In the last post we talked about preparing your home safety before you leave and taking precautions in the airport and while you’re on the plane. Today’s post we will be talking about safety tips while you are on your vacation.
Before we get into it, there is a few things I forgot to mention in the last post that are worth mentioning.
- Make sure to call your bank and let them know where you are going and what your travel dates are so they can monitor your cards activity.
- Clear all your electronic devices of your personal info. Remove saved passwords, clear your cache and make sure you don’t have any files, pictures or documents that have your personal info on it.
- To further protect your devices get a VPN for your computers, tablets and/or phones before you leave.
- Make sure you have all you immunizations. Visiting some countries in Africa and South America require extra immunizations so make sure you check first.
- Be aware of fake rental listings, always book from a trusted site. Never pay by wire transfer or cashiers check.
Arriving at your destination
Now that you have arrived it’s time to step up your awareness and security to the next level.
Try not to look like a tourist. You don’t need to rush out and buy an entire wardrobe when you get there but at least try to blend in. Be aware of the local customs. Some local customs frown on over exposed skin so maybe leave the short shorts and tank tops at home. Also avoid wearing clothing with logo’s. Nothing screams “I’m a American tourist” like a Nike shirt or New England Patriots hat. If the locals dress up to go out to dinner then, you do the same.
For the same reasons I mentioned in the last post why you should not post on social media that you are going on vacation, never post pictures, update your status or check in at local establishments while on vacation. Save all your posting for when you return home.
Only use ATM’s inside banks. Being inside a bank is the safest place to access your money; with security cameras, security guards you have a piece of mind that you can bank safely. Make sure to cover the keypad with your other hand while entering your pin number. Here are six signs an ATM has been tampered with.
Avoid public WIFI other than making general searches. It’s to easy for someone to tap into a public WIFI and access all your personal information. Here is where the VPN will help protect you also. Here are 11 do’s and don’ts of using public WIFI that help give some insight on this topic.
Check out local food and water safety precautions. Many countries do not practice the same food and beverage handling regulations that the US does. It is not uncommon to see local street markets selling meats that have been left out exposed to high temperatures all day with no ice or refrigeration. Many countries also do not have drinkable water. If they don’t, avoid not only drinking it but also brushing your teeth or cooking with it also.
Never give your credit card numbers to anyone over the phone who calls your hotel room claiming to be someone associated with the hotel. Scam artists may call your room claiming to be the front desk saying they don’t have a card on file and before you know it they have ran up your card. If your card has been stolen call your bank immediately to cancel your cards.
Never keep your wallet in your back pocket. Pick pockets are very good at getting your wallet without you knowing it. Keep it in your front pocket or inside pocket of your jacket as long as it has a zipper. A better option is a money belt (or one of these other options). It’s a great way to keep cash concealed; just make sure you don’t take off your belt in public. Instead head to the nearest restroom stall and take it out there.
Make sure all your personal belongings are secured in the hotel room. Use the room safe to secure things you will not be taking with you, cameras, extra cash, jewelry, electronics etc. Check to make sure the safe is locked before you leave. As obvious as it sounds you you would be surprised how many people just put their things in the safe but never lock it. Here are some other great tips to protect your things in your room while you are gone.
Avoid traveling at night. Most crimes against tourists happen at night so try to avoid walking the streets. Take a cab or Uber directly to where you are going.
Learn from the locals. Watch the behavior of the local people, how they act in social situations, where they go and where they avoid going.
Always be aware of what’s gong on around you. Are you being followed and possibly the next mark of a crook? Do you know what to look for? Here are some important signs to watch for.
Most importantly look confident. Confident people are less likely to get robbed or mugged because their body language says they are not going to be a victem. Stand tall, make eye contact with others, walk with purpose, speak with authority but not rudely and pay attention to your surroundings at all times.