20 Top Tips to Have the Safest Experience during a Sporting Event

If you’re looking forward to a trip next year to attend the French Open, Wimbledon, the Euro 2024 tournament, the America’s Cup, or even the Table Tennis Championships, the must-know safety tips can help ensure you enjoy the safest – and most fun – experience possible.

Safety travel doesn’t have to mean boring travel. It’s mostly about taking a few sensible steps and precautions to avoid finding yourself in a dicey situation. Below are the top safety tips when traveling for sport that you need to know.

Before you head off

Staying safe when traveling for sports starts before you even head off to the airport. These are the things to do or watch out for to get things off on the right foot.

1. Check the vendor’s authenticity

Whether a sports event is the main focus of your travel plans or you’re planning on building a trip to a tournament into the rest of your vacation, be very mindful of where you buy the tickets. There are plenty of unscrupulous sorts out there, selling fake tickets and making false promises. Buying tickets for the event via an official outlet is always the safest option – these companies are authorized by the venues to sell tickets, so you can be sure they’re authentic.

2. Get your important documents together

As well as ensuring your passport and driving license (if relevant) are up to date, it’s also important to check any vaccination requirements that are in place for the country you’re traveling to. These can change, so be sure to access the most up-to-date information possible.

Taking out travel insurance is highly recommended. There are plenty of options when it comes to insurance, so you can choose the package that works best for your particular circumstances. And if you plan on enjoying some sports, such as snowboarding or surfing, while you’re away? Let your travel insurance provider know – most will be able to add on additional cover so that, if the worst happens – you’ll be taken care of in the event of an injury.

Before leaving, make copies of your important documents to take with you – this only takes a little time, but can save you a lot of hassle when you’re away if something gets misplaced or stolen.

3. Check your phone will work abroad

Don’t forget to check your cell phone carrier or package will work when you’re away – to stay safe while traveling you’ll need to be able to reliably communicate. Even if your phone is already set up for roaming, it’s a good idea to check the charges you’ll pay for this. There can be huge differences between providers, meaning it may be worth shopping around. If you’ll be away for quite some time, such as if you’re traveling for see a tennis tournament, , it may work out as more cost-effective to purchase a local SIM card to use while you’re away. Here are some tips on staying connected for sports travelers.

4. Take a Look at the Relevant Travel Advice

Be sure to take a look at your government’s travel advice before heading to the airport. This will give you all the information you need regarding safety and security, travel warnings, entry requirements, and coronavirus.

On this website, you’ll also find advice on preparing to travel to the destination, ways to reduce risks, and information specifically relevant to female, disabled, and LGBTQ+ travelers.

5. Consider Investing in Travel Locks

Travel locks are a great way to help secure your stuff on your adventures. These handy little devices are relatively inexpensive and can be attached to your suitcase to guard against opportunistic theft in transit.

You can also use a travel lock to secure your bag when you’re out and about. Attaching your bag to a chair when you’re on the bus or eating out with the lock protects it from being snatched.

6. Pack a First Aid Kit

This doesn’t have to be a huge bit of equipment with supplies for every medical emergency conceivable – just a few key items can potentially make a big difference should you sustain an injury while traveling. Stock your kit with the basics needed to treat sprains, cuts, burns, and stomach issues. A pack of rehydration salts and anti-histamine tablets are good to include, too.

While Abroad

Traveling to another country is a wonderful opportunity to discover a new culture and enjoy some amazing sights and experiences. However, being in a totally new location can put us at increased risk. Here are the steps to take to stay safe.

7. Register with Your Embassy

Registering with your embassy means the destination’s local embassy will be made aware of your arrival in the destination country. By doing so, you’ll be kept constantly updated with the latest relevant safety information. Plus, in the unlikely event that a major emergency happens, such as a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, the local embassy will be able to contact you quickly with details of what to do or evacuation plans.

8. Do Some Research

Whether you’re heading off on vacation to enjoy the Australian Open or planning on catching some cricket at Lord’s while on a trip to London, it’s advisable to do some research on the location you’ll be visiting. Knowing some basic facts about the destination can help you stay safe by, for example, identifying areas to avoid or understanding local customs and etiquette.

Check online, too, for common travel scams that may be circulating in the destination you’re heading to. Taxi and restaurant scams are two of the most common cons that holidaymakers get caught up in, and forewarned is forearmed.

9. Avoid Looking Like a Tourist

While you’re away, try not to look too blatantly like a tourist – this could make you a target for scammers, pickpockets, and the like. To this end, be sure to observe local customs and etiquette and dress appropriately.

If you can, try to get familiar with the public transport route you need to take before leaving your accommodation, to avoid proclaiming your tourist status by continually checking a map or timetable. It’s sensible to leave flashy accessories or jewelry in the hotel safe, too – or, better still, at home!

10. Use the Hotel Safe

And on this subject: if your hotel (or other type of accommodation) has a safe – use it! It’s tempting to ignore the safe provided and simply leave your cash and passport out in the room, but it’s really important not to do so. If there isn’t a safe provided, at least be sure not to leave your valuables on display; tuck them into a drawer or your suitcase instead.

11. Be Wary of Public Wifi Connections

It’s sensible to avoid connecting to public wifi, to protect yourself against hackers and other cyber-crooks. If you really need to connect, use a VPN (virtual private network) to keep your details safe and secure and prevent a hacker from snooping. It’s a good idea to password protect your phone, too, just in case it gets lost or stolen.

12. Find Out Emergency Numbers

Discover the emergency numbers used in the country you’ll be in, and keep these on you at all times while you’re away. Write them on a piece of paper and put them in your phone contact list, just in case one or the other gets lost or stolen.

13. Be Careful After Dark

When in an unfamiliar location, it’s especially important to be careful after dark. One of the best tips I use when I’m away is to memorize the train or bus route before setting out so that I don’t need to give myself away as a tourist by constantly checking a map or timetable. Check out beforehand the safest means of travel, both during the day and at night, for the city or country you’ll be in.

14. Eat Safely

Depending on the country you’re visiting, it’s wise to be mindful of the food and drink on offer – whilst also not letting anxiety about this prevent you from enjoying the destination’s cuisine.

If there’s any question mark over the safety of the tap water, opt for bottled water and order drinks without ice. It’s also a good idea to only eat fruit you can peel, not that which has already been prepared and cut into slices. Be extra mindful of your drink when out and about, too: don’t take your eyes off it, and never leave it unattended.

And – just as you would at home – be sure to check out some reviews for any restaurant you’re considering visiting, just in case!

15. Draw Attention to Yourself If Necessary

If you find yourself in a position in which you feel uncomfortable or threatened, don’t be afraid to draw attention to yourself by shouting, calling for help, or making a fuss. Whatever it takes to let those around you know you may need assistance. Remember that you always have the right to say no, and be firm and direct if you feel there’s an attempt being made to scam you or draw you into something you’re unhappy about.

16. Share Your Schedule

If you’re traveling to a sporting event in a group, be sure to let one or more of your traveling companions know where you are and when you plan to be back if you decide to head off to explore at some point around the matches or tournament. As well as this, keep friends and family members back home in the loop regarding your schedule so that, should something unexpected happen, there are people who will promptly raise the alarm.

At the Venue

You’ve arrived at the venue! The excitement is likely to be palpable by now, but just take a few moments to attend to safety considerations before relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere. There are some important highlights below but if you want to get more details, check out how to stay safe when traveling in Germany.

17. Know the Safety Procedures

Firstly, be sure you’re familiar with the venue’s safety procedures. This is in relation to, for example, emergency evacuation processes, mustering points, emergency exits, and what to do if you spot a suspicious package or someone behaving in a way that makes you uneasy.

18. Take Care of Your Possessions

One of the most fundamental safety travel tips is being mindful of your possessions. In a crowded venue or among large groups of people gathered to watch a sporting event, it’s particularly important to guard against thieves and pickpockets. Avoid carrying too much cash, and it’s usually best to leave your passport in your accommodation’s safe.

Keep your valuables in a zippered bag or your front pocket, and loop your bag around the chair or your arm or leg while sitting down. Always stay aware of your surroundings, and be mindful that pickpockets can sometimes deploy theatrics to distract you.

19. Have a Plan

It’s a great idea to come up with a plan beforehand, in case you get separated from the other members of your party. To this end, it’s vital to ensure your phone is charged before setting off for the venue. Have a backup plan, too, though, just in case your phone gets dropped and shatters or you can’t get a signal at the venue. This could be agreeing to meet at a designated spot within the venue or memorizing a couple of your party’s phone numbers so you can call them from a pay phone if necessary.

20. Stay Hydrated

Especially important if you’re in a hot country, it’s crucial to stay hydrated before and during your time at the event. Dehydrating and fainting are common occurrences in crowds, and prolonged standing can make matters worse.

Sip water regularly throughout the event, and avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can dehydrate you further – not to mention impair your ability to make sensible decisions in the event of an emergency.

The Takeaway: Traveling for Sports Safely is Easier than You Think

Taking just a few simple steps before and during your trip can help ensure you enjoy the safest experience possible – and have a great time, too. From doing some basic research to being mindful of ticket scams, forewarned is forearmed. Use the guide above as part of your preparations so that once you arrive at the venue, you can simply get on with enjoying the atmosphere and supporting your favorite player or team.

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