Of course I heard some stories during my travel that tourist that have been robbed. You have to be alert for example in South and Central America, they are poor countries and a lot of locals don’t have that much money to spent; so you are a walking Dollar for them and keep that in mind!! Here some tips what I do to lower my risk of being robbed or harassed:
- Make sure you bring more than one credit card on your travel, if one gets stolen you always have a back-up.
- I always bring a significant amount of cash USD with me in case of emergency.
- Spread your valuables like phone, iPad, camera, USD, other cash, credit cards among your bags and body.
- Make copies of your ID’s in case of emergency.
- I always make a copy with emergency phone numbers to block my cards, embassy locations and numbers, logins of important sites.
- Wear a hidden money belt with passport, credit card and some of the USD underneath your cloths at least during your overnight travels.
- Never put your bag in the overhead luggage during you travel; always on your lap or underneath your legs on the ground. When you are asleep; they will try to get in.
- Put locks on your bags; I always use number locks of good quality the bigger the hurdle the less chance they get in. I even lock my bags in my hotel when I leave for a day or tour: gives me better feeling.
- I don’t travel that much with Chicken buses, prefer shuttles that are safer, faster and meeting more other tourist.
- I make contact with the local people; I think this way you get more empathy and hope they will protect you when necessary.
- Don’t bring everything with you when hitting town or tour; only the necessary items.
- Don’t wear all your jewelry and expensive watches on you, don’t show off with your wealth.
- Don’t behave vulnerable or drunk; for them you look like an easy target!
- Be carful walking the streets at night, ask around and use your common sense what streets and places are safe to walk. I always ask in the hotels when and where its safe to walk.
- Try to dress properly and don’t show too much skin…. it’s Latin America don’t forget that!!
- I preferred an Uber taxi above the local taxi’s; but Ubers are not always available.
- Don’t behave too stressed out and show confidence!! This is for me a big deal, be strong and how you can handle the world, which is true because you are on the other side of the world!!!!
- Don’t get involved in drugs; I have heard nasty stories about this. Drugs is not in my agenda and I can’t imagine that you get yourself into a situation where you have to bribe/pay the police get out of trouble.
- Try to learn a little bit of the local language (Spanish), this will help to make contact and will get you out of a nasty situation more easily.
- Don’t forget to enjoy your trip and don’t panic and have some trust in people, not all are having the wrong intentions with you!!
Some tips are really straightforward I know; but I experienced that they are not so straightforward for everybody!!! They are just tips and doesn’t mean that you practice this you don’t get harmed or robbed. There is still a chance that you might…..but they are small; gangs normally leave the tourist alone.
Above all enjoy your holiday!!!