Thereâ€™s nothing worse than having things stolen from you, except having them stolen from you on vacation. There are ways to prevent yourself from being the traveler thatâ€™s an easy target, and therefore, escaping your vacation mugging free. If you follow these 10 tips, muggings will not be the bearer of bad memories on your vacation.
1. Donâ€™t Flash a Lot of Cash
By flashing a lot of cash you are showing potential muggers how much money you have. You are pretty much saying, â€œHey look at me, look at all this money, and look at where I keep it!â€ That last part is key, because after they see you flashing the money around you will put it away and the muggers will watch, and then they will follow you to take it. You just became an easy target. Avoid doing this and youâ€™ll save yourself many headaches.
2. Donâ€™t Always Pick Cheap Over Safe
There are definitely times when you can be cheap and safe, but sometimes you do need to cheese your safety regardless of the cost. Yes, you will find a very cheap motel or hostel during your travels, but weigh the pros and cons of staying here. The safety will not be very good. In a hostel you will have shared rooms where your things are very easily stolen. Also, these places can often times be in not great parts of town that can be dangerous at night. Besides motels or hostels, another example would be to pay for a cab instead of walking home at night. Yes it may be cheaper to walk, but it wonâ€™t be if you get mugged and all of your money is stolen. These are just some examples. You donâ€™t always have to go the ultra-safe routes, just weigh the pros and cons of being cheap versus being safe before you make your decision.
3. Never Fall Asleep in a Public Place
Never is a strong word so I say it kind of lightly. Iâ€™ve fallen asleep at the beach on vacation, but I had other people with me, and the only items I had with me were a towel, my sunglasses, and flip-flops. Never fall asleep by yourself. This is asking for trouble. And if you have any items of value, whether youâ€™re with a group, or not, I advise you not to asleep. This is asking for trouble. When youâ€™re asleep, youâ€™re vulnerable. You may think the other people in your group are watching out for you, or that someone else would notice a potential mugger, but no one else in the public knows who is in your group. It is your responsibility to watch out for your things. Save napping for a safe place.
4. Donâ€™t Carry Unsecured Valuables into Large Crowds
Entering into a large crowd with pockets or purses full of unsecured valuables is once again inviting muggers in. One bump here, a little jostle there, and all of your valuables will come pouring out. When in large crowds, keep your belongings close and where you can see them. If youâ€™re wearing a backpack, move it to your front before entering the crowd. Ignore your inhibitions about how you may look because backpacks are extremely easy targets. With all the naturallyÂ bumping that goes on in a crowd, you wonâ€™t be able to feel the mugger behind you. If youâ€™ve got a purse, opt for a across the body strap, instead of over the shoulder. The over the shoulder kind can easily be cut or reached into, while you can keep a firm hold on the across the body strap and keep the bag in front of you. Also do a zipper check. Make sure all zippers are closed and that youâ€™re making use of inside zipper pockets instead of just using the large main inside of the bag.
See how easy pick pocketing a backpack can be when it is on your back?
5. Donâ€™t Walk Alone at Night
Sometimes walking alone at night youâ€™ll be just fine, in fact, most times youâ€™ll be just fine. But to make sure you avoid getting mugged on your vacation or even harmed, itâ€™s safer to walk in a group at night or take a cab to your destination. This will assure that you are not the unsuspecting victim of someone looking to make some fast cash. Remember, you are not in your home city where it may be safe to walk everywhere. You are somewhere new, and it is always better to be more safe than potentially necessary.
6. Always be Aware of Your Surroundings
Itâ€™s important to be constantly be aware of your surroundings. Thereâ€™s no need to be paranoid, but a constant awareness can prevent you from being blindsighted by a mugger ready to steal your money. A constant awareness can keep you from being in situations where that could happen. For instance, a photographer, totally enamored by the gorgeous views is taking tons of pictures and loses his awareness. A mugger is able to sneak up on him and demand all of his money. If he had balanced photography and his awareness he could have avoided this. Or if someone behind you is taking all the same turns as you, something is probably up. Always be aware.
7. Donâ€™t Ride in Empty Train Compartments
The peace and quiet of an empty train car may be enticing to you, but it is also enticing to a potential mugger. There is no one around to witness them, so whatâ€™s to stop them? Pretty much nothing. So opt for a fuller car, and if your car empties out, move to a fuller car. Even if you have an assigned seat, chances are no one is likely to care until the train fills up again.
8. Donâ€™t Look Lost
Confidence is a powerful thing, while looking lost does the opposite. Looking lost and confused, while opening a map and just staring at it blindly waves a red flag for muggers telling them youâ€™re a tourist and you donâ€™t know what youâ€™re doing. It is fine to be lost, though. Just try not to do it so publicly. Go into a restaurant or hotel instead. The staff in these places will be happy to call you a cab if you need when, or give you directions. And lucky for you, these are sure to be locals who will give you accurate directions to the places youâ€™re looking for. Also, you wonâ€™t be attracting attention from unwanted people when asking these people for directions. Itâ€™s a no lose situation.
9. Donâ€™t Keep Your Wallet in Your Back Pocket
There are numerous reasons not to do this. For starters, it is so easy for a mugger to steal this without you knowing it. I know that you think you would be able to feel it, but they are professionals and they would be long gone before you ever went to check for it. And thatâ€™s another reason not to keep it there, because you constantly feel for it, and check to make sure itâ€™s there, which repeatedly brings attention to where you keep it, alerting potential muggers to where it is. Also, a little known fact, putting your wallet in your back pocket is a likely to cause back pain because the sciatic nerve, which can cause pain through your back and legs is located just beneath your back pockets, and the wallet would be pushing on this nerve. Avoid all of these things and keep your wallet in your front or inside pocket.
10. Donâ€™t Let Your Guard Down
This last tip is a very general tip to cover a lot of things. Donâ€™t let your guard down to back dumb, irrational decisions you wouldnâ€™t normally make just because youâ€™re on vacation. But also remember youâ€™re on vacation so keep you guard up a little higher.Â You may normally hang your purse on the back of your chair, but remember that youâ€™re on vacation so you canâ€™t let your guard down even during a meal, so itâ€™s better to eat with a purse in your lap, than to risk it getting stolen. Also, vacation seems to bring out impaired judgment and no inhibitions so donâ€™t walk down dark alleys, or wander through rough neighborhoods for fun.Â Donâ€™t talk loudly about the brand names youâ€™re wearing even to your friends. Travel is a great time to come out of your comfort zone, but it is important to find the balance between being safe and having fun.
If you can follow these tips, and just simply be smart while traveling, you’ll be set! Have fun and feel free to comment and leave more tips to avoid getting mugged on vacation.
For further expansion on these tips, and more first hand encounters, feel free to reference the original article.