Traveling overseas is a chance to create treasured memories to last a lifetime. Whether you are traveling for sightseeing, local activities and nightlife, or even just relaxing on the beach, everyone enjoys the opportunity to unwind while on vacation. Unfortunately, there’s also potential danger lurking almost anywhere you go. While certain international destinations may be considered more dangerous than others to visit, the below tips should be kept in mind even when traveling to a seemingly safe destination. When traveling, there are easy steps you can take to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Maintain a “Low Key” Look

Go easy on the jewelry, especially anything that appears to be very expensive. You may as well be saying “please rob me” if you’re a tourist flashing around expensive jewelry or other pricey items. Displayed wealth lets a potential thief know you’re worth the effort. So unless you’re staying at a high-priced hotel going just from the front door to a car service parked out front, it’s best not to risk it.

Maintain Contact With Family & Friends

Leave an itinerary with your family or friends, and check in with them often to report on your adventures. Not only does it give you a chance to brag, but it’s wise to keep everyone at home abreast of your plans and location. “Ghosting” is not the best idea when you’re overseas so make sure you leave a trail of breadcrumbs by staying in touch.

Choose the Right Bag

Chose a bag or purse that you can wear close to the front of your body. You can even strap on a small backpack to your chest. Thieves like to grab you from the back where they can’t be seen and can then lose themselves in the crowd faster. Avoid clutch bags or purses with long straps as they are particularly easy to steal.

Mind Your Wallet

The wallet bulging in your back pocket is also a big neon-lit “MUG ME” sign. That wallet is a pickpocket’s dream. Thieves tend to favor victimizing tourists who are distracted and out of their element. Don’t make their job easy for them. Keep it in your front pocket or in a bag you’ve secured tightly against your chest.

Disperse Valuable Items

Keep your money, credit cards, and ID in several different locations on your person. Then if the worst case scenario plays out and you do get robbed, you’re less likely to be left penniless in a foreign country.

Bring Only What You Need

Don’t feel you need to lug around all your credit cards, cash, ID and passport every time you venture out. Just bring whatever you will need for that particular outing and leave the rest safely locked up in your hotel’s safe, not laying out in your room.

Make Copies of Your Travel Documents

Make electronic copies of all your important paperwork. This includes pertinent documents such as your Visa, plane tickets, insurance cards, and immunization record. Email a file with all this information to yourself so you have a back-up if the originals get lost or damaged.

If You Drink, Drink Responsibly

This may seem obvious, but it still bears emphasizing – don’t get too drunk. This could even happen to you inadvertently as the alcohol content in beer and other drinks are often considerably higher overseas. An inebriated tourist is a vulnerable tourist. It’s hard to be aware of your surroundings when you’re seeing double or leading a Conga line with a lampshade on your head. And never, ever leave your drink unattended. Have fun, but drink responsibly for safety’s sake. You could get robbed – or worse.

Double Check Your Belongings

Do double or triple check for your belongings before you leave any location. Scan the room for any belonging that may have been bypassed in your haste to move from destination to destination. From your medication to a lonely shoe under the bed, it’s easy to overlook random items.

Be Diligent With Strangers

Remember what your mom used to tell you about talking to strangers? She was right. You obviously want to get a feel for the local culture and interact with the citizens of your host country, but use discretion. A common robbing technique used by thieves is distracting their victim by creating some type of excitement or diversion, while their accomplice relieves you of your valuables. So be friendly, but be diligent.

Traveling abroad can present certain challenges, but you can circumvent most problems with a little common sense and due diligence. Then you can get down to the real business of enjoying yourself!

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