Get a cellphone with free roaming and a global data plan – AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer these plans. Having access to a cellphone can increase security by allowing you to contact people back home, the police, and your embassy.
Hide or turn off your home’s wifi before you leave – depending on your service plan, this may save you money. But it can increase your virtual security while you’re gone and prevent people from using your internet.
Check the government’s travel warnings and alerts – this list provides comprehensive information on crime, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and more. The government also provides resources on ways to stay safe during these travel warnings, such as recommended vaccinations to get and safe places to go.
Leave your major electronics at home – If you can, leave your expensive tablets and laptops at home; they’re likely to be stolen and contain important information, such as your social security number, credit/debit card numbers, and passwords. If you can’t leave your laptop or tablet at home, secure the device before you go by clearing cookies and browsing history on your browser, removing saved passwords, and encrypting important files. Back everything up to the cloud or external storage device so that if something bad happens you do not lose everything. Always assume the wifi available is unsecure and do not visit websites such as bank websites.
Make photo copies of your passport – and keep a copy on your phone, a USB drive, and in your hotel room in case you lose your passport (or it gets stolen). Carry your passport on you; some police security on train stations in Europe will check your passport. Keep it close to your body in an inside jacket pocket. Don’t keep it with your money or debit/credit cards, and don’t wear it in a bag around your neck. Those are easy targets for pickpockets.
Learn some phrases or download a translation app – Make sure you could find your way to a hospital or embassy in case of an emergency. Translation apps can help you communicate with locals who don’t speak English.