Photo of Tim Leffel

Tim Leffel

Professional Travel Expert

Travel Safety Gear

Many people who are exposed to dangers all around them at home nevertheless get extra worried about safety when they go on vacation. Some of the most reliable ways to avoid trouble are based on common sense and require no extra purchases. Don’t pack your expensive jewelry and watches, keep your valuables locked up, and don’t walk around iffy areas at night by yourself. Pack a flashlight in case the power goes out. There are some travel gear items that will provide some extra protection and peace of mind however, ensuring that your prize possessions don’t disappear, and that you stay safe on the road.

Best Travel Safety Gear by Tim Leffel

The Best You Can Get

  • Pacsafe MetroSafe 200 Travel Bag

    Tim says: Pacsafe makes a variety of fantastic theft-proof bags, from laptop carriers to full backpacks. All are equipped with features to keep anyone from taking or slashing the item holding your possessions. This MetroSafe 200 version is the best bet for a sightseeing daypack or a purse. It has a slashproof wire-reinforced shoulder strap and a clip to anchor the bag to a fixture or belt loop. There’s a built-in mesh slashguard inside the front and bottom panels, plus the tamperproof zippers provide another layer of protection. On top of all that, it’s a great bag as well, with lots of compartments and pockets for items such as keys, cameras, books, and pens.

    • Snatchproof and slashproof
    • Tamper-proof zippers
    • Good size for carrying around all day in the city
  • Retractable Cable Lock

    Tim says: Plenty of travel gear providers make some kind of retractable cable lock that you can find in stores, but the 24-inch one from Master Lock is one of the smallest and easiest to pack. These locks allow you to attach any bag to a stationary object, whether it’s while you’re letting your child run around a playground, while you sleep on a train, or while you have your bag in an empty hotel room that doesn’t feel very secure. Available in four colors, these lightweight three-number combination locks offer a way to secure your valuables in a variety of situations.

    • Secures any bag to a stationary object
    • Self-set combination lock
    • Lightweight and compact for travel
  • Eagle Creek Deluxe Security Belt

    Tim says: Eagle Creek was the first to popularize the under-clothes security belt, a great idea that has required very little refinement over the years. You put your money, credit cards, and passport in the pockets of this carrier, strap it on, then put your pants or skirt on over the top. That way you have your valuables next to your body at all time. Nobody can pick your pocket or do a “slash and grab” the way they can with a fanny pack or regular purse. The Deluxe Security Belt comes in tan or black and only weighs two ounces.

    • Hides valuables under clothing
    • Multiple compartments to stay organized
    • Lightweight and water-resistant
  • Kwikpoint Visual Language Translator

    Tim says: Many fears about safety are related to worries about not being able to communicate in a different language. Sure, there are plenty of phrase books and electronic translator choices out there, but one item that you can use anywhere on Earth is the Kwikpoint Visual Language Translator. It folds up flat for packing, but unfolded has categorized sections of pictures you can use to get across the idea that you are a vegetarian, that you need a doctor, or you need to buy tampons. Whether the people next to you speak Mandarin, Thai, or Swahili, they can understand when you point to the right picture.

    • Uses pictures for communication
    • Covers food and medical issues
    • Folds up for easy packing
  • Lewis N. Clark Hidden Travel Wallet

    Tim says: For men who will regularly be wearing a belt, this Hidden Travel Wallet from Lewis N. Clark could be the cheapest insurance policy ever. You put your belt through one of two colored loops on this inexpensive item, fill it with the kind of items that would be in a normal wallet in your pocket, and then stash it inside your pants. Then your money and credit cards are hidden next to your body, in a pocket that is hard to remove without you taking off your clothes. For cities rife with pickpockets or any situation where you would like to keep constant tabs on your cash, this inexpensive item provides ongoing peace of mind.

    • Hooks to a belt
    • Goes inside your pants
    • Three compartments for money, cards, and passport

You will be happy with any of these

  • GE SmartHome Door Stop Alarm

    Tim says: If you don’t have faith in the lock on your hotel room door, this doorstop alarm can help you sleep well at night. You turn it on, put it by the bottom of your door, and relax. If anyone should come in during the night, it will trip the doorstop alarm and the intruder will get 120 decibels of piercing noise. Since it is shaped like a regular doorstop, it will also keep the door from opening any wider. The SmartHome alarm only requires one 9-volt battery and there is an indicator light to warn you when the battery gets low.

    • Loud alert when a door is opened
    • Blocks the door from opening wider
    • Portable size and uses only a 9-volt battery
  • Eagle Creek All Terrain Money Belt

    Tim says: Having some kind of money carrier that goes under your clothes is important, but having a backup spot for large bills provides an additional layer of safety. This “secret stash” money belt has a zippered compartment on the back side of the belt that runs much of its length, with enough room to hold a string of folded $100 bills. It’s an adjustable style with a clip buckle that doesn’t require holes. Since the buckle itself is made of plastic, you can breeze through airport security without taking it off. Though retailing for a small amount of money, the All Terrain Money Belt is also backed by Eagle Creek’s lifetime warranty.

    • Extra hiding place for money
    • Adjustable to any waist size
    • Plastic buckle great for airport security
  • Aloksak Splash Caddy Waist Bag

    Tim says: Do you really want to leave your valuables lying on the beach in Rio de Janeiro while you go swimming? Do you need to carry your money and passport on a biking trip where you’ll be sweating all day? The Splash Caddy waist bag from Aloksak is designed for any situation where you need to keep your things dry. The water-resistant waist pack itself is made from strong, fast-drying nylon and rustproof zippers. Inside is a heavy plastic interior bag that completely seals out water. (It comes with a spare interior bag.) You fasten the bag around your waist and then your hands are free and your possessions stay dry. The Aloksak has been tested to a depth of 190 feet in the water, so it will take nearly any condition a regular traveler could throw at it.

    • Protects valuables from moisture
    • Can be completely submerged
    • Quick-drying denier nylon exterior
  • Stinger Pepper Spray Shield

    Tim says: If you harbor fears of being attacked while walking down the street, you can be armed like the NYPD with this miniature canister of pepper spray. It packs six times the heat of the hottest chili pepper you can eat, so a burst of this will get immobilize anyone in a hurry. If you’re an adventure traveler instead of an urban sightseer, this will also work for nature hikes where you could potentially get surprised by a bear. Brickhouse Security’s Stinger pepper spray only weighs an ounce and a half and it comes with a quick-release keychain.

    • Compact size
    • Sprays up to 10 feet
    • Even comes in pink!
  • Wilson SignalBoost Mini Mobile Amp

    Tim says: For those who do most of their traveling by car or RV, this cell phone signal booster from Wilson Electronics can keep you from being stranded in the wilderness after a breakdown. This small portable kit uses a magnetic external antenna, an internal antenna that cradles the phone, a small amplifier, and a power cord that plugs into a cigarette lighter. The kit installs in your vehicle in a few minutes, will work with any mobile phone, and uses both the 800MHz and 1900MHz carrier frequency bands. The result is that your cell phone reception goes up by a factor of six, so your call for help can reach a towing service even well off the beaten path.

    • Amplifies cellular network signals
    • Allows coverage in rural areas
    • Cuts the frequency of dropped calls

Related Articles