Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

| September 3, 2009 | 9 Comments
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Travelling Safely

This post is part of a series of articles focusing on travel safety for the long-term traveler; however, they should be of interest to travelers of any stripe! The series, entitled ‘Travelling Safely’ comprises Antidotes to Fear, Before You Go, Urban Bright—City Safety Tips, Tips for a Safe Night’s Sleep, and Personal Safety Products. Have any tips that didn’t make the lists herein? Please contact us!

When traveling long-term, you should remain ever-vigilant, trust in your intuition and heed common sense. Included here are a number of products that will help to make your personal safety a top priority—or at least provide you with peace of mind. We adhere to the belief that travelers should do what they can to decrease their victim potential and by that, they must learn what measures they can take to reduce crime victimization. At the same time, we believe that fear and anxiety shouldn’t stifle your desire to go far away and meet new people!

None of the products below should serve to replace vigilance—the ability to remain alertly watchful especially to avoid danger. The importance of vigilance while travelling independently cannot be overstated. No government, organization, or gadget can take the place of an alert, ever vigilant backpacker. Check out our article from our Travelling Safely series—“Travelling Safely: Antidotes to Fear”.

Of course, no gadget can take the place of an alert, ever vigilant backpacker. And arguments can be made as to their necessity. Rather than weigh your pack down with the above items, you might want to consider ‘security through obscurity’. In his book First Time Around the World, A Trip Planner for the Ultimate Journey Doug Lansky suggests:

Show that you don’t have much to steal—or that you have less than other potential targets… consider disguising your pack. The small padlocks and wire mesh pack-covers will do little to prtect your pack, but they will draw attebtion to the value of its contents. Plastic rice bags are easy to find, dirt cheap decreased the perceived value of the pack’s contents, and make great rain covers. Cut two slits for your shoulder straps, then sew or use duct tap to fasten.

Regardless of what methods you employ, the best way to avoid surprises is to be prepared!

addalock Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

Add-A-Lock portable door lock.

 Add-A-Lock. The Add-A-Lock is a portable door lock that provides added security, safety and privacy—as well as peace of mind—while you are in. It installs in seconds without tools in almost any door. Read more about it from the manufacturer’s website or buy it at Amazon.

wedgeguard Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

Security Plus personal travel alarm.

Security Plus personal travel alarm. Walkabout Travel offers the Security Plus Personal Travel Alarm. It is small and lightweight yet emits a screeching 130 decibels when the trigger pin is pulled. Designed to clip to belt, purse, or clothing, the manufacturer recommends carrying it when wandering about—just in case. The alarm can also be rigged to your pack or suitcase so the pin is pulled and the alarm screams when your luggage is moved. Even better, the Security Plus Personal Travel Alarm comes with a clip that attaches to any door or window, and triggers the alarm if the door or window is opened. Very small and lightweight—three ounces without battery. Read more about it at Walkabout Travel Gear.

wedge Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

WedgeGuard doorstop alarm

WedgeGuard doorstop alarm. Provides break-in protection and a surprisingly loud (ultra-high 120 db) alarm. Provides both entry or vibration activation of alarm and also provides extra protection by serving as a wedge stop. Works on any door—no tools or installation required—and uses a standard 9V battery—available worldwide. If this thing trips accidently in the middle of the evening, you’ll have some explaning to do to the rest of your fellow hostellers! Read more about it at Walkabout Travel Gear or buy one at Amazon.

pacsafetravelsafe Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

Pac Safe's TravelSafe

Pac Safe’s TravelSafe. The lightweight TravelSafe folds small and is easy to take with you whenever you need to lock and leave your valuables. The TravelSafe is especially handy for securing your valuables in your suitcase or hotel room. It is a lightweight, malleable and portable ‘safe’ for your valuables which can lock closed and lock to a secure fixture. The TravelSafe cinches and locks closed using an integrated, high-tensile stainless steel cable with padlock and locking device. Read about it at the manufacturer’s website or buy one at Amazon.

flaresafe Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

Travel smoke detector, personal alarm, and LED flashlight in one.

Travel smoke detector, personal alarm, and LED flashlight in one. FlareSafe is an essential piece of kit for today’s global traveller, keeping you protected and prepared wherever in the world you find yourself. FlareSafe weighs only 200 grams and uses the latest LED technology to ensure you are carrying the most reliable personal safety device available. Read about it at the manufacturer’s website or check it out at Amazon.

pacsafe Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

The Pacsafe Anti-Theft backpack & bag protector

The Pacsafe Anti-Theft Backpack & Bag Protector. The Pacsafe Anti-Theft Backpack & Bag Protector features eXomesh® Ultimate technology. It is simply an adjustable high-tensile stainless steel locking device, designed to cover and protect a variety of bags and packs from tampering, pilfering and theft. Throw it around your pack, secure it to something fixed and get on with your adventure. Four sizes mean there is one to fit almost every type of backpack. Read more about them at the manufacturer’s website or buy one at Amazon!

lock Travelling Safely: Personal Safety Products

Secure TSA-approved 3-dial cable lock

PacSafe ProSafe—secure TSA-approved 3-dial cable lock. The ProSafe has a flexible steel cable that is designed to fit openings that other locks and zippers have a hard time closing due to the design of the bag or case. The flexible steel cable is rubber coated to protect the item or the case which is locked. This combination lock is a Travel Sentry® approved lock, which is recognized and accepted by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) in all US commercial airports. The Travel Sentry® logo alerts TSA agents that they can open your lock and relock it using codes and secured tools during inspection. Each ProSafe lock has a special key port that will only fit airport-issued TSA master keys. Read more about it at the manufacturer’s website or buy one through Amazon.


If you have any additional safety products that you feel should find their way into a backpacker’s rucksack before departure, please don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comment stream!

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About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. Check him out on Google+.

Comments (9)

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  1. Jason says:

    After traveling for just a week, its so hard to know when to be overly cautious and when to relax. If you spend too much time protecting your stuff, you will become overwhelmed and slightly stressed, but the minute you completely let your guard down, something is bound to happen. Common sense is your best friend while traveling. Just remember, while traveling there are risks. We accept these risks when we make the decision to travel. It’s best to travel with things that aren’t incredibly precious to you. I have not taken this advice, since I travel with a Macbook Pro, Video Camera and SLR Camera. But, I have also decided that it won’t ruin my trip if I lose any of them. It’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.

    • Daniel says:

      Thanks, Jason — I think that the last sentence is key to a successful trip. Don’t carry anything that would mean ruining your trip if they were to be lost. I agree that it’s worth the sacrifice!

  2. Akila says:

    The only one of these that we use is a cable lock and we also have a small regular flashlight. We also have two regular TSA approved locks which we use to lock up our suitcases. When we bought our backpacks, we looked for ones that we could lock easily and aren’t glaringly obvious as containing expensive stuff. Our tech backpack looks pretty similar to the old Jansport backpack I had when I was a kid.

  3. Akila says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, our very favorite personal safety product is our Denko Pak Pak. I am going to do an in-depth review of it at some time because it is one of the best travel items we have ever bought. Basically, it is a tightly closed container that floats so you can take it into the water, even at scuba diving depths. I have heard SO many stories of people having credit cards, money, or keys stolen at the beach; just buy one of these and you don’t have to worry anymore. Okay, I’ll stop sounding like an infomercial now.

  4. Carrick says:

    Ahh, arent there some great safety and security products around these days.

    I totally encourage anyone travelling, even if it’s just a road trip, to spend a little time researching and buying some simple safety/security measuures. Aside from the direct benefits of the product, you get another big one: Peace of mind so you can focus on what you should be — your travels and experiences!!

    Just makes sense.

    Great little blog.


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