Your travel destination may have higher crime rates than your home town, but that shouldn’t discourage you and cause you to miss out on the fantastic cultural and historical experiences that travel to other cities has to offer. You just need to have your wits about you and adhere to a few common sense safety rules. Here are 7 tips and tricks to help you enjoy a safe trip.
Take out travel insurance
Does it really need that much explanation? Whilst it may seem unnecessary, that small upfront fee may save you a whole load of heartache. Whilst it certainly won’t help you immediately avoid mishap it will help you cover the cost of that missed flight or hospital visit (whether alcohol related or not). With insurance being a competitive industry, comparison sites such as the one shown here will find you the best offer in minutes. It’s not compulsory to take out insurance, but it certainly will provide some peace of mind. Just saying.
Don’t try and be the hero
If you’re unlucky enough to become a victim of street crime, more often than not it’s better to leave it and claim the stolen valuables on your insurance (see what I did there?). Resist the immediate urge to recreate a scene from Deadpool to get your stolen items back, as it will probably just land you in a prison cell or a hospital bed, neither of which are good news for your holiday. If the stolen item is a passport or essential travel documents, inform your insurance company- if you had the ingenuity to take it out. Also report the theft to the police, as you will need a theft report, as well as contacting your embassy in the country.
Keep copies of important documents with you
It’s always a good idea to leave original documents in the safe back at the hotel and keep copies with you, for proof of identity purposes, if required. Losing your passport or Identity card can be a real pain and will undoubtedly result in problems at airport immigration desks. Decent copies of important documents will more often than not be acceptable and if not you can always return with the original later.
Two straps are better than one
A lesson I learned whilst travelling in Napoli. I saw how a pair of locals on a moped drove past and tried taking a friend’s handbag. Fortunately, she had the handbag across her body so they ended up getting nothing. Lesson learned- wear your handbags across your body! Or If it’s a rucksack, wear both straps- the essence of a snatch and grab technique is to be quick before the victim notices, and the prospect of slicing through or lifting two straps instead of one makes you a lot less of an inviting target to these kinds of thieves.
Keep your valuables hidden
This is a bit of a variation on the previous point but the message is… Don’t make yourself an easy target. If you like to wear jewellery keep it to a minimum. Leave your diamond earrings and the Rolex at home. Back to the previous point, do not wear your expensive DSLR camera round your neck. Keep it in its case and make sure your purses and wallets are not in easily accessible pockets, particularly in crowded areas, such as public transport during rush hour.
Bring a bumbag
It’s best to keep all your ‘very valuables’, i.e. passport, cash, etc. tight to you, and a bumbag is the most secure way of doing this. First of all, its discreet, meaning you won’t get much attention paid to you. Secondly, it’s extremely hard to pinch, you’ll definitely feel it if someone gave it a go. Because we live in an age of cyber-security and if you want to have an ultra-secure carrying pouch, then RFID-blocking bum bags have been created, and can be purchased online, such as this one. To spare the jargon, RFID is basically a method of remote identification and data capture, and these kinds of pouches block the signals which are capable of taking your data. It all seems very James Bond too me, but it’s obviously been invented for a reason.
Be cautious with your cash
It may be stating the obvious but don’t carry every Dollar, Yen and Ringgit with you and even if you want to carry enough to cover every eventuality, divide your stash. For example, put half in your purse or wallet and half in an inside pocket or money belt. Take care also when withdrawing cash from ATM’s. It is wise to do this in broad daylight and from cash machines in Shopping Malls or Banks.
Have a great and safe trip!