5 Quick Tips For Safer Travel
1 Wallet – First thing, you most likely don’t need all the stuff in your wallet that you carry everyday. Empty it out and carry only what you need for your trip. Now that it’s slimmed down carry it in your front pant pocket for added security from pickers. On day trips, leave your passport in the hotel safe and only bring essentials such as a credit card, ATM card, ID and some cash.
2-Purses and Messenger Bags– It seems to be obvious but habits dictate actions. Always carry your bags with the strap OVER your head in crowded areas. My own mother made this mistake and was stripped of her purse in Southeast Asia. Luckily her passport was locked up at the hotel but some memories were lost with the camera that was in the bag as well as some cash.
3- The Map– I still love maps and a GPS will never replace a good map. Though at certain times you don’t want to look like a typical tourist. Use the GPS on your phone for maps, download images of maps of any subway you might be utilizing. If you want to avoid charges overseas get the citymaps2go app which only uses GPS and won’t cost any roaming charges. Now you’ll look just like everyone else with their head buried in their phone when you’re trying to figure out what stop you need on the Metro.
4- Act like you’ve been there done that. Though we still want to see the touristy sites and at times can’t help but look like a visitor, be it our obvious elation at new sights or just our ethnicity (Selfie sticks scream rip me off please). Sometimes we find ourselves in sketchy areas. Avoid eye contact, look straight ahead and walk a NYC pace like you know where you are going even if you don’t. Sometimes perception is key and looking lost in the wrong area can be trouble. Call a friend and let them know where you are and stay on the line until you got your bearings and feel safe.
5- Online safety. We tend to use wifi a lot when abroad to avoid hefty charges. More and more places offer free wifi. Restaurants, bars, trains and hotels etc. If you need to check anything as far as online banking or checking credit card statements, limit those checks to your hotels wifi. These tend to be more secure and less susceptible from hackers who could be lurking in coffee shops.