‘A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles’
- Tim Cayhill
No matter where you are travelling it is likely that to someone you are an easy target to scam or thieve from. It is just because you are clearly a foreigner, less knowledgeable of the culture and more likely to have more money on you than most locals. And then there is your health.
With a few simple precautions you will be able to travel and engage with the community you are in without any problems.
No matter where you go there is always an element of risk but is a particular destination safe is a factor that Government departments assess constantly so that you can make the right decisions on your travel. For the UK this information can be found by looking up Foreign Travel Advice
Personal Security can be maximised with a little knowledge and some preparation. You are most vulnerable when you first venture out in some place new as it is obvious that you don’t know where you are, and you won’t be looking for potential dangers. Vulnerable spots are busy tourist sites, transport particularly overnight journeys, and outside tables whilst you are having lunch or a drink.
If you cannot lock valuables in a safe or locker in your hostel/hotel room then make sure you know where they are, put them in a few different pockets. Keep a daily spending wallet with few notes for markets, shopping, buses etc and another wallet that keeps credit cards, photo ID and larger amounts safely stowed away. Leave some spare cash and a credit card stowed away somewhere.
Don’t ever try to be brave. If you are in a threatened situation the give the money, camera, mobile phone up. Report the assault to the local Police as you will need the paperwork for insurance purposes. Remember to stop a stolen card.
Transport is vulnerable so make sure your bag is secure on your lap and padlocked down for longer journeys. Ride is registered taxis.
Beware of scams, which are mostly related to money. Be careful of using an ATM, don’t change money on the black market, keep your credit card in sight all the time.
Keep it legal! Just as you will respect the people you are visiting but when in a foreign country you are also bound by their laws, notably with regards to sex and rugs.
Keep abreast of the news to be aware of natural disasters, or any terrorism and political unrest that may require you to change your plans and route. Travel advisories such as the UK Foreign Travel Advice will be the best place for the latest information.