Seven Sins Of International Travel Safety

Travel is never going to be completely risk free. When you throw on a backpack and venture into the great unknown, the odds of you winding up robbed or worse are always going to increase. How much those odds increase however all depends upon how you act.

Travel can be made significantly safer by simply learning to keep your wits about you. Or in other words, by not doing any of the following nonsensical things well known for getting people into trouble. Here are seven sins of international travel safety.

Showing Off Your Money Belt

Money belts are ideal for keeping your funds and passport safe while on the move. Unfortunately however, they are also ideal for advertising the fact that you have something valuable on you. If you’re not able to keep your money belt hidden, you’d actually be better off not using one.

Your money belt should be used exclusively for things that you do not need frequent access to. Spending money should be kept in your pockets. The same logic applies to your lighter/lipstick.

Looking Flashy in Third World Countries

Some of the most beautiful destinations on earth happen to be located in pretty poverty stricken countries. Though such destinations should by no means be avoided, a little bit of common sense is very much required. In particular, you should do your best to disguise the fact that you are a “rich foreigner”.

As a general rule of thumb, if it costs more than the average local makes in a year, it’s something that you should leave at home.

Looking Lady Like in Religious Countries

Regardless of how you feel about gender equality, if you’re a lady visiting a foreign land, you need to respect the local views. There are many countries throughout the world in which a short skirt is not only ill advised, it’s a downright dangerous thing to wear.

Female travellers are always advised to find out about these issues before they land. And when in doubt, dress down, not up.

Making Friends with Strangers on the Street

Meeting people from foreign lands is one of the best things about international travel but it’s important to choose your new friends with care. Hostels, bars and cafes are all great places to meet people but the same cannot be said about the street.

When a stranger approaches you and asks for more than directions/spare change, suspicion is always a smart emotion to feel. And don’t let fancy clothes or sex appeal fool you either. Those looking to scam you are generally dressed pretty impeccably.

Arriving in New Cities at 3am

Late night arrivals are rarely very much fun and in some parts of the world, they are actually pretty dangerous. If you’re heading to a city that you’ve never been to before, arrivals during the hours of darkness should be avoided whenever possible. If doing so means a few hours in an airport, so be it.

On the other hand, should a late night arrival prove anything but optional, choose a hostel as close as possible to your arrival point. The less walking you have to do, the less likely you are to wind up wandering around unfamiliar surroundings with a backpack on your back.

Stumbling Solo

Though travelling solo is a lot safer than most people think, the same can certainly not be said for stumbling solo. Though I personally believe that there are few aspects of travelling more enjoyable than having a few drinks in a new city, it’s important to do so with care.

By this I mean drink until tipsy, not until you’re walking into things. And if you must break the first rule, never do so alone. There are few targets as attractive to thieves as the drunk backpacker who can’t find his hostel. You might as well wear a sign asking to be robbed.

Forgetting to do your Research

Finally, every destination has it’s own particular scams and dangers. When you head off somewhere without reading about them, you are needlessly putting yourself at risk.

You should never share a taxi with a stranger in Le Paz. You should never give directions in Barcelona. And if two beautiful girls happen to approach you on the street in most Eastern European cities, chances are you shouldn’t go for a drink with them.

Most scams are easy to avoid provided you are aware of their existence. If you’re not, it’s very easy to find yourself being accompanied to an ATM with some very large men.

Never go anywhere without spending a few minutes reading about the local scams. Those minutes can easily make the difference between a great trip and a trip to the police station.

Mike Johnson is a veteran travel blogger and has spent a lot of time traveling the world. He recommends a visit to the Isle of Wight holiday parks to have an awesome travel experience.


Great piece of cautionary advice for travellers

As a golden rule, we always make sure that we do proper research over the internet, read blogs, participate in forums and also find out from the travel agents before planning a trip. That actually has saved us from a lot of trouble.