Let’s Talk Travel Safety (just in case)
If some of you reading this have decided traveling to certain countries is just too dangerous, STOP right there and erase erase erase. If you travel to certain areas in the US, you will find yourself in extremely dangerous areas, but normally you make it through by avoiding the bad areas or by paying close attention to your surroundings. This philosophy applies anywhere you travel to. Below, I’m going to show you a few ways to make sure you stay stay when traveling all over the world!
Ensure You Have a Designated (driver, person, watcher-whatever you choose to call itPay Attention
If you are heading to a country or an area you are unsure of, remember to pay attention to your surroundings. Try not to look like the tourist with the fanny packs, camera, and the deer in the headlights look. Continually scan your area and keep your guard up–to a point. You still want to have fun, but do so without being a bullseye. Basically what I am saying is; try to blend as much as humanly possible. Let’s say you travel to New York and walk around looking up (yes, it’s neat and people do it), but it makes you stand out and not in a good way. It makes you a prime target! It’s the same throughout the world. By doing things that are obviously out of the ordinary, it becomes very clear that you aren’t local.
Hide Your Valuables
Taking your cash with you is necessary, but carrying a large purse where you keep everything is not a good idea. Keep your cash, credit cards, and passport close to your body. In an inner pocket would be one of the best locations. Just make it hard to get to. Also, if you have bills folded; don’t pull everything you have out at the same time. Place the small bills on top, and plan for what you think you may need to spend in a specific portion of your trip so you don’t have to pull out from your main stash. Go to the bathroom or a private area to count out what you need. If others don’t see it, they are less likely to go after it. Hide enough somewhere else on your body to ensure you can get back to the hotel if your money is stolen. Nothing worse than being stranded and broke.
Baggage Valet-Airports (maybe not exactly a safety tip, but a warning on how not to be taken advantage of)
Most of my travels have taken place in the Middle East. In Kuwait, the valets were probably the worst/most persistent. My first few trips, I was the young blonde traveling through and they would approach from the left and right to try to help me with my bags. My bags weren’t overly heavy, so I had it handled. I figured if I could pack it, I’d better be able to carry it. No matter how many times I told them no, they kept following and trying to push my luggage cart. I told them, I had no money, but that didn’t stop them. When I was at my next stop to check-in, they stood there and waited for a tip. Even though I had tried to ensure they understood me it didn’t do much good (they understood but chose to ignore). I gave them a few dollars, but they didn’t believe it was enough. It was overwhelming and he seriously stood there harassing me and he didn’t want to let go of my bags. I refused to pay him anything additional and finally it was a matter of wills. He left as I checked into my flight. After my 2nd trip, I didn’t fall for this again and was able to be very forward and confident as I said; “No, I do not need your assistance!” The valet is not required, but if you aren’t comfortable making it through the airports on your own, you can hire the meet and greet service that will pick you and your bags up at baggage claim. They will serve as your protector until you become more secure with your environment.
Worry Less-Hire a VIP Service
Prior to my trip to Rio de Janeiro, my friend and I were told, don’t get off the main touristy streets, you’ll get mugged. While I’m sure it happens, Rio is certainly not the only place in the world that has muggings. Since we were two 20 year old blondes, we decided to work around the potential issue and hire a VIP service. The individuals picked us up from the airport, the hotel, various locations in the city, and to the best dance clubs. The individuals served as our DD’s and provided the ins and outs to the area. The service wasn’t overly expensive and to have someone that knew the area was priceless. By utilizing the service we did find ourselves much more at ease with our environment.
Alright all, while there are so many safety tips and things to think about when traveling abroad, thinking about your steps ahead of time will help you through! Hopefully these few tips above will get you thinking. I’ve learned a lot of what I know the hard way and by winging it. It was interesting, but I took a lot of risk. If I can help you all to find a safer way to travel, it’ll be worth it. 😉