Traveling is a fun and enriching experience, but while most people mean well, there are a few that see tourists as easy pickings. Being a victim can put a damper on any vacation, so to avoid that, here are 11 tips for keeping safe while you travel.
1. Don’t travel alone
Everyone knows there’s safety in numbers. Even if you are a solo traveler, you don’t have to travel alone. Make friends to hang out with or join a tour group. At the very least, let someone know where you are going and what time you will be back. This advice is even more important if you plan on doing outdoor activities such as hiking. – https://www.survivalfitnessplan.com/hiking-tips/
2. No Dar Tu Papaya
“No dar tu papaya” is a Colombian expression which means to not put yourself in a position where someone can take advantage of you. For example, leaving your bag unattended, or walking around with your expensive phone in your hand.
3. Dress Appropriately / Dress Like the locals
It’s easy to spot a tourist by the clothes they wear, so avoid this by dressing like the locals. And if that’s too much for you, then at least dress appropriately. Walking around in a bikini on a Californian beach may be normal, but in many parts of the world even wearing short shorts is asking for trouble.
4. Wear Shoes
It’s tempting to get around in your sandals, especially in a tropical setting. This is fine during the day when your are walking around town, but if you are doing anything mildly adventurous or hitting the town at night, put on some shoes.
Not only will it prevent injury, but if you rub any locals the wrong way, it will be easier to run.
5. Keep Fit
Being in decent physical shape will make you less of a target.Think about it. If you were a mugger would you rather try to rob someone who is fit and could fight back, or the guy that probably couldn’t chase you for 10 meters? A healthy body also means you are less likely to get sick.
6. Be Aware
Having a general sense of awareness will keep you out of a lot of trouble.
Here are some examples:
- Notice landmarks you pass to prevent yourself from getting lost
- Watch where you are walking to avoid silly accidents
- Look out for where the building exits are in case of an emergency
- Keep an eye on the people around you so you can avoid the unfriendly ones
7. Learn Self-Defense
Learning self-defense will give you an air of confidence that “the bad guys” will subconsciously pick up on. So knowing it makes it less likely you will have to use it.
And you don’t have to take years of martial arts classes. A half-day class with repetitive practice of what you learn is enough to give you a few simple moves you can use in a panic situation.
Some of my favorites are:
- A palm heel to the nose. Even a tap to the nose can be enough to make someone’s eyes water. This will buy you time to run away.
- A kick to the groin or shin. This is a classic self-defense move, because it works!
- Shouting. This alone is enough to scare most criminals away.
You’ll probably never need to use these moves, but if that one time comes you’ll be glad you knew what to do.
8. Don’t Get Intoxicated
Having a wine or two is fine, but avoid getting as messy as you did at your best friend’s bachelorette party.
A drunk person is a big target for scams, robberies, or worse.
9. Split Up Your Valuables
Even if you take all the precautions I’ve mentioned above, you still may get robbed.
Minimize the damage by splitting up your valuables. For example, only keep a small amount of cash in your purse and hide the rest. Taking 2 debit/credit cards is always a good idea. Keep one on you for emergencies, and one back at your hotel in case you get robbed. For things you can’t split up, e.g., your passport, take photocopies.
10. Get Travel Travel Insurance
While you can skip all the bells and whistles, emergency medical travel insurance is a must-have.
Many countries in the world won’t even let you into the hospital unless you can prove you can pay for it. And bringing home a mountain of a debt because of some bike-riding accident is not something anyone wants.
11. Stay Out of Bad Areas
Every city in the world has places that are more dangerous than others. No matter where you are in the world you will be safer if you keep to well-lit areas and good neighborhoods.
Safe travel isn’t rocket science, and you don’t have to fear everyone. In fact, the vast majority of people in the world would rather help you than harm you. Be courteous of the culture and people will be courteous to you.
Bert Luxing is an avid traveler, outdoors enthusiast, and he loves anything survival related. He spends his time learning new things and then shares what he learns via his blog – www.SurvivalFitnessPlan.com.