Travel -4

91.     Carry decoy money in a dummy wallet. If anyone wants cash from you and you have nothing to hand them, they could get angry or even violent. Always keep a few small change of notes in your wallet, and the bigger bills elsewhere.

92.     In many countries, such as Europe, carrying a pepper spray is considered a concealed weapon. To get around this, try using mosquito spray, or, as a miniature hairspray which hurt when they get into the eyes.

93.     Putting yourself in the ‘too hard’ to be an opportunity to steal from. Carry a personal safety alarm in your pocket that gives off a hell of a sound.

94.     Put a flashlight in your shoe.

95.     Have slash proof, RFID-blocking baggage with you.

96.      Stay Connected. Update your social media regularly while on the road to give peace of mind to others that you’re safe, wherever you are.

97.     Be self-reliant and well prepared. Carry cash, a map, a guidebook, and a phrase book.

98.     When you use cash machines, withdraw cash during the day on a busy street, not at night when it's dark with too few people around.

99.     Be proactive about public transportation. Before you leave a city, consider visiting the train or bus station you're going to leave from, so you'll know where it is, how long it takes to reach it, if it feels safe, and what services it has. Reconfirm your departure time. Cafés are also a safe place to wait.

100.  When taking the train, avoid sleeping in empty compartments. You're safer sharing a compartment with a family.

101.  Unless you're fluent in the language, you will not always know what's going on.

102.  Dress modestly to minimize attention from men. Take your cue from what the local women wear. For young women, even wearing a shapeless sack and sensible shoes may not ward off unwelcome advances.

103.  Blend in as much as you can. Want to have the attention of every pickpocket in Paris? Show up in shorts and a t-shirt. The more you stand out, the more you brand yourself as someone who is unfamiliar with the location, which makes you more vulnerable to criminals.

Research your destination in advance, observe how people dress, and try to pass as a local - or, if that’s impossible, try to pass as a longtime expat. That means covering your arms, legs, and cleavage in Muslim countries, wearing loose clothing in India, and wearing long pants in Europe and Latin America.

104.  Try to stay with a group when exploring, and avoid walking alone at night, particularly in unlit areas with few people around.

105.  Do not be overly polite if you're bothered by someone; it is important to create boundaries to protect yourself. Use facial expressions, body language, and a loud firm voice to fend off any unwanted attention. If a man comes too close, say "no" firmly and loudly in the local language.

106.  If you feel like you're being followed or hassled, trust your instincts. Don't worry about overreacting or seeming foolish. Start screaming and acting crazy if the situation warrants it. Or head to the nearest hotel and chat up the person behind the desk until your would-be admirer moves on. Ask the hotelier to call you a cab to take you to your own hotel or hostel.

107.  When you are arranging to meet a guy, choose a public place. Tell him you are staying at a hostel and you have a 10 p.m. curfew and 29 roommates. Better yet, bring a couple of your roommates along to meet him. After the introductions, let everyone know where you're going and when you'll return.

108.  Use common sense and make good decisions, and have confidence in yourself and your ability to travel on your own. You will be rewarded with rich experiences and have great stories to tell your friends.

109.  Keep Your Valuables on you While in Transit. Actually, you should not bring valuables in the first place that you would be despondent to lose - family heirlooms, expensive jewelry, your birth certificate, and the like.

120.  Safeguard your smartphone, laptops, tablets, Kindles or other e-readers, DSLR cameras with pricey lenses, and the like. You should have a day bag into which you can fit all of your important items: your passport, your camera, your medication, your jewelry, your credit cards, your smartphone, and any other technology, photography or otherwise valuable equipment.

Never put these items into your general backpack. Never put these items into the luggage hold on a bus. Never put any of those items into your checked luggage on a plane. If you let them out of your sight, there’s a fair chance that they could be taken away from you.

121.  There is no need to go out for a walk in the city with all of your credit cards, your passport, and a lot of cash. Take what you need for the day: maybe around, and a debit card, and keep the rest locked up in your accommodation.

122.  Use lockers if the hotel has them.

123.  Do not trust people too quickly when you are traveling in a new destination, especially when traveling on your own, it can be tempting to join up and find a tribe. Some con artists have mastered the art of befriending travelers, getting them to leave their valuables unattended, and robbing them before taking off.

124.  Watch Your Drinking. This is a tip that doesn’t get said often enough. When you drink alcohol, you dull your senses and slow your reaction time, which in turn makes you vulnerable to others.

Drink slowly. Pace yourself. Eat beforehand or during. Have a glass of water in between each drink (your body will thank you in the morning). Be cognizant of what you are actually drinking, and always take drinks directly from the bartender.

Constantly ask yourself, “Do I want to be less in control than I am right now?” and stop if the answer is no.

Most importantly, resist the pressure, gentle or otherwise, to keep up with others who might be able to drink more than you.

125.  If you become lost and you need to find your way, slip into a shop or café to consult your map privately before continuing on.

126.  Spend Extra Money on Staying Safe. It means paying more to stay in a central neighborhood with lots of lively activity instead of a cheaper, quiet residential area where you feel isolated.


Last modified: Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 9:01 PM