Security and personal safety is always on my mind when I travel. Often people forget about these things when roaming around a beautiful tourist friendly city. But traveler’s are always targets. If its not a pick pock its someone trying to scam some money off of you. For example, while in Paris, I was trying to figure out how to use the ticket machine to purchase a day pass for the subway when a business looking man in a suit who spoke English approached us and offered to help us. He asked what kind of ticket we wanted and told us the cost. He said that the machine only took a certain credit card and if we gave him the cash he would charge the tickets for us. Something wasn’t quite right so I declined his help and went to the ticket window instead. The person at the window said the tickets were half the price the man told us.
Beware of anyone who wants to give you a hug or if someone approaches you asking questions make sure you hang on to your purse or bags. Thieves will often try to distract you while someone else picks your pocket.
So you have to be careful. Of coarse not everyone is out to scam you and I have met some wonderful people who went out of their way to offer genuine help.
Here are a few travel tips:
* Leave your expensive or expensive looking jewelry at home. This will only put a target on your back.
* If you have an expensive camera, don’t use a camera strap advertising the brand.
* Leave your emergency contact information with your neighbors.
* Never leave a answering machine message saying you will be out of town.
* If you are a woman or women traveling alone wear a faux wedding band. In some cultures if you are not married people will assume you are looking for a man or at least open to hooking up with one. Some cultures look at single women very differently then married one’s.
* When taking a taxi leave one of the passenger doors open until you are sure you have all your bags.
* When traveling with children, carry an updated picture with you. That way if your child gets lost you will have a picture to show the police.
* Children’s identification. Have your kids wear a wallet type pouch they can wear around their neck that has their name, emergency contact information, as well as your travel plans. What hotel you are staying at, the hotel phone number, your flight information and a itinerary. If your child gets lost give people as much information you can to reunite you.
Also, there are some really cool gadgets available to help with your personal security and comfort. At www.travelsmith.com they have:
* An airport friendly belt – no more removing your belt to go through the metal detector.
* A security neck pouch
* A door stop with alarm.
* Socks with a zippered pocket.
* Stylish over the shoulder purses.
To find these products and many more go to the website, click on “travel supplies” and then on “security.”