Travel Safety

Besides having a wonderful adventure when traipsing around the world, basically we all want the same thing when we travel – A safe and hassle free holiday.  
Many people take Travel safety too lightly, others go over the top.  In our opinion, there is no need to go overboard with expensive anti-theft equipment or miss out on having some great experiences by sitting in your hotel room, scared to go outside.  Let's face it, you can have your wallet or bag stolen when walking down a street in your hometown, so of course it can also happen abroad.
When you’re travelling, the odds are higher for risk of pick pocketing and theft and it is usually a greater inconvenience if you are robbed.  Travellers generally carry more cash, as well as expensive cameras, ipads and cell phones.  Add the the mix that they are usually distracted, paying more attention to the amazing new sights than who might be around them, and you have the recipe for the perfect pick pocket target.  
Use your common sense when travelling.  Obviously, in Third World countries, or in areas experiencing military conflict you will need to exercise greater caution.  There are also areas of nearly every city that it is advisable to steer clear of.  A little bit of reseach befor you leave can save you a lot of hassles in the future.  If you find yourself in a area that makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, listen to your instincts and get out of there.  Berlin is generally a safe city and there are usually lots of people around on the streets even late at night, but by staying aware of who is around you, you could avoid a potential situation.
Bad luck can still happen despite all the precautions, so we have included a couple of tips which will help you minimise the damage if you are the victim of theft - Also, if you notice your wallet or bag is missing make sure you contact your bank immediatley to cancel your cards.  This will save further pain down the road.
My Destination Berlin have come up with a Travel Safety list of simple things to do to avoid pickpockets.   Follow these simple Travel Safety Tips and you will most likely have a safe and happy holiday without the aggravation and hassle of being pickpocketed.  Berlin is a wonderful city and deserves to be enjoyed to the fullest, so our helpful tips on travel safety in Berlin, and our video on how to avoid pickpockets, can help you relax and enjoy your visit to Germany’s capital city.
Have a great holiday!

Copy all your important documents
You’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t copy these documents and the originals go missing. Scan your passport, plane tickets, credit cards and any other piece of information you deem necessary for your trip and email them to yourself.  That way you can access them and print them out whenever you need to.
Buy travel insurance
Not just for covering the cost of you falling seriously ill on holiday, travel insurance can also cover loss of property through theft or damage, and the cost of extended hospital stays if you have an accident.
Don’t skimp on this one, it can be costly but a good research on the net will be able to provide you with some good deals and find the insurance that fits your trip best.  If you are going to be doing any adventure style activities, make sure your policy covers them.
Separate your money
More than one credit card is important, but its not a great idea to keep them all in the same spot.  It really sucks being stranded in a foriegn city with no money and getting a replacement card sent to you is a hassle you really don't need.
Separate your sources of money, that way, if you get robbed or lose one, you can still access money to get you through till the problem is solved.  We recommend leaving most of your cards and cash locked up in your hotel/hostel room.  When you're out and about, just bring one credit card, some ID, and enough cash for the day.
Keep others informed
Before you leave, email a copy of your itinerary to a friend or relative so they knows where you are, especially if you are travelling alone.  Use social media to tell people what you are doing.  This way you can share the details of your trip with your friends and family without feeling like you are "checking in".  As an added advantage, if you let people know where you are headed, you are bound to get some awesome personal hot tips from friends who have been there before!
Research your destination
With today's access to up to date information there is no excuse not to get to know a little about your destination before you arrive.  My Destination Berlin can help you with more information on Visa’s and Embassiesimportant places and phone numbers for emergencies and practical information like public transportdrivingairports, lost property, and other FAQ's.  The more you know about your destination the less chance of getting into trouble.
Don’t leave your belongings unattended
This is one that most train stations and airport service announcements have drummed into our heads: ‘please do not leave your bags or belongings unattended’. Good advice, but it’s not only applicable for areas of transport stop off’s and stop over’s. Outside, in the streets of Berlin, in shopshotel foyers, public parks, concerts, restaurants and bars. Don’t leave your stuff alone. Period.
Final check
Some of us travel with a lot of stuff, others keep it as minimal as possible, either way, you are bound to leave something behind at one point or another. Get into the habit of a final check whenever you leave a room, it will save you that heart sinking feeling of remembering you left your i-pad or wallet on the empty seat next to you on your last train ride.  If you are out on the street and see a sign warning about pickpockets, resist the temptation to check your pocket where you keep yours.  This is a common way for theives to see exactly where you keep your valuables.
Know your limits

Knowing your limits is all part of keeping your wits about you in a foreign country, and as far as travel safety goes, its important to know how far to go when out for a big night. With a bit of common travel sense you can still dance till the sun comes up, leave the club at 6am and get a breakfast kebab on your way home.  1. Look after your friends, and don't get separated from your group. 2. Don't accept drinks from strangers. 3. Try not to get so drunk that you don't know what you are doing.  4.  Let others know where you are going (and when you expect to be home).  5.  Don't take drugs.

Image © Ibrahim Owais (Flickr)

Do you have any hot tips for travel safety that we haven't mentioned?  Get in touch via Facebook or Twitter and let us know!