On your next trip, keep the following points in mind. Just a little forethought and planning can vastly increase your personal safety and security, wherever you happen to go. Below are a few of my favorites: * Don't travel with precious possessions and be discreet with cash and other valuables.
Leave sentimental and irreplaceable items at home preferably. * Protect your essentials like travel documentation, passport, traveler's checks, credit cards and more. Concealing them on-person, in a pouch or somewhere in your clothing is all accepted practice. I learned this one the hard way! * Be watchful but not paranoid about being at risk of becoming or being a robbery victim.
You will end up spending excessive money on cabs everywhere as opposed to taking a gentle troll and or exploring by foot! * Keep valuables concealed in crowded places. Don't consider hip pockets and dangling bags good places for your wallet! * Don't carry excess cash you don't need, especially at night and don't flaunt cash in public under any circumstances. Don't make yourself a visible and easy target. * Divide and spread your cash and other money instruments like traveler's checks around your luggage. Don't carry it all in one place.
* A good security tip is wrapping your wallet with a rubber band or two to make it harder for pickpockets to remove it from your pocket without detection! Better yet, don't carry a wallet at all! Get a money belt. * Keep your luggage safe, with you and secure at night when you sleep. * Never leave luggage and or valuables in a car, bus, taxi, train or other form of transportation. * Always watch at security screenings and customs checks to ensure that your belongings do not disappear.
Another hard-learned lesson. It's often difficult to be on your toes aftera long international flight. I walked away from a customs checkpoint without a very important bag, just out of fatigue! Be alert! * Speaking about customs, when exceeding the duty-free limits, know that it will cost you dearly, up to as much as 10 % on the next $1000 worth of goods. Here's a few more of my favorites: * Avoid the duty-free lure and trap.
Typically, all shops in airports and train stations are expensive. It is a myth that you always save money! Actually, compare the next time you try to buy liquor or souvenirs against reputable quality department stores. You might find to your surprise that the prices are higher! * Be creative with meals and do not hesitate to improvise and eat like the locals. For example, a picnic or a quick bite to eat on the beach or in a park is one of the best ways to keep your food costs down and save your travel dollar for the evenings and dinners out. * Be resourceful and curious. Know as much as you can about your destination and prepare as well as you can, even for the unexpected.
Read any and all literature you can find on what you should know before departing, such as facts, warnings, advisories, entry requirements, crime statistics, demographics, local economy, attractions and special events for your dream destination. * Arm yourself with personal information. Having all your bank contact telephone numbers written down on a piece of paper, packed in your luggage and somewhere else on your person or in the hotel safe in an envelope with your other valuables you want under lock and key is the best way to protect your financial interest. Finding out in advance who to call in case your checks or credit cards are lost or stolen is very important and will save you time and money and minimize the impact of any theft and or aftermath of lost, misplaced or stolen cards, wallets and travelers checks. So plan a bit, stay aware, and have a great trip. .
By: Peter Cullen