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Staying Safe when Travelling Abroad

Travelling abroad is always a pleasure but it is important to keep in mind that it also poses a number of risks for your personal safety as well as the things you are carrying along. Extra precaution is required in areas which have a high rate of crime involving tourists but you are also recommended to follow the basic safety measures when travelling to a country with a low crime rate. In order to return home with pleasant memories and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime when abroad, follow these simple tips:

Leave expensive jewellery and other valuables at home. An expensive ring, necklace and designer clothing may make you look good but they are also a magnet for thieves and criminals. For that reason you are highly recommended to leave valuables and designer clothing at home and wear clothing which does not attract too much attention, especially if you are travelling to a developing country.

Do not carry large amounts of cash. It is not a good idea to rely on credit cards alone when travelling abroad, however, never carry a large amount of cash. Also, be sure to make a copy of your passport and other documents, and do not carry it in the same bag than the originals. Always keep your purse close to your body but keep the wallet in an inner pocket instead. If you do have a larger amount of cash or any valuables along, you are recommended to keep them in a hotel safe.

Avoid demonstrations, political gatherings and similar events. These always pose a risk of going out of control, while you as a foreigner are at risk to be accused of spying for instance.

Beware of suspiciously friendly locals. Most people will be happy to help you if you ask them, however, they usually do not offer help if they are not asked any. Not all are criminals but if they persist to help you with your bags or guide you to an attraction for instance even if you politely say no, you are recommended not to give in because they will probably either ask you for money or try to steal from you.

Avoid walking alone in the dark and potentially unsafe areas, just like at home. Keep in mind, that criminals know to tell the difference between tourists and locals no matter how hard you try to be “invisible”. If you have to walk alone in the dark, choose busy streets which are full of people.

Do not forget to take care for home safety before leaving. Burglars prefer empty homes and for that reason you are recommended to leave as little clues that no one is home as possible. Tell the post office to hold your mail while you are away, ask a neighbour to check around your home every once in a while and do not tell everyone that you are leaving and how long you will be away. The more people know that you are away the greater the risk that the information will reach the “wrong” people.