Studies show that there is a higher probability that you will be encountering some trouble when you are home than when you trouble. Odd as it may be, but it is true! There are extreme cases where some places must be avoided but if you arm yourself with some common sense, be street smart, and follow the tips below, most likely you will have a hassle free journey:
Check your stuff before you leave
You will be carrying a lot of stuff more than usual so make it a habit to glance back and see if you have everything with you before leaving a coffee shop, a train, or getting off a cab. It might not look very good but it sure does save you a lot if you get those chain clips for your wallet or cellphone just to make sure you are not leaving them anywhere.
Keep your money in different places
Your cash and your cards should be kept at different places so you do not lose them all together when you are travelling. It will quite a headache if you are in the middle of nowhere and you do not have your credit card. Getting replacements or emergency cash takes a heaven and earth kind of effort.
You also need to be very careful when going to crowded places or events. Instead of putting your wallet in your back pocket, keep it in front where you can protect it from pick pockets. If you have a jacket where you can zip it up or button it up, the better. Keep it low profile and do not make it obvious that you have your money in your bag or your have your gadgets in your purse.
Always attend to your belongings
There is no one else to blame if you lose your things while enjoying a cup of coffee or a good dessert. Do not be too relaxed and leave your stuff unattended while dining, waiting for your companions, or while resting. The place might look safe, but you will really never know.
Have a routine check up before heading somewhere. This is to make sure that you are fit to travel. Another precaution will be to have the necessary vaccines that you might need when you travel to certain destinations.
Do not pet stray animals
You may be an animal lover but do not forget that dogs or cats or other animals that you will encounter might not want your hands patting their head or their bodies. Some may be protective of their territories and will not hesitate to have your arm or fingers. When you visit zoos or animal shelters, make sure that you follow their guidelines like not feeding animals or not petting them.
Make copies of your documents
You can do it old school and photocopy your passports and other travel documents. Nowadays, you can scan them and send it to yourself via email. Make sure you have a copy or two so it will be easier for you in case you lose the original documents. Always have the telephone number of your embassy in your place of destination just in case you will need any help.
Check with your insurance provider how well you are covered when you travel. You have to be concerned about possible health costs and emergency transport in case you fall ill while abroad. If you do not have an insurance, it is best to consider getting one and we are telling you that it is well worth it.
Avoid giving to beggars
If you really want to help street kids or beggars, giving them money is not the best choice. One, you are exposing yourself because you have to get some money from your purse or wallet. Second, some government abroad make it unlawful to give to beggars since they have programs implemented to address these problems. In other cultures, you have a different story when monks seek for food or for some alms. In case you really want to share a part of yourself to help the needy, all you need to do is look for volunteer work or maybe donate some money to a charitable institution.
Trust the locals (but not too much)
If you want to know a culture more, nothing beats an immersion with the locals. Do not forget though that they are still strangers and you might want to think twice when you have doubts about your safety. Make sure that you know of the tourist traps and scams that usually victimize travellers. Also do not be afraid to say no when you think that the food and drink being offered will compromise your health.
Stay low profile
It is undeniable that you might look different from the rest of the crowd when you go somewhere abroad but you need to stay low and blend in with everyone. If you love wearing jewelries and accessories, you might have to leave them at home. It will also be wise to just bring the gadgets that are necessary for your travel. Remember that to look too much like a tourist with all the maps and guidebooks. Be street smart and you will be okay.
What to do when mugged
When you are at gun point or when you are mugged, do not be stupid… just give them what they want. There is nothing more important but your life. Forget about the cellphone, the laptop, the wristwatch. These valuables are replaceable. Giving what the bad guys want might keep you away from injury and death.
Read the fine prints
If you have decided to go surfing, diving with the shark, bungee jumping, or any other adrenaline boosting activities, better read and pay attention to the fine prints of operators. Make sure you are going with those who have excellent safety records. Going for the cheaper deal might not always be the wise choice for these activities. A broken bone or two ruins all the rest of your travel plans and burns your bank account if you do not have a health coverage.
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