Street Safety Tips
Be Street Smart When Travelling
The most important street safety tips is to be alert at all times and use your common sense.
People that are aware of their surroundings at all times have fewer problems when travelling as thieves and fraudsters are seeking the most vulnerable victims they can find.
Thieves and fraudsters are opportunists so you can never let your guard down, you must be alert all the time.
People that show street smart security awareness make it more difficult for them so they tend to leave confident travelers like that alone.
Luckily most of us travel safely and do not experience any problems on our travels. It is though important to be aware of some basic street safety tips... both when travelling but most of them are valid at home as well.
Basic Street Safety Tips
Always know where you are going... or at least act like you do. This is especially important if out and about after dark. Walk purposefully at a good steady pace. Keep your head up and observe your surroundings.
Walk in busy and well lighted areas only. Avoid empty and dark streets, and never take short cuts through public parks, alleys, parking lots or construction sites.
Make sure someone knows about your whereabouts all the times. This is important personal safety advice whether you are going somewhere on your own or with someone.
Do not draw unnecessary attention to the fact that you are tourist. Tourists are more likely to be targeted by certain type of thieves and scammers than locals. Try to blend in with the crowd, as much as that is possible for you.
If your look makes you stand out - try to make your clothes and behavior help you to blend in. Do not look and behave like a tourist just of the plane, rather look like a foreigner that has been around for a while.
Always show extra care when in crowded places, like railway stations, elevators, tourist sites, festivals, etc. These are the favorite hunting grounds for pickpockets and scammers. Wearing headphones means you do not hear properly what is going on around you. Do not wear them when moving about, not least when in crowded places or in unknown territory.
Exercise special caution when using ATM machines. Try to avoid using them after dark and in isolated areas.
Show extra care when travelling after dark and even more when travelling late at night. Ideally do not go out alone after dark.
Umbrella could be used as a weapon from a distance so people with umbrellas are therefore less likely to be attacked. There are also many good specialized personal safety products available.
Dress appropriately and in line with local customs. It is always good idea not to travel with expensive jewelry and gadgets, or at least be discreet.
Use bags with shoulder straps and wear it across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive by purse snatchers. Only carry on you what you need, that includes money and number of payment cards.
Alcohol can seriously reduce your ability to be alert at all times so be careful if drinking. Take taxi rather than walk.
Few general street safety tips include:
- Do not hitchhike
- Do not discuss your travel plans with strangers
- Keep away from public demonstrations
- Avoid loud conversations or arguments in the street
- Be aware of the “classic” tricks used by pickpockets and scammers
- Know what to do in emergency and whom to contact
Street Safety Tips If Something Happens
If you are being followed... let the person know you know. Turn and look at the person, show you are suspicious, let it be known that you will not be taken by surprise. Go to the nearest public place or where you can find crowds of people, i.e. into a store or railways station. If the person continues to follow you, seek assistance.
If you are being robbed... do not resist, hand over your valuables, things can be replaced but you can't. Try to remain calm and hand over your belongings as quickly as possible and try to disengage from this confrontational and potentially dangerous situation as soon as possible. Then report it to the relevant authorities.