The last thing you want to happen when you’re traveling is to be robbed or mugged. Not only will this put you at a loss financially, but you might suffer both physical and mental stress as a consequence, too. Finding ways to stay safe is a must then, and we will detail some of the ways you can do this here.
Plan for the worse
We hope you don’t get robbed while you’re away, but in the event that you do, there are a couple of things you can do beforehand to protect yourself from further harm.
Firstly, take out insurance on your most valuable items before you leave, and if you’re hitting the roads, consider Travelers car insurance in the event that your car is stolen. In most cases, you need only pay for insurance that covers the length of time that you are away, so you don’t have to neglect taking out insurance because of the expense. And besides, you might be financially worse off if you are the victim of a crime, so it’s better to have insurance than not!
Secondly, create a list of emergency contacts. These should include numbers for the local police force, your local embassy, an ambulance service, and friends and family at home. Have them on speed-dial in the event that you do find yourself in a terrible jam while away.
Visit safer countries
This is a no-brainer, but if you want to reduce the chances of your safety becoming compromised while you’re away, you should visit those countries that are generally regarded as being safe. There’s a useful guide here, so browse the website, and consider some of the options open to you.
Minimize opportunities for theft
Ordinarily, we would tell you to avoid crowds while you’re traveling, as this is one way to minimize the risk of somebody pickpocketing you or stealing your backpack. However, if you’re wandering around trendy spots in London or another highly-populated location, this is easier said than done. For starters then, consider locking up your valuables at the accommodation you are staying in. Many hotels and hostels have storage lockers and safes on site, so if you don’t need to carry something with you, store it away securely. You should also invest in a theft-proof bag; i.e. one that is slash proof and with hard to reach compartments, as this should make life difficult for would-be thieves. And if you’re carrying cash, consider hiding it in a money belt or even in your shoes for extra safety.
Educate yourself on travel scams
Taxi drivers who charge you ridiculous prices. Strangers who offer to lend you a hand. Locals offering to take your photograph, using your camera or phone. These are just some of the people you need to be wary of because while they may be completely lovely and innocent people, they might also be scammers trying to take advantage of you. For your information, and including the examples we just posed, the following are some of the common travel scams you need to watch out for. Read them, heed them, avoid them!
Finally, don’t do anything that could land you in trouble. Don’t flash your valuables around when you’re surrounded by a lot of people. Don’t leave your bag lying around, even for a moment. Cover your hand when you’re using ATM’s. Don’t put anything of value in your back pocket. Don’t share confidential information with strangers, even if they appear friendly. And cut back on alcohol, because the more intoxicated you are, the more vulnerable you will be. In short, the wiser you are, the safer you are!
We wish you happy (and safe) travels this summer. Take care!