While some destinations are known to be safer than others, in these times there is no such place that I would state is safe where my client’s safety is guaranteed.
Traveling internationally, or even domestically, can cause some anxiety in even the most seasoned of travelers. After watching the news or reading the latest articles—often consumed with headlines regarding theft, sexual assault or murder—my clients will inquire about the safety of their chosen destination. Here are a few tips that I can share with you to help keep you safe during your travels.
Pay attention to your surroundings. We don’t even notice we do it. We’re so enthralled with whatever we’re reading on our phones that we have no idea what’s really going on around us.
I often see people walking with their heads down, turning the corner without even glancing up, passing hundreds of people without acknowledging their existence—it all makes you vulnerable. Keep your head up. Look around. Say hi, make eye contact, or just smile at those you’re walking by. You’ll blend in more, you’re more likely to be remembered and you’re less likely to look like that simple, easy target.
Blend in with the locals. Nothing screams easy target more than a tourist that has no idea where they’re going or what they’re doing. There is nothing wrong with taking pictures, that is part of your vacation experience but don’t wander aimlessly when doing so. Take your photos with intent, like you know where you’re going and what you’re capturing.
While you don’t want to be too nosy, it doesn’t hurt to ask hotel employees, restaurant staff, taxi drivers and shopkeepers their name, what they love about the area or even about their family and lives here. Show them the same courtesy you’d want to be shown. By doing so they may be more likely to make that extra effort to keep their eye on you, your possessions and anything or anyone questionable around you.
Know your limits with alcohol. Of course, traveling is all about having fun and making the most of your time away—but that doesn’t mean you need to get too carried away.
While your excessive drinking does not give anyone the excuse to harm you, it does make you an easier target to potential crimes. Most of all, never accept an opened drink from anyone. You should even watch the bartender prepare your from start to finish. Also, don’t leave your drink sitting anywhere, keep it close to you at all times.
Leave the shimmering jewels behind. Those ruby earrings, that fancy watch and the diamond necklace you love so much, should remain at home.
Sure, the extras make us feel better, but it also shows money. Wealth. This is especially important in poverty-stricken international destinations. The last thing you want to do is show some locals, who don’t have much to call their own, that you’re an easy target for mugging. That also goes for the beautiful costume jewelry. It would be even sadder to get mugged for a fake. By the way, don’t carry more cash than you need in your wallet and stash the cash that you do carry in multiple safe places.
Finally, if you are travelling solo be wise. One of the best things about vacation is leaving the rest of the world behind.
Traveling solo can be relaxing but we must take a few extra precautions. Always let your hotel concierge know where you are going and when you plan to return. Don’t walk alone in dangerous neighborhoods or at night. Don’t drift away from groups of people at the same place you are.
While these tips won’t guarantee your safety, I do hope they’ll give you the added peace of mind that you’re doing everything right when traveling.