With summer nearly upon us, many of us will be planning a nice summer vacation either domestically, or internationally.
We all take lots of gadgets to keep us entertained on our travels, but what do we do to make sure everything is safe while travelling? Here are some of our top tips
First and foremost, even though it is not a gadget, you should make sure you are insured while abroad, if you are travelling within Europe, then UK residents are entitled to free medical treatment and can apply for a European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC. Alternatively, paid insurance is quite cheap and a lot of premium bank accounts offer it as one of the perks. In the event of a holiday accident that was not your fault, slatergordon.co.uk can provide legal assistance when you return home
After a medical emergency, probably the most significant risk to avoid is theft, particularly pickpockets. A good quality shoulder bag with zipped pockets should reduce your risk of having things stolen. I use a cheap bag from Amazon that has a flap but then a large zip sealing the main compartment. If you have just a flap, you ideally would have buckles, as magnetic straps don’t provide much security. If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, Pacsafe has a wide range of bags with anti-theft functions built in.
You can, of course, opt for the traditional style money belt, they may look dorky, but they work. Modern ones can come with RFID blocking to stop anyone skimming your card. Alternatively, I use a slim leather wallet with an RFID blocker inside.
It is always wise to have multiple cash sources, I rarely use cash abroad now, opting to use my Halifax Clarity card, but in the event of that being lost or stolen there are some superb new digital banking options from Revolut and Monzo that offer excellent exchange rates. Using credit cards or pre-paid cards will save you a lot of stress (and money) if you do have a card stolen.
Bluetooth trackers are a useful gadget to have at home and when travelling. These small devices can be attached to keys or placed into wallets; they will emit a loud noise when your phone pings them. Some services crowdsource data via the app so you can locate the lost item even when out of the Bluetooth range. Popular brands include TrackR and Tile
Using Google maps, you can share your location with selected users, so if you have a tendency to get split from members of your group, this can be an easy way to find them again. You can take Google maps to the next level by using a heat map maker to create customized maps.
If you want to take tracking a little more seriously, there is a wide range of devices that offer GPS tracking, for example, the V-Bag by Vodafone offers GPS tracking of bags or anything else you may want to clip it to. There is also a range of children’s watches with GPS tracking built into them. All these GPS trackers will need their own SIM card and sometimes a monthly service, but they can save you endless amounts of stress. With the V-Bag, for example, you can also set up geo-fences so you could be alerted when a child moved out of a designated area.
Depending on where you are staying, you may want some personal protection too, personal alarms or sirens are popular among travellers, you can even buy a personal door lock.
In general, common sense will be the most useful thing to have when safety is concerned. Be aware of the environment around you, don’t do anything to attract too much attention, and don’t leave your valuables unattended in unsecured locations.
This was a collaborative post.