You can quickly have your entire travels spoiled by a lapse in concentration coupled with the light-fingered skills of an opportunistic thief. Preventing a crime from happening in the first place is certainly the best cure and there are many common sense things you can do to dissuade offenders.
Simply being aware of your surroundings, not wandering around dark alleys at night and not allowing yourself to be conned by street thugs are some main points. There are also many other tips to take heed of to help ensure a crime-free holiday.
- Know where you are and keep clear of unfamiliar places, especially at night.
- Be vigilant in crowded places like popular city attractions, bus and train stations, markets and at festivals.
- Be guarded when approached by a stranger on the street as thieves and conmen are adept at creating diversions to get the better of you.
- Always try to walk against the traffic flow in European towns (even when on a sidewalk) to help prevent bag-snatching from scooter riders.
- Try to travel light when out and about and always keep personal items hidden from sight.
- Don’t walk around flashing expensive jewelry and Rolex watches.
- Do not leave valuables on the table when having a meal, particularly money pouches, wallets and purses, cameras and mobile phones.
- Try to keep your backpack or handbag in front of your person when in crowded areas to help prevent bag-slashers from getting into your pockets.
- Keep a special eye on laptop computers.
- If you must wear a bum-bag, keep it hidden under clothing as it simply advertises to sharp-eyed criminals that you have valuables on your person.
- Don’t pull out wallets and purses in public to pay for bills, have a separate stash of small cash in easy-to-reach pockets.
- When out of a night try not to get drunk, especially when by yourself, as you will be an easier target.
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers at nightspots and never leave your drink unattended.
- Always keep the doors locked when driving and keep valuables out of sight. A car is more likely to be broken into when bags and valuables are on show.
- Consider taking a pair of flip-flops when visiting mosques and temples to save the possibility of having your shoes stolen.