A vacation is supposed to be a relaxing time that rests your body and rejuvenate your soul. Being robbed or the victim of another crime can destroy a vacation. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to help reduce the risk of being a victim even if you can never completely eliminate the risks. Below you will find a lot of tips on how to avoid crimes. A lot of it is common sense while other things might be things that you normally would not think about. The most important thing of all to remember on a vacation, as in life, is that no possession is worth getting killed or losing your health over. When in doubt, hand over your stuff instead of risking injury or death. It might destroy the vacation but at least you will have more vacations to look forward to in the future.
Another important thing to remember is to always try to minimize the effect a robbery can have on your vacation. Make sure that a robbery, although unpleasant never can destroy your vacation altogether. You can read more about how to do this in the tips below.
With that said it is time to look at the tips.
- Never keep your entire travel fund with you in cash. If you going of the beaten track it can sometimes be hard to find an ATM but you should still never keep your entire travel fund with you in cash. You should, in fact, try to keep no more than 25-33% or less with you at any given time. This way, if you get robbed, it is an inconvenience but you can still continue your vacation.
- Never keep your credit card (all credit cards) with your money and wallet. Keep it in another pocket away from your cash or if possible concealed. This way you will always have the credit card and can get more money even if you get robbed.
- Keep a copy of your passport with your money and wallet. Keep the actually passport concealed. If asked for your passport show the copy and say that it is all that you bring with you when you go out. This obviously do not work at the airport or at customs where people know you will need your passport. This technique should not be used if you conceal the passport in a place where it is easy to find it if they pat you down. In your shoe is a good place to keep it if you have high shoes that goes up on your leg.
- Credit Cards and Passport should only be on your person if you are in transit. Otherwise, it should be locked up where you live.
- Avoid being out by yourself at night. This is especially important if you are a woman or of small stature. If you need to go out at night you should stay on target. Do not stop to talk to strangers and do not follow strangers that invite you to bars, pool halls etc. Staying on target and ignoring people around you can eliminate a very large part of the risk associate with being out after dark. If the locals say an area is safe after dark it generally is.
- Do not leave things unattended on the beach, in bars or in other places. Leaving a camera on a table in a bar or on the beach unattended, if so only for 5 minutes, is asking for it to get stolen.
- Learn about the ocean tide in the area you visit. On many beaches, it is common that people that think they have gotten things stolen simply have forgotten about the tide and a high wave have washed away their items. The tide can come in very quick in some areas and it is not certain that you notice the rise while frolicking at the water’s edge.
- Most hotels have safes in the rooms or in the lobby. Use them to store important things like passport and credit cards.
- Do not stop when driving at night. In many third world countries, you should not even stop for the police.
- Avoid going into dangerous areas and countries.
- Project confidence. It is important that you do not seem scared moving around as this will make you a much more likely target.
- Use common sense
Things To Remember Before You Leave Home
Below you will find a list of things it is important to remember before you leave home. Doing so will spare you a lot of problems and a lot of anxiety while you are on your vacation. This list is generic and not adapted to your specific living conditions. It is therefore better if you make your own checklist similar to this one. You can use the list below as a template and then add and subtract from it as needed. By making your own list you can make sure that you will not forget anything and you can check everything on the list off to make sure you didn’t miss to do anything on it.
Home protection and management
- Have you put your mail on hold or have someone that can check it for you. This is important as a big pile of mail in your home otherwise can attract burglars.
- Make sure you have someone to look after your pets will you are gone
- Do you have anyone that will water your flowers while you are gone? If not, have you moved the plants into more shaded positions where they will need less water
- But your lights on a timer so that they go on and off automatically.
- Turn the radio on. Set it to a low volume to simulated a conversation. Talk radio work best.
- Notify the police of your absence
- Arrange for someone to mow your lawn or shovel your driveway while you are gone.
- Arrange a live-in house sitter if you live in an area where this is recommendable or if you have a lot of valuables in your house.
- Pay all bills that are due during your vacation
- Refill your prescription
- Finalize your travel arrangements. Verify bookings.
- Make sure that your passport is valid and packed.
- Make sure you have all the necessary Visas and permissions for your trip. This includes import and export permits if you plan to bring restricted items with you home.
- Make sure you got all necessary vaccinations. It is better to take one too many than one too few. Tourist diarrhea vaccines are always recommended. This is especially important if you are going on a short trip as a stomach illness, in that case, can destroy more or less all of your trip.
- Create an itinerary for your family where you list where you will be and how you can be reached. Include important contact numbers on the list.
- Set an auto-responder for your email and an answer message for your phone.
- Make sure that you packed everything you need and that there is nothing you need to buy before you go.
- Last thing before you go, turn off appliances, water, and gas. If you are going to be gone more than a few days you should also remove all perishables from the fridge.
- Bring out the trash.
- Check that you got the passport, money, Visas, credit cards, meds, prescriptions, itinerary, tickets etc a second time before you leave your home. Check and double check that you haven’t forgotten anything important.