Frequently Asked Questions

Are Vagabands waterproof?

Vagabands are 100% waterproof, and so is anything you write inside it (as long as you use pencil!)


What about tearing? Are they tear proof?

99%... Vagabands are tear-proof in two directions, which means they won't rip unless you cut or nick them diagonally. Thought we've yet to hear from anyone saying  that this has happened naturally to their band.


You include a pencil, but can I use any pen or pencil to write in the band?

Always use a pencil. It's the most surefire way to make sure that nothing you write in your band will smudge or bleed: even waterproof inks can smear, leaving your information illegible. Pencil is guaranteed to stay put.


How do I find my out my blood-group?

Blood-group test kits are available for purchase online for as little as £7.00, but an alternative is to go to the doctor and get tested. Or, if you have ever given blood or received a transfusion, your local GP should have a record of your group.


How will people know to open my Vagaband?

Every band is clearly marked with the internationally recognised ICE indicator. This stands for In Case of Emergency, and first-responders around the world are trained to look for it. Vagabands also naturally rest on your pulse, where medical professionals always check, so it's extremely unlikely your band won't be seen. The bands are also bilingual, so language barriers aren't a problem.

Just in case, though, we include pocket cards with your band. It shows, using clear illustrations, that you're wearing a band and that it contains vital information.


Are Vagabands fireproof?

They are fire resistant and non-flammable. If you're wearing one on your wrist and are exposed to open flame, the exterior will protect the information inside in all but the most extreme heat.


How long will my Vagaband last?

The actual band, and the information you write inside it, will last a long time: we've had feedback from people who've been wearing theirs for six months or longer! BUT the pattern printed on the exterior will start to fade with time... it all depends on what you put it through though: a casual urban traveller's band will stay clearer for longer than a dive instructor's!

What’s most important is that the vital information you write inside will not fade, so even if the exterior pattern fades completely, you still have a band that works. After all, with Vagaband - as with most things - it’s what’s inside that counts.


I’m going to 4 different countries... Do I need to get Vagabands for all of them?

Vagabands are designed for each country with the relevant language and name of the country on the outside. You can use one if you want to, but we recommend getting a band for each destination: having the correct language for the place you're staying is important... plus they're great keepsakes!

We'll soon be offering multi-packs which will help you save on bands, so sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the loop.


I don’t have a medical condition... Do I need a vagaband?

Vagabands aren't just for people with conditions. They bring peace of mind to everyone who wears one: sometimes something as simple as having your hostel's address or your companions' phone numbers written in your band can help you out of a jam while you travel.

We designed Vagabands for everyone - knowing your essential details are literally within hands reach lets you concentrate on what’s important to you: your trip. Whether or not you have a medical condition, it contains potentially life-saving information.


I noticed it comes with a little card, why do I need that?

We hope the band will be obvious to everyone, however emergency personnel are trained to check pockets and wallets for ID in cases of traffic collisions or other accidents. The card is an extra safety net in the unlikely chance someone hasn’t seen your wrist before they check your wallet.


Where do I find my relative embassy number?

It's recommended that you check in with your nation's embassy whenever you arrive in a new location - their phone numbers and addresses are easily found through any search engine. We'll soon be releasing a packet of traveller resources which provides information on this, as well as dozens of other travel tips.


Are Vagabands Green?

Yes. Vagabands are 100% recyclable as a single unit, and sustainability is an essential piece of the Vagaband culture. You can find out more by visiting our sustainability page.


What happens if i get sunscreen or insect repellent on my band?

Sunscreen and most cosmetics are fine, and won't damage your band at all. However if you're using an insect repellant which contains DEET you should be careful (for a few reasons!). DEET is highly corrosive, and if it can eat though mosquito nets it will most certainly damage your Vagaband.

We strongly recommend finding an alternative to DEET-based repellents, look instead for sprays that use Picaridin or OLE as their active ingredient.


Can I wear my band in the shower?

You can shower, bathe, or swim with it. Vagabands are totally waterproof, but feel free to take it off if your worried about the integrity of your band or the information inside etc...


Is it hypoallergenic?

Yes, Vagabands are fully hypoallergenic.


Do they come in childrens sizes?

They do! We have five different styles of child-sized bands available - but the collection will grow over time. The children's band range was designed with an age range of about 3-8 years old in mind; it's softer & thinner and still has space for all the essential details that may be needed.


How do I replace a lost Vagaband?

Unfortunately you have to replace it yourself, but we do ship internationally: if you're abroad and need your band replaced, we can arrange for it to be sent to your nearest post-office. Just bring ID with you when you collect it!

Do bear in mind, though, not all countries have the smoothest of postal systems, so we can't always give a 100% guarantee that your band will reach you before you set off to your next destination.


Going Places - The Travel Readiness Course


What sort of stuff is covered in the Going Places course?

Going Places, Vagaband's Travel Readiness course, is designed and presented in partnership with Safer Edge - International risk management experts - and is lead by both male and female travel safety experts trained specifically to inform and empower young travellers whatever their plans.

It will cover all the basic safety & security tips that every traveller should know, such as the art of smart packing and how to respond to emergencies, but Going Places also dives a bit deeper. Since there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to risk-reduction while travelling, we focus on teaching awareness and risk-assessment techniques that will help you pre-empt, prevent and predict risky situations.

This is why there is a strong emphasis on developing your own S.O.P’s. 


What is an S.O.P.?

An S.O.P is a Standard Operating Procedure. It essentially means "what you know you will do in any given situation". Everybody's are different - and Going Places provides you with the tools needed to build your own. Understanding how you respond to risk requires self-awareness, situational awareness and cultural awareness - these are the areas where we put the most focus, and this is what makes Going Places the most widely applicable safety course around. 

The group will be taught how to think pro-actively and realistically about responding to pitfalls big or small, and the lessons will stick around long after they return from their trip: understanding how to develop your own unique S.O.P's is an extremely valuable life skill, one that's taught by survivalists, expedition-leaders, security workers and special forces around the world.


Who leads the course?/ Who is involved?
The majority of the course will be headed by male and female travel safety experts trained by Safer Edge. What sets this course apart though, is the involvement of our Peer Instructors - the Vagabandits. They are young experienced travellers who’s job it is to be honest and compassionate in answering your questions. They're dyed-in-the-wool travellers with years of experience on the open road, which means they've learned a lot of lessons the hard way... so you don’t have to!

What will I leave the course with?

You are awarded a certificate on completion of the course, endorsed and validated by fellows of the Royal Geographic Society - this certificate proves your new knowledge to travel companies and will make you eligible for discounts on: youth specific travel insurance, inoculations, hostels, travel equipment and other products and services from Vagaband engagement partners, saving you hundreds of pounds and more than offsetting the cost of the course.
Vagaband is currently finalising all of these partner discounts to be ready for the beginning of 2019. As a thank you to the first cohorts graduating the course, in return for the short wait for these discounts, we're offering a special, lower price.

On top of all this, on the day you'll receive a copy of Staying Safe on Your Gap Year, written by Kelsey Hoppe, Safer Edge's CEO, your very own Vagaband and an information pack that covers everything you learned on the course, as well as some extra tips to help your trip go off without a hitch.