on teaching responsibility in everything we do and always learning news skills throughout our lives.


  1. Clark Kent on October 19, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Wow. Rob must subcontract the Secret Service every time he travels. He makes travelling equate with Army Ranger training.

  2. Rob Beckman on October 19, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    Negative. Just being realistic about risks and avoiding putting myself in a bad situation.

  3. Gilberto Diaz-Castro on October 19, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    I’m legally blind and do travel some. When I go international I wear two sets of drawers, the outer ones have a built in pocket on the hip where most of my cash is carried, few robbers want your drawers… I also don’t carry my passport unless I know I will need it, I carry a copy of the important pages that include my picture and current visa page, which I also email to a family member as soon as I arrive, if I lose the originals all I need is to access my email account to get the numbers in the documents. I carry nothing on my back pockets or jacket pockets.

    • Rob Beckman on October 20, 2022 at 6:20 am

      Great advice for carrying important documents and even more important when you have additional challenges that might encourage someone to try and victimize you. Thanks for sharing.

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