Now that I’ve surely peaked your interest with my introductory post, it’s time to kick off this 4-part series on travel safety!
These tips are suited for travelers of any age to any destination. My goal is that as you increase your situational awareness, you will be reduce your risk of becoming a target for thieves and pickpockets. In turn, you will be able to relax more and really enjoy that hard-earned vacation!
This post will focus on how to keep safe by making subtle adjustments to your dress. Let’s get started!
- For my male readers – where you typically stash your wallet? If you answered your back pocket, you’re not alone. Don’t give pickpockets a chance to nab your wallet by “bumping” into you in the middle of a crowd (or crowded bus, train, etc.). Put your wallet in your front pocket instead. Also, try not to pat at it too often. That’s a dead giveaway to anyone who might be watching that there’s something valuable in those pockets.
- For ladies – I always recommend that women opt for a cross-body bag when playing tourist. Shoulder bags can be easily knocked off and it’ll be gone before you know it. The cross-body deters thieves because they would have to cut the strap (which you would notice).
- Keep a low profile and try not to draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. Avoid wearing expensive (or expensive-looking) jewelry. Doing so gives an impression you may have something to offer, whether you intend to or not.
- If you’re in a foreign location, do your best to blend in. Europeans, for example, don’t often go out wearing basketball shorts, t-shirts, and athletic shoes. This screams American. It also screams that you’re a tourist and you might have money. Thieves prey on this stuff. Don’t be the prey.
- Taking #4 one step further, if you are traveling to a location where more modest dress is the norm (as in many parts of the Middle East), do your best to not draw unnecessary attention to yourself by avoiding clothing that is too tight or revealing.
- Leave the fanny pack at home (and if you still have one, promptly throw it away!). One slit with a knife and all of your valuables are now in someone else’s hands. While I’m on the subject of things holding valuables, I also detest those over the neck pouches that is meant to hold your travel documents. Practical? Yes. But thieves will see the cord and know right away you’re a tourist. Who has money and something to steal. Don’t give them that luxury.
Check back next Friday for Part II where I’ll go over tips to keep you safe when you’re out and about.