Whether you’re travelling solo, or with your friends and family, a travel mishap can happen at any time. Some cities like Buenos Aires for example, are often notorious for their high crime rate (as we saw last year when our friends at Global Degree were nearly robbed at gunpoint). But that’s not to say this city isn’t worth visiting. Despite the shakeup, Michael and Alex say they would return to this city again since the extent of their trip was wonderful. But if your anything like me, you like to do a bit of research on your destinations before you step foot off your plane.
The Economist recently ranked the worlds safest cities looking at 50 cities and factoring in size and were ranked on more than 40 metrics than spanned 4 main categories: digital security, infrastructure safety, health security and personal safety. According to the Economist, the 5 safest cities in the world are:
1. Tokyo, Japan
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3. Osaka, Japan
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4. Stockholm, Sweden
5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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Oh and if you’re curious, the cities that came in at the bottom of the list were:
46. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
47. Johannesburg, South Africa
48. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
49. Tehran, Iran
50. Jakarta, Indonesia
These cities ranked low on all four of the report’s categories of safety. Researchers also wrote that “being statistically safe, is not the same as feeling safe”. And while there are many factors that deem a city to be ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ it never hurts to consider the facts before a trip. That being said, no matter where you travel, here are some friendly tips on staying safe while travelling.
Tips for Staying Safe While Travelling
1. Avoid touring around a city by foot or bike with expensive equipment.
When you’re out site seeing, consider just bringing your camera and leaving your laptop/ipads/hard drives at your hotel or hostel locked up in a safe place. If you’re on the move (ie- a bike tour) just bring a GoPro or smartphone to capture the experience. Take only the minimum amount of money you think you need, and a passport photocopy. If your room doesn’t have a safe, ask the front desk if they have a safe or room to keep your valuables locked up in while you are out.
2. Consider wearing a hidden money belt.
This can easily be disguised under your clothes and will not be easily seen or accessible to pick-pocketers.
3. Travel with a reputable tour company
Consider taking a tour with a reputable tour company that won’t take you through unsafe areas of a city, or will warn you what areas to avoid. Companies like Urban Adventures offering short day tours in most major cities and have received some very good ratings from their travellers. Talk to a Flight Centre Travel Expert for more information on tour companies to consider.
4. Bring back-up bank and credit cards
The longer your trip is, the more likely your primary cards will be compromised or lost and thus the need to access other bank accounts. Pack these backup debit and credit cards in your larger backpack/suitcase so that if you lose your wallet or day bag, the other set will still be safe at the hotel.
5. Memorize your passport number
A passport number is commonly required as part of the hotel check-in procedure and sometimes for tours. The less often you pull out your passport, the less you expose the contents of your money belt or bag for the world to see.
Have any more great tips for keeping you and your belongings safe when travelling? Leave a comment below!