Not only has traveling become a hassle, events around the world have made it a little unsettling and downright dangerous in some countries. With that in mind, Jason Hanson—former CIA agent, Shark Tank winner and author of the New York Times best-seller Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life—has compiled a top 10 list of tips for traveling safely this summer at home or abroad.
1. The U.S. State Department posts warnings and alerts for security threats around the world, so check its website for the country you plan to visit. It has everything you need to know about overseas travel.
2. Copy all travel documents onto an encrypted flash drive that, in case of theft, will become void after 10 incorrect password attempts. Carry the device with you at all times. These documents include: drivers license, passport (know your passport number), travel insurance information, hotel reservations, airline reservations, emergency phone numbers, U.S. embassy address and phone number.
3. Carry money and credit cards in a secure wallet that can be hidden under your clothes or a belt with hidden compartments. Do not wear a purse or travel wallet with a string around your neck as thieves can easily cut or yank them off.
4. Don’t talk about your travel plans anywhere people can hear you.
5. When checking into a hotel alone, always ask for two keys. People watching you will think you are with someone, and you become less of a target. Always ask for a room higher than the third floor since break-ins usually occur on the lower floors.
6. An inexpensive doorstopper alarm is handy to have in hotel rooms. It will scare off anyone trying to open the door.
7. Americans visiting another country should dress inconspicuously so they don’t broadcast their nationality. Respect the customs of the country.
8. Find out what tricks criminals are currently using in certain countries. For example, at some airports thieves ask you to watch their luggage and then claim you stole it from them and attempt to extort money from you. Or, someone might distract you on a street with the pretense of taking a survey while another pickpockets you.
9. Beware of taxi drivers who might take you to an isolated spot and rob you or take you for a longer than necessary ride to make more money. Order a cab from the hotel concierge; then have a good idea of the route.
10. Don’t announce your whereabouts and travel plans on social media. This lets burglars know you are not home. Wait until you return to post your photos.
If you have tips you’d like to share, please comment below.