Some of the world’s best travel destinations, such as Bolivia, South Africa, Mexico, etc, have high crime rates. While you can’t guarantee that nothing will go wrong on a trip, you can travel abroad safely by taking these precautions.
Don’t look wealthy; Act like a local
Predators look for the best prey and if you look wealthy while you are traveling, you will be better prey than if you look like a budget traveler. Dress discreetly in muted colors and avoid flashy clothing or accessories. Keep your camera in a bag, not around your neck. Don’t carry a bag that is clearly a camera or laptop bag – if you need to carry expensive electronics, carry them in a nondescript bag. If you look like a local, you’re traveling safely.
Every risk you can avoid is a part of traveling safely. Don’t take money out of street-side ATM machines – use ATM’s in banks or stores. Keep your wallet in your front pocket or in a zippered bag to avoid pickpockets. If you are on a bus or train, keep your bag in your lap; don’t put it in an overhead or under your seat. Street crime is commonly found off the “beaten path,” so stay away from the side streets or seedy areas in cities. Don’t leave valuables sitting out in a hotel room – lock them in a safe or secure them with a locking bag. Know what forms of transportation are the safest; hailing cabs from a street may be particularly dangerous in certain areas. Ask your hotel if taking a particular form of transportation is safe at night.
Always be aware of where you are, who is around you, and what risks might arise. If you are in a risky area, always pay attention to the people around you. If you see the same face more than once, someone may be following you. If you are in a taxi, have an idea of the route before you start the trip so you know if the cab is going off course and putting you at risk of being charged more or becoming a victim of a more serious crime.
Travel often involves risk and the key to enjoying your trip is to mitigate this risk. Always travel safely by being aware of your surroundings and knowing your risks. Also, an insurance policy that covers your luggage can be beneficial.
What travel safety tips do you recommend?