Planning a vacation to a new part of the world, whether within your own country or somewhere else, is an exciting activity to consider. However, there are many dangers in the world that tourists can face due to being new in an area. That’s why learning how to stay vigilant while traveling so as to avoid becoming a victim of crime is so important.
How Common is Crime on Vacation?
Naturally, the minute you step outdoors on vacation doesn’t mean crime will be occurring all around you. With that in mind, though, simply the act of being a tourist in a location can make crime more common. The most common acts of crimes that tourists are faced with include:
- General crimes against elderly travelers
- Confidence schemes that are meant to commit fraud against another person
- Pickpocketing incidents
- Organized crime such as gang related crimes
- Casino gambling or similar offences
- Other incidents of theft
6 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim
At the end of the day, nobody wants to find themselves being a victim of crime while they are trying to enjoy their vacation. This can quickly ruin an entire trip, which is why learning how to reduce the chances of crime occurring against you is so important. In particular, there are six primary tips that can help a person stay safe while traveling:
Securely store your belongings away
One thing that often makes travelers a more tempting target for thieves and other criminals is the fact that they have more on their person at a given time. Luggage, in particular, makes tourists stand out as travelers and can make them a target. Consider using effective luggage storage services around the world which allow a person to stow their luggage for the duration of their trip. Doing this rather than leaving it unprotected, especially if you are staying in a hostel or actively walking around a city, can reduce the potential target on your back.
Never take valuables out of your pocket in an unknown area
Building off of the prior point, luggage is not the only thing that makes a person a target in an unfamiliar area. Taking out your phone or wearing expensive accessories can also make you a potential victim of crime while traveling. Rather than flaunting these items or taking them out of your pockets, keep your head up and hands clear so that a potential criminal sees there is nothing of value to grab easily.
Don’t trust strangers with your travel plans
When traveling it’s perfectly natural to make friends, especially if you’re younger and going out to bars or restaurants. However, as a general rule of thumb, avoid telling strangers the intimate details of your plans on vacation. Mentioning which cities you are planning on visiting is all well and good, but giving specific details such as where you are staying, what room you are in, when you are leaving your room unprotected, and more are all poor choices for sharing.
Be both unpredictable and predictable
Oftentimes, a criminal may not attack or try to rob a tourist the minute they see them on the street. Instead, they may tail them for a while to see if they are alone and vulnerable before attempting to strike. One quick and easy way to thwart this behavior is to be both predictable and unpredictable on your travels. Mix up the tasks you do daily so that it doesn’t seem like you’re falling into a routine yet be predictable in that you visit crowded areas.
Watch for suspicious behavior
No traveler should have their head down and eyes averted away when they are walking in an unknown area. This can cause a person to miss any potential suspicious behavior that may be going on around them, which is why a traveler should always be looking around to see what is occurring.
Always inform loved ones or friends of your plans
Another quick tip for staying safe while traveling is to tell your friends and loved one’s back home what your travel details look like. In a worst case scenario, they can help local authorities potentially track you down if something happens.
Have a safe and fun vacation today
Regardless of where you are in the world, every area has both good and bad parts to it. Understanding where the bad areas are in a location you are visiting can allow you to take precautionary action that decreases your chances of being a crime victim. Don’t hesitate to take active steps to stay safe while you are exploring new locations around the world.