Every culture has its superstitions and talismans to stay on the right side of fate.
In the Mediterranean, people ward off the misfortune of the evil eye with a Nazar amulet. In India, they hang chillies and lime outside their doors to keep out the Hindu goddess of misfortune. Mirrors are used in China to frighten evil spirits. In Catholicism, a Saint Christopher pendant is used for good luck when travelling (which also makes a cool travel gift for him or her!)
People have been travelling with lucky talismans to ward off bad luck and misfortune for hundreds of years. And it's for good reason! Travelling can be daunting. Stepping into the unknown with new challenges and risks is scary. There are so many things that could potentially go wrong.
This is why so many people won't travel without a talisman to bring them luck and safety. With a little bit of faith, a lucky travel charm can give you the faith that you will travel and return home safely. Make your journey much more enjoyable and relaxed by feeling protected with lucky charms.
In this article, we're sharing some common superstitions that people ward off with talismans and why you should travel with one. Discover different types of talismans from various cultures that you can pick up on your next journey!
Avoiding unlucky numbers
The number 13 is the most traditional bad luck number that is avoided by superstitious travellers. People will avoid staying on the 13th floor (some hotels don’t even have a 13th floor!), staying in room 13 and flying on the 13th.
Other numbers like 666 and 911 are associated with bad luck due to their negative connotations and are also avoided.
The airport is one of the most superstitious places when it comes to travel. Airports and flying can be one of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of a trip, especially if you are afraid of flying.
There are many superstitions associated with the airport to ensure you survive your flight. These include kissing the ground when you land, stepping onto the plane with the same foot each time and avoiding certain flight numbers and dates.
Airports also have their own superstitions to avoid accidents as well. For example, planting an evergreen tree on the top of the control tower. This custom originates from Scandinavia, where it’s believed placing a cedar tree on the top of a building brings good luck.
Understandably travelling by sea comes with a whole host of superstitions. Sailing in an unnamed boat is said to bring terrible luck. It’s also bad luck to travel on a boat whose name ends in “A”. This likely stems from the demise of the Lusitania and Brittania ships during WWII. You are also supposed to avoid travelling on boats that have had their name changed.
Some famous places around the world have lucky rituals you can participate in for good luck or to make a wish. One of the most famous spots for this is the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain ensures you will one day return. Visitors to Ireland can plant a kiss on the Blarney Stone in Castle Blarney to be endowed with good fortune in matters of persuasion.
So what exactly is a lucky travel talisman?
A travel talisman is something you carry with you when you are on the road to bring you protection and good luck. You can get a travel talisman for yourself or buy one as a going-away gift for Christmas or as a birthday present for someone who loves to travel.
Many people around the world believe in superstitions and the power of carrying a lucky charm wherever they go. Carrying a travel charm is a declaration of good luck and faith that you will travel and return home safely.
Many travel talismans, like the St Christopher pendant, have religious origins. But whatever your beliefs there is a lucky travel charm for you. You can buy one, find one, make one or receive one as a gift. All you need to do is have faith and believe it works!
Reasons why you should carry a lucky travel talisman
There are many reasons to travel with a travel talisman. Whether you are worried about your plane crashing, being involved in a terror attack or something as simple as losing your wallet, carrying a travel charm can give you faith that you have luck on your side! A travel charm gives courage and confidence to take on the world without fear, even if you don’t fully believe in occult powers!
Lucky travel charms are designed to attract positive circumstances, people and objects in your life on the road. This includes protection from mishaps just as accidents, theft and sickness, amazing people and wonderful adventures while travelling. With good intentions, lucky charms boost the notion of good luck on your travels.
Getting someone a gift for good luck for their travels is very common with so many people travelling and living overseas today. Lucky travel talismans make an amazing gift to wish someone a safe journey and ensure they always find their way.
People who can benefit from carrying a lucky travel talisman include:
- People on a gap year
- Business travellers
- People who have long daily commutes
- People living and working abroad
- Long term backpackers
- People travelling to more dangerous countries
- Anyone who is stepping onto a plane bus or train to take a trip no matter how long or short.
Types of lucky travel talismans
There are many types of lucky travel charms with something to suit any traveller. Travel talismans can come in the form of rocks and stones or gems and crystals, feathers, animal claws and shark teeth.
More modern travel talismans include jewellery like rings, necklaces and bracelets and random good luck objects like a soft toy or a certain pair of socks. A lucky travel talisman may even be an object like a random keyring that has been handed down to you by someone in your family.
Different countries and religions have their own unique travel talismans.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most well-known travel charms from around the world.
St. Christopher Pendant, Catholicism
St Christopher pendants are traditionally associated with travels. St Christopher is the patron saint of travellers and is known as the Saint who carried Christ, and therefore the weight of the world, safely across a river. The St. Christopher pendant remains one of the most popular lucky charms for travellers. There are many different designs and styles of Saint Christopher pendants available. Check out the extensive range of silver men’s and women’s St Christopher pendants (& other lucky travel charms) at Off The Map Jewellery. They make a great luxury Christmas gift for him or her.
The sacred marks of the runic alphabet are one of the earliest forms of writing and were used as carved protective symbols that bring luck and protection to those who carried them.
Runes are letters in what’s known as the runic alphabet. This alphabet was used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet.
Runes are generally made up of vertical lines with branches or ‘twigs’ jutting out diagonally, upwards, downwards or in a curve. Each rune symbol was an ideographic or pictographic symbol of some cosmological principle or power.
Travelling with runes will bring positive energy with you on your journey. There are many special runic symbols related to travel. Travelling with runes can provide you with protection and good luck on your journey.
Runes carved into silver necklace pendants, bracelets and keyrings are the perfect travel charm to bring these ancient protective symbols into the modern age of travel.
Nazar & Hamsa:Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries carry the Nazar or Hamsa symbol to ward off the misfortunes brought by the evil eye.
Pyanska (Egg), Ukraine:This is a painted Easter egg from the Ukraine which is believed to bring luck.
Pimenta, Brazil: A Pimenta is a charm made out of glass chillies and can be worn as a necklace to bring luck.
Kavacha, India:A Kavacha is a necklace which has a prayer scroll or water from the Ganges inside which gives this amulet protective powers.
Ganesha amulet, India & Thailand: Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and therefore wearing him can ensure your trip runs smoothly.
Horseshoe, USA:A horseshoe is a traditional symbol of good luck in the west. Keep it pointed up to stop luck from spilling out or pointed down to let the luck flow.
Dream catcher, The Americas: The dreamcatcher is a protective talisman that is used to protect people from nightmares and bad dreams. It can also be worn on a keyring or hanging in your car to bring luck on your travels.
Four-leaf clover, Ireland: One of the most famous symbols of luck around the world is the four-leaf clover from Ireland
Fish hook (Hei-Matua), New Zealand:The fish hook represents prosperity, abundance, fertility and strength. Hei-Matua is a symbol of power and authority. Hooks are also good luck charms, particularly for those travelling over water.
Star of David, Judaism:The Star of David is the most powerful talisman for Jewish people