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Safety and Security
 

When you travel around the city where you live, you probably ensure your security by following safety guidelines. When traveling outside of your home area you need to enhance your vigilance to compensate for your lack of familiarity with the new area. Review our safety guidelines for travelers to help secure your safety.

 

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Travel Advice -   Safety guidelines for travelers                                          

Safe travel requires the observation of several guidelines. Most of our recommendations are common sense and probably reflect your behavior when you are not traveling: however, it seems that many people on vacation forget their usual safety guidelines and plunge headlong into danger. As a consequence, we are taking this opportunity to provide you with a refresher on how to travel safe:

1. Always be aware of your surroundings. If the immediate environment does not “feel” right, find a place that does, immediately.

  • Pay attention to your sixth sense, as you are rarely wrong when sensing danger.

2. Always avoid sharing detailed information about yourself, where you are staying while on vacation, or your itinerary. The reality is that, other than passport control agents, no one you meet during travel needs to know these details.

 

3. Theft from hotel rooms, purse snatching, and pick pocketing are the most common crimes against tourist.

a. Theft from hotel rooms can be limited by using the hotel's safe  (if available) or by carrying important papers in a money belt (see our articles on lodging safety and money belt use).

b. The use of a money belt can help you combat pickpockets and purse-snatchers (see our article on money belt use.

 c. Wearing a fanny pack turned to the front (as shown in the advertisement to the right) is more secure than carrying a purse or briefcase (see our article on wallet, fanny pack, and purse security).

4. Make sure you leave a copy of your travel itinerary (as complete as possible) with a relative or friend (see our article on Itineraries). Try to check-in with them once a week by phone or email (find an Internet Café).

5. If you take a cab, make sure that it is clearly marked as an official taxi.

6. Do not wear fancy jewelry or other luxury trappings while out for a sightseeing stroll, as these will attract petty thieves and pickpockets.

  • We believe that you will be more secure if you do not take your better jewelry on your vacation.

7. Always ask at your hotel desk if there are areas/neighborhoods near the hotel that you should avoid.

8. Avoid walking alone after dark. If you do not have companions to walk with, take a cab to and from your evening destination.

9. Avoid walking in isolated areas or neighborhoods that appear questionable.

  • It is clear the term “questionable neighborhoods” is always a value judgment but we think you will know when you have turned the corner in to a neighborhood to avoid.
    • Remember, it is usually better to backtrack than proceed through the neighborhood  in your search to return to a safe area.
    • If the neighborhood starts to look seedy, turn around and head back towards a more secure area.

10. Don't use shortcuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets. Doing so invites danger

11. Although deserted beaches always look inviting, exercise caution.

  • If you are going to take a hike, inquire at a local shop to make sure that that the area you have selected for a walk is safe.
    • If you do not get a straightforward answer about safety, pick another location for your walk.

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