Whether you’re a travelling veteran or about to head off on your first overseas trip there is doubtlessly going to be one phrase following you as you wave goodbye – ‘be safe!’

It might be your mum, friend or partner, but you’re almost guaranteed to be told to be safe on your trip overseas. One part of being safe is understanding the destination you’re in, the laws, the scams you might come across and the cities or towns it would be best for you to avoid.

But how do you pack for a safer holiday? It might sound like a strange concept at first, but there are a number of ways you can prepare yourself so that you are able to travel more confidently and deal better with emergency situations.

Travel insurance

It’s the lightest item you’ll purchase and pack to take travelling but it can provide huge benefits if you experience an emergency overseas. Hospital expenses, doctor’s visits, replacing stolen luggage or cancelled flights can be hugely expensive. “One of our highest claims payouts in the 2014-2015 year was for a woman who fell from her bed on a cruise. Her claim exceeded $190,000,” said Dean from Fast Cover travel insurance.  “You can’t predict what will happen when you travel. Travel insurance is there if you need assistance or advice in an emergency, you are able to contact a professional and so you have cover for the costs of emergency.”

Which policy you choose will depend on your needs. Remember that particular adventure activities or pre-existing medical conditions may not be automatically covered. Take the time to read the product disclosure statement to better understand the policy benefits offered.

Slash-proof bag

A slash-proof bag is one option for travellers concerned about having their items stolen. These types of bags provide further protection against bag snatchers and thieves who might cut the straps of your bag in order to steal it. You can find slash proof backpacks, laptop cases and more subtle bags such as money belts.

Two or more money cards

If you only have one money card available to you and you lose it or it’s stolen, that’s it. No quick or easy access to money. If you’re in a country where you don’t speak the local language this can be particularly distressing. Having your card lost or stolen can be terrible, but the situation is not nearly as bad if you have another banking card on hand. If that card is connected to a different bank account, then there’s the added plus of knowing you have another account to fall back on.

Look into the banks that can provide international debit cards, such as Citibank.

A fake wallet

A fake wallet can be extremely useful if ever someone tries to rob you. In that situation, you can hand over a wallet with a few small notes in it and maybe a few old and completely useless cards. You’ve lost nothing important and can get back to enjoying your time overseas.

Essential Pre-Travel Checklist for Safer Travel #travel #safety - via @FastCover

Click to Tweet

Download a VPN

Apps such as VPN Master can provide you with the added confidence that you can access information online, such as your bank details, privately. If you are travelling to China you’ll likely need a VPN in order to access some popular websites such as Gmail and Facebook. But you can use a VPN in any country to avoid the risk of your information being stolen over a free WiFi network.

Download offline maps

There are various apps you can use to get maps on your phone, many of which you can access offline as well. Download a few maps of your destination so you can avoid looking like a lost tourist.

Bring a list of your medications – digital and hardcopy

If you become sick or injured and need medical attention, being able to provide a list of the medications you are using or any pre-existing medical conditions you have will be helpful to your doctors. Remember, you can create a Medical ID on an iPhone which anyone can access in an emergency without a passcode. Keep a hardcopy of your medications and any medical conditions on your person.

Prepare to lose belongings

Precious items such as jewellery are more likely to get you noticed by opportunistic thieves. You can avoid the situation by leaving jewellery at home in a safe place.

Pin me!

Essential Pre-Travel Checklist Safer Travel- Breathe Travel