Basic Safety Tips For Travelers
Every year stories circulate about travelers being tricked into parting from their financial resources by a savory character pretending to act on behalf of some fictitious outfit. Worse yet, responsible companies sometimes hire salespeople who are willing to prey on strangers and even police or government officials stretch the bounds of ethics and prey on unsuspecting travelers. The fact of the matter, unfortunately, is your safety as a traveler is a concern for you and your travel companions.
Out and About
- Carry a whistle with you whenever you are out and about. Be careful about carrying mace and other protective devices, since their use by private individuals may be illegal.
- Be aware of your surroundings, whether you’re in a store, at the Mall or driving through a seedy part of town.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money in your purse or wallet, and make sure to keep them close to your body – handbags close to the body for ladies and billfolds in the front pocket for men (a rubber band around the outside of a billfold makes it more challenging for pickpockets).
- When getting into or out of a parked car, look around carefully – especially in underground structures – and always keep your doors locked when driving.
In the Hotel/Apartment
- When someone knocks at the door, look through the peephole. If you are unfamiliar with the individual, demand identification and the reason for the visit before opening the door. Do not be afraid to call the front desk or the police if they are unable to produce identification or are unwilling to leave.
- Make sure all your locks are working and check windows to ensure that they are difficult to pry open.
- If a caller on the phone is unwilling or unable to produce a name when requested, be very suspicious. If they respond with, “Who is this?” politely ask “Who are you trying to find?” or “Who do you wish to speak with?” If they are unable to identify a specific individual like “Mrs. Harriet Wolf” instead of “the lady of the house” – hang up.
- Do not give information over the phone to strangers. Some may have official-sounding titles, but when the conversation moves to requests for your name, address, marital status, credit card number, etc. then end the call immediately.
You need to learn to “BOSS” about life. Wherever you travel to, you need to “Be Observant, Smart, Safe” and this will give you the advantage over those unsavory individuals who want to make you a target. With a few simple preventative measures, you can protect yourself both when you’re out and about or back where you’re staying.