Security While Traveling – How to Stay Safe
Luggage – Ensure that luggage is locked. You can be not only robbed, but something could be planted in your luggage if it is left open, especially when crossing borders. When flying in the US, your luggage may be opened for a security check, so you may want to leave unlocked in that country.
Pickpockets – Wear a money belt; waistband ones are best. Do not wear good jewellery. Also, better to not walk around with fancy electronics as you may be inviting a thief. Take taxis at night.
Distraction Theft – Someone distracts you while an accomplice picks your pocket. For example, kids swarm around you asking for money, or someone “accidentally” spills something on you.
Valuables – Keep all valuables in a safe, if you can, or locked in your room.
ATMs – Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. Best to have a companion with you to keep an eye out and prevent someone from spotting your pin. Do not let a stranger “help” you.
- When you hop in a cab and ask to go to a specific restaurant, hotel, or shop, the driver tells you it’s “closed” but offers to take you to a “better” one.
- When arriving in a new city, pre-arrange for a taxi pickup, or check if you can arrange for a taxi from within the airport terminal.
- Be sure to know the rate before you get in a taxi and even if there is a meter, keep an eye on it. Taxis have been known to have the rate double or even multiply by 10 times. If in doubt, don’t pay until you have checked with someone at your destination.
- Pay attention to the direction you are going. Some drivers will take you out of the way and drive in a big circle to increase the fare.
- At the airport, someone can pick up your luggage and carry it for you to their car. They may not be legitimate taxi drivers.
- At a bar or restaurant, you get stuck with the bill.
- The Fake Gift – A vendor or stranger bestows a gift upon you. Then, after you have it, they demand payment, perhaps even threatening to call police.
Money/donations – Do not give money to children. It encourages them to beg and stay out of school. Rather, give a donation to a charity in the area. Do not give money to anyone unnecessarily.