Traveling is usually a rewarding experience filled with memorable and eye-opening moments. But when you travel to an unknown location, you are making yourself vulnerable to a lot of possibilities, including some bad ones. In the thrill of the moment, it can be easy to get lost in the excitement of adventure. However, your safety should be a top priority. Especially, if you are traveling alone.
Whether you travel with family, or alone, there are precautions you can take to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.
Be mindful of your surroundings when in crowds
Don’t lose focus of your surroundings in the hustle and bustle of taking social media pics or admiring a view. Always be on the lookout for suspicious people who may be standing too close to you or your belongings. When talking to strangers, be wary about exchanging personal information. Never give out the exact location of where you will be staying.
Blend into your surroundings
Don’t do anything that draws attention, or makes you seem like a tourist. Don’t wear excessive bling, like expensive jewelry, new camera, branded bags, etc. Otherwise, you are telling thieves that you are a prime candidate for a mugging. Wear simple clothes, depending on where you visit. If you are carrying expensive items, hide them in a bag. Make it your goal to carry yourself in a way that doesn’t make you look like a foreigner.
Limit your usage of public WiFi
Be cautious when using free WiFi in public because hackers can easily access your system to get your personal data, including banking information, social security numbers, etc. If you have to access the internet, try not to log into your sensitive accounts. Otherwise, use a VPN to allow you to access the internet privately.
Make hard copies of important documents
This includes your passport and any type of identification, like your driver’s license. Make several copies of these documents, so they are easily accessible when someone asks you for documentation. You also don’t have to keep bringing your passport out, which can prevent it from getting lost, stolen, or damaged. For an added level of protection, scan these documents, and save them online.
Keep your back pocket empty
Pickpockets are everywhere and they call back pockets the “sucker pocket” because it’s an easy target to steal from. Do not keep your wallet there. The best place to hide your wallet is on the inside pocket of your jacket or the front pocket of your pants. If you are carrying your bag, keep it in front of you. If you are sitting down, don’t put it behind you or set it on the floor, place it on your lap instead.
Keeping everything separate
Don’t put all your valuable belongings in the same place. Put some inside your jacket, others in your purse, and leave some at your hotel room in the safe. This way, if one of the places holding your personal items gets robbed, you won’t end up losing everything at once. If there are things you won’t be using that day, keep them locked in your hotel room’s safe box.
Don’t entertain panhandlers
This might sound cruel, but some places are flooded with beggars needing money. Your kind heart might want to give them a few bucks here and there, but you don’t know who is watching. You can become a dangerous target if people know that you are walking around with cash on you. If you really feel like helping out, try going to a charity for poverty-stricken people and donate your time or money there.
Don’t put up a fight
Sometimes it’s for the best to just surrender. If the unfortunate happens and you do get mugged, don’t try to fight them off. Give them what they want and then once you are out of danger, report the incident to the authorities. Nothing is worth putting your life at risk, so don’t try to be a hero and fight them.
I hope these tips help you stay safe on your next vacation, so you can come home with fond memories and not crazy stories. Traveling is the best way to expand your horizons because there is so much beauty out there. Just do it responsibly. Do some research way ahead of your departure date and implement the tips above to feel more confident that your safety will not be in jeopardy.