Travel security

Written by  Friday, 06 March 2015 08:43
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The last thing you want when you're traveling is stress - you want to get away from it all and have a nice vacation. You certainly don't want to spend the whole time on your toes, however, a few extra seconds of vigilance can save hours of later frustration.
Before you go, research a bit about your destination. This means some of the major roadways, landmarks, public transit lines, and pictures from the area - three different sources will give you enough overall detail to know some of the area and some of the pitfalls, as every spot has it's own idiosyncrasies. By knowing where you're going, you will seem more confident and therefore, like less of a target.
Look into the local laws and customs, as some countries have very different expectations of what is socially and culturally acceptable. Not only by following these customs, you will not stick out as much as an obvious "tourist", but some behavior accepted in other countries, like drinking, smoking, or even style of dress, could be cause for arrest. Ultimately, the local laws always prevail, regardless of what you may like or think. Respect for the local society and obedience to its laws will serve you as much as humility in the face of its local officials.
As you arrive, check in immediately with your hotel. If you have any doubts as to the level of violence where you are traveling, check in also with your country's consulate and carry their address and phone number with you as you travel. Every country, no matter how civilized, has its own criminal elements and helpful locals, but even if you're excited about being in the city center of a tropical paradise, shopping is no fun carrying an armful of suitcases and you are just begging for a problem with any local criminals.
To foil any local pick pockets, carry a "false wallet", one that carries very little cash and no credit cards in case you run into a problem, and hide your money stash in a money belt or even in your sock, assuming you are wearing pants. Use your hotel room's safe or the hotel's safety deposit box for any larger sums of money or valuables when you are away from your room, keep a copy of all of your travel documents for backup - traveler's check receipts, passport, flight itinerary, etc. While it's not likely that they would be valuable to someone else, it may be helpful if you lose your copy.
While you're away, don't forget the home you are leaving behind. Plan to have a friend or family member visit your house regularly - they can park their car in the driveway and pick up any mail left on your doorstep to make it seem inhabited. Make sure you have someone water and mow your lawn in the summer, rake leaves in the fall, and shovel your driveway of snow in the winter. Finally, by setting a timer on a few lights in a bedroom and in the kitchen, you can give the impression of a fully occupied home, which is enough to deter most thieves, leaving you with a safe home to which you can return.
Last modified on Friday, 06 March 2015 08:43
Seyfu Mekonen

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