LuvTrip Romantic Getaways

Travel Safety - Part 2

Luggage and Purse Protection

Never leave your luggage unattended, even for a second. If your luggage is too heavy or large to lug around, pack lighter. Walking with overstuffed arms makes you appear as an easy target. Get luggage that is easy to carry or pull and that leaves one arm empty. Test this out before you depart.

While walking around in town, don’t put your wallet in your pocket or wear a fanny pack or handbag. Wallets in back pockets while walking in crowded areas is a high-risk situation for theft. Place all money and valuables in a concealed pouch underneath your clothes, with some cash in your front pockets or somewhere accessible. Thieves watch tourists, so don’t let them know that you have a concealed pouch. You can also use a bag with a strong shoulder strap and wear it across your chest. If you need more money out, go someplace private to retrieve your money or credit cards. Whenever you do anything, especially in tourist areas, be thinking that someone could be watching what you’re doing. Remember that anyone can be a pickpocket, not just those you would stereotype. A child or well-dressed person can easily steal your bag because you put your guard down around them. Some of the best thieves are the nicest people you could ever meet!

While carrying a bag or purse, make sure it is fairly secure to your body. Place it on the table in your eyeview when you’re eating, not a target dangling from the back of your chair. If your belongings are lost or stolen, get a police report to show to your insurance company for claims.

Money

Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Cash traveler’s checks as you need them.Only exchange money with an authorized dealer. Many crooks say they will give you a better rate but not follow-through.Verify that your credit card is returned to you after paying a bill or getting money out of an ATM.If you are carrying a lot of cash, put it in a concealed and secure location.

Transportation

Only purchase tickets for train, bus travel, shows or museums from the authorized dealer. You could be getting a deal but more likely you are getting ripped off. Don't use transportation, especially taxis, that don't show government authorization.If the taxi does not have the appropriate markings, leave and find another. This could be someone just trying to make some money illegally or you could end up being mugged. If your gut says that there is something wrong, there probably is.

Don’t fall asleep on trains, buses or taxis unless your partner is staying awake. If you must sleep, secure your luggage to your body and sleep on top of it.Consular Information Sheets report the safety on public transportation, refer to these to find out what form of transportation is best for your destination. Choose a rental car that looks common for the location and doesn’t scream “wealthy tourist”. Try to put any valuables in the trunk. Criminals have even been known for reaching in to driving cars and grabbing purses or bags.Use safe transportation at night instead of walking, especially if you’ve been drinking and your judgment may not be at its best.

Acculturation

Read about customs and laws in your destination to familiarize yourself with how you should act.Some actions, which may be normal for you at home, can get you into trouble in other countries. Don’t find this out the hard way.You are not under the U.S. protection while in foreign countries and can be held accountable for illegal activity, even if it wouldn’t be considered illegal in the U.S. If you are unsure if something is appropriate, ask a relevant source, don’t just follow suite of other tourists.

Learn several words of the native language if it is different from your own. Know how to ask for the police and a hospital, as well as letting someone know you are in trouble. Carry your hotel name, address and phone number with you in case you forget or something happens to you and medical personnel need to figure out where you are staying.

Safety Back at Home

Make sure your house is taken care of by a friend. Whether this means having a housesitter sleeping or someone stopping by to collect the mail and newspaper, it is important for your house to not appear abandoned. Criminals look for signs that people are away. If this isn’t an option, make sure you stop your mail, newspaper and wedding registry mailings. Put your lights and water on automatic timers. Check all window and door locks to verify they are in good condition and place extra security on high-risk break-in areas of your house. There are inexpensive window locks or bars that can protect these easily accessible areas.



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