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14 Safety Travel Tips That Every Malaysian Would Have Heard Of

We’ve all heard it before – “do this” or “don’t do that” – growing up as a Malaysian, you would’ve received constant reminders from family, friends and even strangers on how to stay safe while traveling.

Sounds overly cautious, we know, but as the saying goes, “better to be safe than sorry” right? So here’s a compilation of our favourite stay-safe tips that every Malaysian who’s planning to travel solo for the holidays can find useful!

Hold your backpack where you can see it

Okay, we don’t mean caress it like a baby but most Malaysians would be familiar with the backpack baby fashion where you carry your backpack in the front instead of on your back.

Odd, we know, but that means you can keep an eye on your belongings in crowded streets and prevent pickpockets from making you an unsuspecting target.

Don’t fancy the backpack baby fashion? Check out the Bobby anti-theft backpack by XD Design, designed to guard your items against unwanted hands.

Carry your sling bag or handbag on the “correct” side

Having your bag facing the road makes you an easy snatch thief target! Always have it facing away, so anyone on a motorbike, on foot or in a car won’t take you for an easy victim.

Even then, hang on to your bags tight!

Never leave your bag at your seat on a plane or bus

Your bag goes wherever you go – to the toilet, down the aisle and basically anywhere you’re at besides your seat. You never know if someone slips an illegal substance inside your bag or pickpockets you – never take the risk!

Keep your valuables on you

Must bring: Passport, wallet, money, credit cards, phone, camera and [insert anything with private information or worth a lot of money]

Never leave valuables in your room if you’re sharing, even if you have a locker – padlocks are easily broken or picked. Safeboxes in a private room may be forgivable, depending on your circumstances.

Google Maps your taxi route

We’ve always been cautioned about taking rides from strangers, and that includes the taxi man. If you’re not familiar with the directions to your destination, turn on Google Maps to track your taxi’s movement to ensure you’re not being driven somewhere else instead. And stay focused on the road!

Separate your money stash

If you’re carrying a lot of cash, separate them into different batches and store them in a ziplock bag in different places. These could be a travel wallet, a small compartment in your backpack or a pouch hanging around your neck.

Locks are your best friends

Locks should go on anything that’ll accommodate them, including your:
- Suitcase
- Carry-on luggage
- Handbag
- Backpack
- Pouch
- Locker

A mandatory update text

“I’m going to [insert place] and will send you a text at [insert time] when I’ve arrived/am back”

“Yes mum, I’ll let you know when I arrive”

This is a commonly said sentence and probably a commonly forgotten one too.
Yet, it is as much necessary as it is tedious and will give you a peace of mind if you ever find yourself in a pickle! Send it to a family member or friend who can keep an ear out for you if you’re going somewhere without phone signal for a while.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t leave valuables in your car and hide any bags in the boot

Never place your bag on your car seat whether you’re driving or parked! Any interested thief could smash your car window and snatch your bag, don’t tempt anyone.

Survival items checklist

Never leave home without:
- Wet wipes
- Tissue
- Water bottle
- Emergency contacts list
- Power bank 
- Pepper spray

Do not place phones, wallets or keys on tables in public

Because are you trying to make stealing easier???

Don’t look for trouble

Stay out of fights or arguments and don’t stare at people or they might think you are challenging them to a fight. Why fight anyway? You’re on a holiday!

Don’t use your phone in public, pay attention

Because the distraction only leads to bumping into people, walking into things and makes you an easy target for snatch thieves.

Always reverse park your car

Because this makes it so much easier for an emergency getaway! If you’re renting a car or driving your own while traveling, it’s time to gain some mean reverse parking skills.

Now that you're well prepared to travel solo, how about a cheap beach holiday? Specially catered for Malaysians of course.

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