HI Hostels Blog

Top Travel Hacks: How to Stay Safe in a Foreign Country

Old Quarter - Hanoi - Vietnam

How to Travel Safely with Hostelling International

We’ve all been there… travelling to a foreign country can be challenging albeit if you do your research. Even if you read all the destination books, check reviews or ask your friends for advice, you can never predict the challenges faced while travelling. Here at HI, we believe that overcoming these travel challenges are one of the main reasons to travel, but we also want to ensure you have the best trip possible…

So we’ve shared 5 solutions to the most common challenges faced by travellers! First thing’s first…

Moscow, Russia
Moscow, Russia

1. Choosing a safe place to stay

The options can be endless! If you’re travelling individually or as a group, you can choose from couch-surfing to renting an apartment, but what is the safest option for you?

One thing we do know is that our hostels are not only budget friendly, but maintain consistent design and safety features regardless of their location. Choosing a hostel from a well-known brand means that you will know what to expect as well as giving you a true, local experience. Our staff will give you unique tips and tricks ranging from the best hidden spots and places to eat, to local customs and culture – as well as advising on neighbourhoods worth avoiding.

Check out our trending hostel in Amsterdam to show you exactly what to expect…

Bali, Indonesia - Hostelling International
One for the backpackers… Bali, Indonesia

2. One for the care-free backpackers

No hostel? No problem.

If you’re travelling as a budget backpacker, it’s always tempting to take the cheapest accommodation, flights and activities – but this isn’t the safest way to travel. You may be surprised to discover that there are products out there similar to Amazon Locker, where you can temporarily store luggage and valuables whilst hiking or moving between destinations to make your journey just that little bit lighter and a little more care-free. After all, that’s what travelling is all about, isn’t it?

If you are in one of our hostels, you won’t need to worry about your belongings as they are all equipped with lockers or secure spaces to store your luggage whilst you are moving between destinations, however you can always opt for a care-free alternative.

Psst… #HIMembers receive 15% discount with Nannybag 😉

Old Quarter Hanoi, Vietnam
Old Quarter, Hanoi

3. How to outsmart pickpockets

One of the most common fears for our travellers is pick-pocketing, with some famous destinations like Las Ramblas (Barcelona, Spain), La Boca (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and even the Old Quarter (Hanoi, Vietnam) being notorious for targeting young travellers. So how exactly do you prevent pickpockets? While it’s all well and good to have awareness, it’s equally smart to plan ahead for it and prevent the worst from happening.

Our top piece of advice would be to blend in with your surroundings:

  • Remain cautious of your clothing – the wrong clothes can suggest “tourist”
  • Keep your belongings safe at all times by avoiding carrying everything together (and not in your back pocket)
  • Alternatively, lock up your valuables
  • Ask locals for advice

One way to combat all of the above, is the simple mastery of Clever Travel Companion, who provide 100% fool-proof travel garments. Travel comfortably and safely in clothes with hidden, zippered pockets that fit credit cards, cash and passports as well as most cell phones! And if that isn’t enough, how does 25% off sound

Quito, Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador

4. Not all who wander are lost

Thinking about making your next trip special? Dive deep into the local culture of your destination! The choice is yours, from exploring a volcano in Iceland, to something as crazy as immersing yourself in Ecuadorian custom for a fiery New Year’s Eve. What matters most is that you will remember it forever; as the best journeys don’t just show you the unfamiliar, they also help you discover yourself.

We have been working with World Nomads for years to offer the most relevant and comprehensive travel insurance for the adventurous types; designed by travellers, for travellers! Quench your wanderlust with a piece of mind, by getting the right cover before your next trip. You can also get 5% off by becoming a HI Member.

Chibiy, Russia
Chibiy, Russia

5. You never think you need it, until you do

We all have that one friend who doesn’t insure their phone and gets away with it, but the rest of us aren’t so lucky. We’ll fork out for 12 months on our mobile with no issues at all – but the day you cancel that insurance… water damage, cracked screen, the works. But the question we ask is, why is your health less important than your mobile when travelling?

One of the most common practices made by travellers is to skip out on medical insurance, which seems reasonable enough to some when you’ve been paying for coverage and have never claimed before. But would you not be more adventurous if you knew you were covered? You can forget about those cliche “what-if” moments. Try that dish, or hike that trail. Do what you’ve always wanted to do.

And that’s not even the best part, because the doctors come to you. Medical professionals of over 65 specialisations are available 24/7, anywhere in the world for live video-chats or in-person doctor appointments. Travel safely with a Doctor In Your Pocket, and never look back!

Have any questions or suggestions about travel safety? Share your top travel hacks in the comments below!

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