Travelling is always an exciting time. With the lead up, the actual act of leaving home and the constant moving around on the road you can run into not just amazing, new opportunities, but sometimes strange ones as well. While most people have the best time ever while travelling, it does come with a risk. Going into places where your native language may or may not be spoken, rubbing elbows with locals who sometimes can be desperately poor and being a westerner can all make you a bit of a target. While not everyone will be out to get you, some people will try to take advantage of you, assuming that because you’re from the west, it means you’re well off. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself safe while travelling.
Know Before You Go
One of the best things you can do before you go is to read up on potential scams that exist in the place you’re going to. For example, one popular scam in Cambodia is for a local to claim that their sister is travelling soon to your home country and would you mind coming to talk to her about it. Once you get to the home of the local, reports claim you become drugged over a card game with a substance known to make you compliant. Known as the mind control drug, it makes you susceptible to suggestion – such as draining your bank account. While this is an extreme example, scams to take your money without outright robbing you do exist, so learn them before you go to reduce your chance of becoming a victim.
Got Gucci shoes? Versace bag? Louis Vuitton earrings? Do yourself a favour and leave ALL of that kind of thing at home. Dress like a traveller – baggy pants, worn in clothes. The more dressed down you are and the more you look like you’ve been travelling for a long time, the less likely people will approach you to try their scams as you will appear to have been around for awhile and are supposedly wise to the con.
No Jewels, No Bling
Don’t take anything travelling that you wouldn’t mind losing. Diamond necklace from your father? Nope. That sapphire ring of your mother’s? Leave it at home. Don’t take chances with family heirloom jewelry on the road – chances are it will go missing at some juncture, even just by you accidentally leaving it on a bedside table and forgetting it while rushing to catch a flight or bus.
Be Safe In Your Activities
This sounds like a no brainer, but if you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it on the road. You wouldn’t get drunk or partake of other things with complete strangers at home would you? So don’t do it abroad. While it can be easy to get carried away, if you do choose to go out for drinks with new friends or strangers, go with other people you’ve met and have known for awhile, never go alone. It’s just common sense.
So there you have a couple of great ways you can keep yourself safe on your next trip abroad to ensure good times only.