Ways to protect yourself from theft while traveling
No one wants their vacation ruined by the experience of being robbed. Unfortunately, theft is a common occurrence in many popular tourist destinations. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your belongings from theft and fully enjoy while traveling. By taking some simple precautions, you can minimize the risk of having your vacation ruined by theft.
Let’s imagine, you are walking through local markets and want to buy souvenirs, but you notice that your wallet is not where you put it. Or you want to take photos and video of local architecture and can’t find your phone, or can’t leave the country because you lost passport. It is very disappointing and annoying, especially when you are not at home country. You had high hopes in the beginning of travel, but it turned into a nightmare.
Let’s look through some tips on how to protect yourself from theft while traveling:
1. Keep your belongings close to you.
When you are out and about, keep your valuables close to you and within reach. Putting your wallet on backpack makes it easy for thieves to take your money unnoticed. If possible, carry them in a front pocket or a bag that can be worn across your body. This will make it more difficult for thieves to grab your belongings and make a quick getaway.
2. Be aware of your surroundings.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from theft is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This means being aware of who is around you and their actions. If you see someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, move away from them. Trust your instincts. Of course, it is better to travel with someone you know and trust. So, when you are distracted with something or busy taking photos and videos, they can look after your belongings. However, when you travel solo, always observe the locations you’ve been and people who are around you.
3. Keep your belongings out of sight.
When you are not using your valuables, keep them out of sight. This includes keeping your camera in its case and putting your purse or wallet away when you are not using it. If you must carry your valuables in a backpack, wear the backpack in front of you so that it is more difficult for someone to reach into it without you knowing. Also, better not to put your backpack or bag on the ground or bench where they become an easy target for thieves.
4. Do not advertise that you are a tourist.
Thieves often target tourists because they are easy prey. To avoid looking like a tourist, do not carry around maps or other items that would give away your status as a visitor. If possible, blend in with the locals by dressing like them and acting like you know where you are going. When you lose your way, before panicking check for your location using Google Maps or any other app. Observe the surrounding and look for the local police officer or ask for help someone who seems trustworthy.
5. Do not leave your belongings unattended.
Never leave your valuables unattended, even for a moment. This includes leaving them in your hotel room or in your car. If you must leave them somewhere, make sure they are securely locked up. Statistics show that the most robbery and theft happens in public places (23.5%) and in restaurants and pubs (49%). Even though hotels, motels and holiday homes are safer places, you always need to be careful. Because you don’t know what to expect in an unknown place.
6. Do not flash your cash.
Do not display a large amount of cash when you are paying for something. This will only make you a more attractive target for thieves. Pay with a credit card or traveler’s checks instead of cash if possible. Observations show that tourists mostly become victims of theft in the morning and in the evening, when streets are the most crowded. So, if possible do not carry a lot of cash at that period of time.
7. Be careful when using ATMs.
That concerns not only displaying cash, but also using ATMs. When you are using an ATM, be aware of your surroundings and try to use one that is in a well-lit and populated area. Do not count your money at the machine. This will only attract attention to you. Instead, count it after you have put it away safely.
8. Carry a copy of your passport.
Please, do not carry your passport with you unless you need it. Leave it in your hotel room safe or another secure location. If you must have it with you, make sure to keep it in a secure place, such as a front pocket or money belt. That’s true that thieves are after money and valuable things, because they can’t get much profit from your passport. Anyway, it is better to make sure that you protect yourself from possible theft or loss.
9. Keep an eye on your belongings.
When you are in a crowded place, such as a market or a train station, keep an eye on your belongings at all times. Hold them tightly and do not put them down in a busy area. Crowded areas are the places where the most thieves look for their prey.
10. Be cautious when accepting help from strangers.
If you are lost or need help, be cautious when accepting help from strangers. Many thieves will pretend to be helpful to take advantage of you. If possible, ask a police officer or another official for help.
Following these simple tips can help protect yourself from theft while traveling. Now let’s look at the safest countries to travel in the world.
Safest countries in the world
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) every year studies and releases its Global Peace Index to evaluate how safe countries are. The main indicators of safety evaluation are social security, political conflicts, impact of terrorism, crime level, international relations and nuclear capability. According to 2022 edition of Global Peace Index the 10 safest countries in the world are the following:
2. New Zealand
8. Czech Republic
To sum up
Taking simple precautions can significantly reduce the risk of your belongings being stolen while traveling. Always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you are ever in doubt, it is better to err on caution. As the final word we want to say that, if possible, preferably travel with someone and not alone. This way you protect yourself from theft and you’ll have a companion to share your emotions.