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Traveling precautions

Many travellers come back from their travels with sweet memories of the places they visited. However, not all travellers are fortunate and fall prey to pickpockets, robbers and taxi scams. I have listed a few precautions you can take when planning your travels and while on the road.

Think Before You Go

Your designer clothes, jewelry, the map in your hand and that expensive camera hanging around your neck make you stand out among the locals. Minimize the attention you attract, thus making yourself a less desirable target for pickpockets and robbers. Dress conservatively, wearing only minimal jewellery. Donít carry an expensive camera on a strap around your neck - youíre only putting yourself and your camera at risk. Take your camera out from your waist pouch or bag only when you need to.

Carry as little cash as possible, relying instead on travelersí checks and credit cards. Travelersí checks can easily be replaced if lost or stolen, and customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Credit cards can be canceled quickly should they be lost or stolen.

Consider paying for your accommodation in advance. The availability of the internet has made it possible for online bookings to be made. Youíll get a better room rate and be guaranteed that you will have somewhere to stay in the event your money is taken.

When travelling

When you must carry cash, carry only the amount that you need for the day. Donít flaunt large amounts of cash in public.

Consider carrying two wallets. One should be a cheap wallet containing a handful of small bills needed for the day and the other in the pocket of your bag if you are heading from one accommodation to another. You can also place the second wallet in your hotel safe.

If you have to travel from one accommodation or state to another, invest in a money belt to wear under your clothes. Access might be a little awkward, but itís the safest way of carrying your valuables. Also, never carry a backpack. Designed to be worn on your back, such bags will be an easy target for pickpockets to unzip or cut open. I have sworn not to carry backpacks in crowded areas overseas after being a victim of a professional pickpocket.

Another piece of valuable advice is to make copies of your passport, driverís license, credit cards and airlines tickets prior to your departure, and keep the copies in a safe place away from your other valuables. If you get robbed, at least you will have the copies to help establish your identity with local authorities.

When possible, avoid walking anywhere alone. Getting off of the beaten path may be a great way to see how the locals live, but it also increases your chances of running into trouble. Keep clear of dark, empty streets at night. The most sensible thing to do is to avoid going out at night in an unfamiliar place. Stay near groups of people if you can.

If you must take a taxi, never get into an unmarked one. Whenever possible, call for a cab rather than hopping into the nearest vehicle. Always make note of the taxiís number and driverís identification, if available.

Using Money Abroad

In a number of countries the advertised price of an item isnít necessarily what youíll pay. For some cultures, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, haggling is part of a transaction. You have to negotiate a price by starting to ask for 50% less of what is being offered.

If You Get Robbed

If you are unlucky enough to be a victim, donít panic. Inform the police, so thereís a crime report on file. Then call your credit card and travellerís cheque companies. In most instances your money and cards will be replaced within 24 hours, and you wonít be liable for any charges to your card.


Make smart decisions when travelling in order to have a peace of mind. An extra effort in planning to take safety precautions is worth it to avoid unnecessary trouble. Exercise caution, common sense, wise-decision making and some pragmatism the next time you travel.


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 715

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