It’s a sad fact of life! There is crime. There always has always been crime and there will always be crime in the future.
When on vacation, especially if you are in an overseas country, tourists are viewed as easy prey by criminals. Criminals know you are in unfamiliar territory and more vulnerable than you would be at home. They know that you are on holiday, you are not rushed but relaxed and in a friendly state of mind. They know you are carrying travel money and other valuables such as bags, cameras, phones, and passports. They also know you are only here for a short time before you leave to go back home. As a result of this you are more often not in a position to file a police report let alone actually have someone charged for the crime. In most jurisdictions around the world the courts have a backlog of criminal cases resulting in legal proceedings taking many months or even years before being presented at the courts. All this makes the visitor a very attractive target.
So what can you do to prevent becoming a target for criminals on your vacation.
When travelling always remember that criminals can be anywhere and as soon as you make a mistake, such as leaving a bag unlocked, you can be assured that a criminal will be there to take advantage of the situation. Remember, criminals are everywhere from the largest cities to the smallest towns and in every country. And quite often it’s the person you least expect that turns out to be a criminal. Criminals can be male or female, young or old, rich or poor, they can be any one of us.
When on holiday don’t be distracted by very friendly persons as they are often the criminals. Some locals will tell you that you are being rude by not accepting their hospitality. Don’t fall for those old tricks. If you are not comfortable with them tell them to get lost. Don’t go with friendly people who want to show you their city, shop or whatever, you could end up in a bad position. Many travellers have found themselves led into unfamiliar surroundings and been robbed or worse.
Book your accommodation with a reputable online hotel reservation service or an established travel agency before you leave home. If booking overseas it is better to use a reputable online hotel reservations service than a small foreign travel agency. If there is a problem with the booking it is easier to contact the reservation service as they operate 24 hours, 7 days a week and have offices worldwide.
Never give out your hotel name or room number to people you do not know. If you are meeting someone for the first time, meet them in a public place or in the lobby. Keep your hotel door locked and never invite anyone to your hotel room.
It is recommended to keep company with other tourists and don’t wander off alone especially at night and especially if you are female. While overseas be wary of food and drink spiking, never leave food or drink unattended.
Don’t leave your lugguage in public areas or in the care of a stranger. Never carry anything into or out of another country for someone else. You may be used as a mule to import illegal contraband such as drugs and weapons. In many countries the penalties can be severe including the death sentence.
Never hitch-hike! This is dangerous at home but even more dangerous overseas. In Australia, there is an infamous case of a serial killer, who was very friendly, who picked up many tourists and murdered them burying their corpses in a forest.
Comply with local laws and cultural sensitivities
In many countries the penalties can be severe for minor infringements of the local law. Misdemeanors that may only incur a small fine at home can be viewed as more serious offences overseas with heavy penalties. This may include minor traffic offences, being drunk in public, use of bad language or public nudity.
Even though it may be hot try to comply with local dress standards. This applies to tourists of both sexes especially when visiting Muslim countries. If you are visiting sacred places make sure you are adequately covered otherwise you may be viewed as highly offensive and ban you from entry.
To find out more read a good online travel guide.
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