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Traveler Security Advice
Travelers are most likely to get robbed or even physically harmed. Therefore security precautions must be taken. You will have to think in advance and pack in a smart way and also think about how you will take care of your physical integrity.
Problems vary from destination to destination. And, even your country of origin, ethnicity, race or religion can be a problem.
We take a look at the possible problems one can encounter and give you some advice on how to take precautions to avoid them, even how to resolve an issue once it has happened.
Theft, Pick Pocketing
The most common risk for the traveler. This happens almost everywhere in the World.
Split your valuables, money into 2-3 groups, keep your large amount of money or bank cards well hidden. Place them in various locations, far from each other. Only take out small amounts of money when paying for drinks, etc.
If you walk on the streets, travel by rail, subway, bus, tram, etc., then make sure you watch your back. A good idea is to stay close to a wall or just sit down and hold on firmly to your backpack/daypack, leave no chance for anyone to touch you without looking straight into your eyes. Most of the time the pickpockets will act from behind. If you have nothing valuable accessible from that direction and if you stand right in front of a pillar, wall leaving no empty space, then you won't be an easy target and the thieves might give up on stalking you.
Against any type of money and credit card theft, it is advised to conceal these valuables in a pouch worn under clothes. You should only touch the pouch when you put it up on you and when you take it off at the hotel. Perhaps you will sweat a bit in that area of your body, but the thieves will not see where you hold the money. Such pouches or tiny bags can be belted to the body and worn under trousers, shirts, etc.
Naive tourists are often trapped in "tricky games" by locals. These fraudulent activities cannot be detected by the untrained naive foreigner. They will tell you they have something good and cheap to offer you, they can take you with a cheap taxi somewhere, etc.
Don't trust anyone on the streets, regardless whether they offer you fun or currency exchange. It's most likely that you will get tricked and walk home with your tail between your legs.
Armed Robbery, Brutal Theft
Common in many 3rd World countries and Latin America, as well as southeast Asia.
We advise you to travel in group and avoid rural areas, dangerous neighbourhoods and especially walking at night.
Ethnically, Racially & Religiously Motivated Aggression
In certain countries you might not be "welcome" because of your ethnic, religious or racial characteristics.
Standing out of the crowd of locals can be interpreted negatively by some people. And you might become a target to attacks. Or, if you know that your culture, religion, nationality, ethnicity, etc. is "not welcome" in certain areas, then better avoid those areas. If your trip is a "must", then make sure to travel in group, try not to stand out in any way, avoid bad neighbourhoods and avoid conversations with locals, head straight to your goal, make your trip as short as possible.
Kidnapping is very common in Latin America, but also in the Middle East, countries like the Philippines, Russia. Kidnappers might take hostages for political reasons (especially in the Middle East), for financial reasons (ransom payment is asked for release in Latin America, for example), then the most horrific is that people are kidnapped to be killed (the victims are killed and certain organs are extracted; common problem in the former Soviet States, but also in Latin America).
Don't travel to countries where there is high risk of terrorism or if there are conflicts in the country.
If you have to travel, then make sure you travel in a group of at least 3 persons. Travel insurance is a "must have" and you should let your relatives and possibly embassy know where you are staying and where you will go.
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