Updated 8 August 2017 — Who doesn't need that extra bit of good luck for travel?
Whether fear of flying or terrorism or simple anxiety at traveling alone, something as simple as a travel talisman can make you feel like you've got all the fates on your side. It can help boost our courage just a little, even if we don't fully believe in occult powers.
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Found throughout the Middle East, the nazar is believed to ward off the evil eye
I confess: I carried a green tin cup (called Kermit) across Africa for a year. I convinced myself Kermit kept me safe through conflict, bus crashes, hunger and thirst - and even if Kermit wasn't solely responsible for my survival, somewhere I'm convinced I wouldn't have fared as well without him.
What exactly is a travel talisman? And a travel amulet?
While used interchangeably, they're not quite the same. One brings luck, the other wards off bad luck. But when it comes to travel, either one will do when it comes to keeping your travels safe, right?
an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck (it attracts a kind of benefit)
an ornament or small piece of jewellery thought to give protection against evil, danger, or disease (it provides protection from danger)
As far as we're concerned, these lucky charms for travel are objects designed to attract positive things to you - such as good luck, interesting people, unexpected adventures - and to protect you from negative things (accidents, theft, illness) while you travel. Call them what you will.
Travel charms come in many forms
Travel talismans can come in many shapes or forms:
- Rocks and stones for travel protection which you may have found in a special place
- Gems and crystals, especially those representing your birth month
- Natural objects such as bird feathers, animal claws, shark teeth (not my choice!)
- Jewelry like necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings
- An animal or rabbit's foot, a custom that originated in Africa (nor this one!)
- Good luck objects: fuzzy dice, stuffed animals (I hope they mean the plush kind), pet snakes (not recommended), and yes, even tin mugs!
In case you need a good luck travel charm or know someone who might benefit from a safe travels gift, here are a few that caught my eye on Amazon.
I love the combination of crescent moon and evil eye on this one, both symbols being powerful in themselves. A safe travel pendant can be worn all day and this one is particularly decorative for the evening. It's eyecatching and won't go by unnoticed!
If you're looking for something different, perhaps a travel charm bracelet, have a look at these variations on the evil eye - every possible style and color you can imagine.
Of all the stones with a reputation for protecting travelers, malachite leads the pack. By absorbing negative energies, it is considered particularly helpful during air travel and on busy roads.
Quartz also has a reputation for protecting travelers so if you don't have a loose piece to carry around in your purse, this travel pendant is relatively discreet and smoothly lovely.
Made of pewter and brass, this symbolic piece is said to protect from all kinds of dangers during travel. It is said to date back to Napoleon's era...
Until he was demoted and his feast day removed in 1969, St Christopher was the de facto Catholic patron saint of travelers. He may have lost some of his status but plenty of travelers strongly believe in his ability to protect them during their journeys.
Runes, characters of the Germanic Runic alphabet, are often used for divination. This particular symbol, the Raido, is the journey of life but also is interpreted to mean travel and transport.
A talisman's power is said to increase with intention. If someone who cares deeply about you gives it to you, its power is stronger. The same goes for your intention, it would appear - choose it with concentration and thought and it will be that much stronger.
Make your own symbol for travel protection
You can be involved in preparing your own travel talisman - like many, you could draw an appropriate symbol and carry it with you when you travel.
Many good luck charms for travelers are based on ancient symbols that represent a variety of concepts and beliefs.
Here are some of the most popular:
- Ankh: ancient Egyptian talisman
- Circle: the symbol of feminine spirit or force
- Celtic cross: a mixture of celtic belief and ancient Catholicism
- Dove: the universal symbol of peace
- Dragon: scary in Europe, but powerful in Asia
- Fish: used to symbolize Christianity
- Four-leaf clover: the luck of the Irish
- Horn: in many cultures against the Evil Eye
- Labyrinth: the feminine, as in fertility
- Phoenix: the symbol of rebirth
- Scarab: protection against evil in the Egypt of Pharaohs
- Tao: the ancient Chinese symbol of wholeness
- Zodiac: a popular travel choice based on your sign
The evil eye is nothing new. According to Ancient Origins, "an ‘evil eye’ goes back to the upper Palaeolithic period as 10,000-year-old drawings have been found on cave walls in Spain which appear to depict symbols to ward off the evil eye."
You can carry a simple travel protection stone
Many stones have a reputation for protecting travelers - and if you don't believe in this, just skip this section. I'm not ready to DISbelieve - I see no reason why they might not work so just in case, I do carry a few stones and crystals with me when I travel.
These are believed to have different properties but travelers in the know firmly believe in their power. Here are some of the favorites - and considered most effective - safe travel stones.
- Malachite: as mentioned above it is the leading travel protection stone and is of particular use for air and road travel. It is believed to soothe and eliminate travel fears and has been used for many centuries to ward off travel dangers and fears. It is considered the queen of travel stones.
- Quartz: especially smoky quartz; it helps you keep it all together when you get overly anxious during travel. It can help shield from the elements - weather and such, and turns negative energy into positive vibes. Rose quartz is believed to protect you from the mistakes of others - like drivers or pilots!
- Moonstone: provides energy and a calming presence. It also protects travel over water and is one of the best-known all-purpose crystals for travel.
- Tiger Eye: believed to make you stronger and more self-confident, while warding off evil - a sort of "feel better in your skin".
- Amethyst: a travel powerhouse. It protects your belongings from theft, brings out friendliness and cooperation in others, calms your fears and keeps danger away.
- Hematite: often used as a worry bead or stone, it can apparently help with jet lag. It's also great at keeping away negative energy (can never have enough of that!)
- Turquoise: given my Middle Eastern origins, I of course love turquoise, the anti-evil eye color. It has always been considered a lucky charm for travel to new places. My mother always used to make sure I carried one (I still do) whenever I started a new trip.
- Aquamarine: the stone of seamen is supposed to keep you from drowning or even getting seasick, as well as reducing your fear of water (the perfect stone for me!)
- Black Tourmaline: great for making sure your energy doesn't dissipate and to keep accidents out of the way.
- Yellow Jasper: a convenient stone which is very helpful - it reduces stress, increases self-confidence, reduces motion sickness and generally accompanies you on your travels.
- Black Obsidian is supposed to be particularly good on public transport; garnets can ward off serious injury; labradorite makes good things happen - like connecting trains and flights; and howlite helps get rid of that fear of flying.
And what do you with your stones and crystals?
You can do as I do and put a few into the bottom of your bag or in a pocket or even in your backpack or suitcase. You can wear a safe travel bracelet or necklace or ring with a stone embedded. Or why not get a pretty little pouch, a set of tiny crystals, and just put the pouch at the bottom of your bag?
There are plenty of superstitions, alternative beliefs and cultural customs around safe travel wishes
I grew up in a superstitious family - of Middle Eastern origin, and multi-faith - so anything that might bring travel luck was fair game.
Whenever someone in our family left on a trip, my mother would throw half a glass of water behind them. I still do that today - but don't ask me why. Habit, and a healthy dose of the precautionary principle. My father, non-religious to the core, would add a prayer, just in case.
You can experience some feng shui travel luck with these five tips.
You can carry or burn herbs for safe travels.
Or even cast a spell for safe travel. There is no limit.
Many safe travel beliefs center on religion
Many talismans are religious in origin, like the St Christopher medal that was once almost compulsory for any Catholic traveler.
In Islam, items with a quotation from the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book, may be used as talismans to ward off evil or as a charm to preserve health.
In Judaism, the Star of David is an extremely powerful talisman.
And a safe travels prayer - here are ten Christian ones if you are so inclined - is often recited by those who believe it will make a difference.
Whatever your beliefs, there's a travel talisman out there for you. You can buy it, make it, or receive it as a gift. It doesn't matter.
What does matter is - that you believe in it!
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nor do I have special powers. You may or may not believe in the efficacy of talismans, stones, crystals and the like: that is up to you. I've only provided this page as additional information for your travels, NOT to replace advice from a medical or health professional, or the purchase of travel insurance.
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