Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when travelling:-
- Use common sense. Pay attention to your surroundings. Be prudent when using money or exposing your valuables. Appear in control. Avoid looking confused or lost.
- Use a hidden money belt for both your passport and finances. Try not to pull out any money from your money belt while in public. Keep some money in your front pocket to use. Use a washroom or other private area if you must access your money belt.
- Use a lock and cable to secure your backpack to something solid if you have to leave your bag in your hostel or on a train. Use the safety deposit boxes or lockers of hostels and hotels only for replaceable items. Keep your real valuables with you all the time. Do not assume that a locked hotel door is secure. Staff have keys too.
- Rental cars are common theft targets. So if you are driving a rental car, do not leave any valuable in plain sight when you park it. Leave your glove box open and empty.
- Carry your daypack in front of you in crowded areas.
- Do not hang your backpack on the back of your chair when eating in restaurants. Place it on the floor with one strap looped under the leg of your chair.
- If someone spills something on you, beware of the possibility that the person may take advantage of the distraction and steal your bag while you frantically try to wipe the spill off. Refuse assistance and leave the area if practicable.
- When you are approached by several locals shoving maps or cardboard below your face (thereby blocking your view of your bag and pockets), you should hold on tightly to your belongings and walk away.
- Bag snatchers often ride in pairs on motorbikes for a quick snatch. Hence you should always carry your bag on the shoulder opposite from the street-side.
- Always cooperate with a thief if you get robbed or mugged.
- If you are a victim of theft, obtain a file form from the police for insurance purposes. If any credit cards or traveller’s cheques are stolen, notify the appropriate agencies to cancel the cards and look into obtaining new cheques. If your passport is stolen, you should notify your embassy immediately.
- Always ask for, or negotiate, the price before accepting a service (e.g. a ride). It is extremely difficult to negotiate a price after the service has been rendered.
- When vendors offer to pack your purchase in a sealed box or transport it to your home, be very careful. Unscrupulous vendors may switch the product when it is out of your sight, giving you an inferior or even broken item.
- If a local resident strikes up a friendly conversation with you, walks alongside you and takes great pains to give you lots of information about the attractions you are looking at – one after another, be careful. That person may ask for money for the ‘tour’ that you have just been given!
- Watch out for extra food fraudulently charged on your food bill at restaurants.