24 Jan The do’s and Don’ts of staying safe on vacation
Vacations are great and they make awesome memories. They can fill you with happiness for years, as long as you are careful. You don’t want your vacation to become a bad memory. When you travel to a new place, you don’t know the same signals that you would know when you are home. In your local town, you know where not to go alone, where not to go at night, where For example, there have been times in the past where some street gangs in England would not to walk, and the type of people to avoid. When you are on vacation, it isn’t quite as easy to know those things so you need to not assume things are always safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Don’t be a tourist. Yes, we know, you are a tourist, but don’t be a cliché one. Don’t wear bright clothes, have that expensive camera dangling around your neck, and be loud and obviously a tourist. Don’t make yourself a target or a victim. When a predator is looking for prey, you don’t want to be the one that catches their eye.
Don’t flaunt it
You are on vacation, you want to keep that low profile as above, but also don’t wear anything expensive. In Brazil? People have been mugged and everything was taken from them, including their underwear. Don’t flash the money you have and have a second wallet that you can lose in case you do get robbed. You can even have 2 of them, but make sure whenever you show money, it’s just a small amount and not tempting. In other words, don’t show cash, and keep that Rolex at home.
We get it, you are proud of your country, but it is always a good idea to just avoid showing flags. There is always someone that has some political problem wherever you go. Unfortunately, the USA flag is probably the worst to show in travels, so just avoid all politics, and keep any flags to yourself.
Smile Keep your eyes open
Smile and be happy, you are on vacation. Be friendly with people, but keep your eyes open. The #1 criteria that robbers say they look for is people that are not paying attention. They can get close to them and it’s too late. So pay attention to your surroundings.
Don’t go anywhere with anyone you don’t know
If someone you don’t know wants to take you somewhere, we would advise not going. This is not to say you can’t make a friend and go places with locals, but do it on your own terms. For anyone that offers to take you somewhere right after meeting them, such as a restaurant, club, attraction, or anywhere, it is just a good idea to say no thank you. If they try and make you feel embarrassed for thinking they are bad, then they probably are, so don’t feel embarrassed. Trust your gut.
Use common sense
As in anywhere in the world, use common sense. We have seen tourists do things that they would never do at home. Just because you are traveling doesn’t make the world a magic place. There are as many bad people wherever you go as there is at home, and they are just harder to spot. So ask yourself if the same situation was at home what would you do.
If you can make a friend with a trustworthy local, it always helps. A friend of a friend, or someone from the hotel, or someone you met on a tour, again, use common sense. A good local will keep you away from areas that you should not go, and point you in the right directions.
Keep with the people
As obvious as it sounds, don’t go places that are deserted of people, especially at night. Would you do that in your own neighborhood? Stick with the populated areas and don’t take any shortcuts.
When in doubt, run
You might feel silly, but that is the best advice when at home as well as internationally. If it looks like it can be a bad situation, just run. Trust us; it’s more embarrassing to be mugged than to run away. Run towards any populated or lit area. If you are sure it is a bad situation, such as they are running after you, just yell a lot as you are running. The last thing a robber wants is other people to pay attention. Odds are they won’t chase you anyway; you are too much trouble to catch.
Vacations are great, as long as you use your head and keep safe. Don’t trust anyone, unless you have a good reason to. Don’t look or act the part of a victim, and stay with people and there is less chance of you becoming one. We want you to have a great trip and enjoy the sights and sounds of the world, so just be careful out there. Enjoy yourself, but use your head.