7 Simple Ways to Get Robbed While Travelling

Thief tagging
Thief, flickr commons, VBC17

Nobody heads off on the trip of a lifetime expecting to get robbed or scammed but it happens quite a bit. Though it’s impossible to completely protect yourself from thieves and criminals, you can greatly reduce your chances of running into them by exercising both caution and common sense. Here are seven examples of how to do the exact opposite.

Flash Your Cash

Everyone likes nice things. We like nice watches, nice shoes and designer clothing. Unfortunately however, there are some parts of the world in which such items really shouldn’t be worn.

When walking in the developing world, don’t flash your cash. You might as well walk around with a sign on your head saying rich tourist. Keep that Rolex at home.

Advertise Your Cash

Money belts are very much recommended for keeping your valuables safe. When used correctly, they are the ideal deterrent against pick pockets and even muggers. Many people seem to forget however that money belts are only as effective as they are hidden.

When visible, they do little other than advertise the fact that you are carrying something valuable. Keep your spending money, lighter and lipstick in your pocket, not your money belt.

Get Lost While Drunk

If you can’t enjoy a night on the town, many people would argue that travel would become a little dull. After all, what’s life without the ability to party now and then? 

Though there’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks, getting blind drunk is a recipe for disaster. Thieves like nothing more than a drunk, stumbling tourist who’s walking back to his hostel in the wrong direction.

Make Friends With Helpful Street Strangers

One of the best things about backpacking is that you get a chance to meet people from all over the world. Unfortunately however, not everyone is worth meeting.

When somebody approaches you on the street, nine times out of ten, they want something from you. Sometimes it’s directions. Other times, it’s your wallet. Sometimes in Barcelona, it’s both. Don’t talk to strangers on the street.

Take Taxis Everywhere

Many taxi drivers are honest. Unfortunately, the honest taxi drivers look the exact same as the not so honest ones. And when you get into a cab, you have no idea which you are dealing with.

When a dishonest taxi driver sees a lost tourist, his eyes light up. Personally, if I don’t speak the language somewhere, I avoid taxis altogether. If this sounds like overkill to you, at least always agree on a price before hand. And carry a map.

Take Shortcuts Down Dark Alleys

Regardless of where you are in the world, there are some streets that you simply shouldn’t walk down. Perhaps it’s a misplaced sense of adventure or perhaps it’s just ignorance, but many backpackers seem to walk down such streets without a second thought. If a street looks dangerous, that’s because it is. Take the long way round. Keep your wallet.

Don’t Waste Time Researching Local Scams

Even small time thieves are more than capable of coming up with imaginative ways to part you with your cash. Some methods are so imaginative that unless you’ve read about them previously, they’re almost impossible to spot.

Before going somewhere new, always spend a few minutes researching the local scams. Otherwise when those two beautiful Eastern European girls invite you to go for a drink, you might think that they genuinely like you.

Barbara Woodberry, the writer of this article is a book lover. She works for http://www.magazinesubscriptions.com/ as an editor. The website provides its customer with various magazines from which they can select their favorite one and purchase it.