If you are planning a trip, especially to a foreign country, don’t forget to make plans to protect your safety. Too many travelers become absorbed in an enjoyable vacation, forgetting to watch out for their personal safety. Worldwide, far too many criminals prey on unsuspecting vacationers. You are particularly vulnerable far from home, where you don’t understand the local customs and may be easily tricked.
Before leaving home, do your research. Learn about the various areas of the cities you plan to visit. Make sure that the area is considered reasonably safe for tourists. Some areas of town may be friendlier to outsiders than others. Once you arrive, ask the hotel concierge for suggestions on activities and restaurants. Though it can make for an unforgettable vacation to go off the beaten path, the more popular tourist attractions are usually much safer for visitors. Don’t travel down back alleys and into neighborhoods where tourists may not be welcome.
Pack pepper spray, and keep this device in your purse or pocket when traveling. Don’t forget to check the local laws on carrying such devices, though. You don’t want to get in trouble with the police in a foreign country. Still, pepper spray and other self defense products make it much safer to travel in unfamiliar cities or countries.
When traveling, bring only the credit cards that you need. That way, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you won’t have to replace all of your cards. Leave your expensive jewelry at home, and keep a second set of your important travel documents in a separate bag from the originals so that you won’t be stranded if the originals are stolen.
Once you have arrived in your destination, do not accept a ride from an unlicensed taxi. These are common in many areas of the globe, but can be dangerous. Most airports can help you arrange safe transportation to your hotel. Never hitchhike, particularly if you do not speak the local language.
When purchasing food or souvenirs, use small bills. Never pull out a wad of cash, which will catch the eye of thieves. Always keep your cell phone on you, and arrange for an international calling plan before you go. Program the local emergency numbers and the numbers of your traveling companions into your cell phone.
Stay with a group of travelers whenever possible; a large group is much harder to attack than a lone tourist. If you must venture out alone, make sure at least one of your companions knows your plans. Do not tell strangers too much about your plans, or they may use this information to attack you.
Don’t be afraid to travel, but be smart when you do it. With a few precautionary measures, a plan, and self defense products like pepper spray, your trip will be both safe and fun.
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