Home Community General Travel The Departure Lounge (Off Topic) Safety – While travelling overseas

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    There’s no place like home, unless like me you like to travel. In saying that, it’s a good idea to have all your t’s crossed and i’s dotted. Make sure your loved one’s know where you are. Have an itinery you can share with everyone.

    Make sure you write the name of a contact on your passport. With the current state of europe and random killings it really does pay to be prepared.

    I have just read of another potential terrorist attack in Paris this morning. Two police officers have been shot, which brings me to the subject of safety.

    I used to think there was such a thing as safety in numbers but now it appears you may as well be a sitting duck. An easy target.

    If you are a single female traveling alone, use common sense. Don’t go out in the dark on your own. I’m not going to say don’t talk to strangers, as that’s the fun part of traveling but make wise judgement calls. Keep your bag cross body if possible and don’t make yourself an easy target. Stay safe! Don’t carry wads of cash around either. Keep it tucked up in your hotel Safe. Take enough for your small purchases like coffee and lunch. Don’t wear your expensive jewels out either (talking from experience in Vietnam, where we were told by our tour guide this is a NO NO under no circumstances). Fly under the radar but most of all, enjoy yourself.

    Mauricio Freitas

    This is good advice to anyone, not only women.

    Most importantly, don’t make yourself an easy target. Make things harder – keep your things on you, walk with purpose and aware of your surroundings. Know where you are going. Leave documents, cash and valuables in the hotel (preference in the safe if available).

    If drinking make sure you keep an eye on your drink all the time. If you have to leave for a break, get a new drink when back – do not use the same glass.

    We can keep going on, micro-management style. But the most important tip is the one in the first paragraph: be aware of your surroundings.


    In other words, look like a local and not a tourist (on a cheery note, I once convinced a NY cabbie I was a local lol) easy to get conned otherwise 🙁



    As a blonde with Viking blood I’ve never been mistaken for a local anywhere except once in Stockholm – when  I child spoke to me in Swedish – fortunately her English was better than my Swedish!

    I disagree about trusting hotel safes. I  know people hold great store in them – but think about it – there’s a master code/key another way in – there must be. I never ever leave anything really valuable (passport, cash cards) in my room – they are next to my skin in a money “belt” (though mind is a shoulder holster style). Obviously I have a decoy wad of cash for the day’s expenses. I’ve lost that decoy exactly twice in over 30 years of travel – once to a pick pocket – once through stupidity because I put a day pack over the back of a chair in a cafe.

    The last few years I’ve carried an expensive ultrabook laptop with me. I have it in good quality sleeve, inside a scruffy NZPost envelope. It’s  in a 20 yo  backpack which is a bit grubby – and I normally have my dirty underwear on top. It’s never been touched even in the cheapest least secure rooms. Basically  most of the world makes assumptions based on what you wear and your luggage 🙂  I figure the ones that are targets are the kids on their Macbook  Airs on display in the cafe or lounge.

    I’m fairly cynical about the warnings about Europe at the moment. I lived in London in the 80s – during the IRA bombing campaign.  You knew to avoid abandoned parcels and keep your wits about you – nothing much has changed – it’s just a different religion’s extremists now. And social media can bring you better pictures faster.


    Great tips. I like traveling alone. I think that the most safest way to travel alone for a woman is boating. I bought recently a boat here. I am just a beginner but love sailing.


    To each his own – but I was once in the position to pick up a crew job across the Pacific – nice boat, nice man – but yeah I figured I’d be pretty vulnerable if he wanted to extend my duties in the middle of nowhere!

    The biggest risk for anyone travelling is the mundane – I was run-over by a black cab in London because I stepped out in front of  him having looked the wrong way – after a year in Canada I hadn’t switched back to left hand drive. No serious damage done but scared both me and the cabbie.

    I’ve ridden motorscooters all my life – but I look  on in disbelief the way that many tourists hire scooters in Thailand – with no ability, no insurance, and usually blind drunk


    Even if I travel by myself I tend to take pics or text my partner back home anyway so it feels like I’m sharing my day so someone knows where I’ve been anyway. Not sure he appreciated the 24 emails while I was trialling inflight wifi long haul for the first time!

    I still pick up a lonely planet travel guide if I’m going somewhere new. It tends to have good local advice including safety. Yes guidebook screams tourist but some places you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb regardless. Also good as a souvenir. Tried collecting shot glasses then realised that wasn’t sustainable.

    I forward my Uber drivers on to my partner which is probably a bit ridiculous given I don’t do the same thing for taxis. NZ I feel good about Uber. Oz…… less so. Yet to use elsewhere but feel cautious about it outside of NZ.

    I would still travel to Paris etc if I needed to but would likely just transit or avoid large events. Personally I think I’d be on much higher alert travelling to places like Sth Africa / Africa  or South America – they’re on the bucket list.

    Definitely recommend reading up on bad areas to avoid especially if heading to a city. There was an article about google maps taking people through a bad area of town whilst driving in Sth America and a couple of them were shot and killed. I was driving in Morocco and took a turn and ended up down a street where there was a fire and loads of people shouting etc – very fast reverse!!! There is a distinct lack of street signs in Morocco so driving around at night trying to find my accommodation and using kindle lonely planet map was a nightmare. You don’t want to get out and ask anyone anything etc. I now stick with lonely planet books. Maps are far easier to read in the book. Another guy was driving us around in the US and swear it felt like we’d landed in Compton, LA. That was decades ago but it’s so easy to end up in the pooh.

    Passport is emailed to myself and partner (he’s probably forgotten) and it’s on devices.

    I split the credit cards with wallet and hotel safe, hate having too much cash on me – feel uneasy.

    If I’m getting in late somewhere I don’t know then I’ll find a nice place to stay. Can’t be bothered looking over my shoulder late at night. I’ve stayed in some awful places in my time as well and you just end up staying awake with the lights on at night cause you’re worried and thinking – I’ll lose money if I go elsewhere but this place stinks etc….  anyway, lessons learned.

    Safe travels people!



    I just remembered – I met an Aussie in Italy and she’d been robbed by gypsies. The main station in Rome actually gives you a bad vibe. People loitering around – lots. Not doing much but waiting to entice a tourist, graffiti but really the loitering that got my back up. This poor lady had trained in and got into the elevator. A group of gypsies got in as well and were jostling about being loud, one had a baby and it wasn’t really until she got out she realised her handbag was part way open and wallet gone. She’d had her hands on her suitcase in the elevator. Apparently they can become quite aggressive. Anyway I admired this lady for boxing on with her trip as it was only day 3 into it! We hung out on the hop-on hop off together and went window shopping. It was cool 🙂 Anyway – if there’s too many dodgy people that seem to appear from nowhere don’t get into the elevator! Take the next one. I had read about them but totally forgot until I met this lady.

    I think it was Vietnam also? I heard you can become surrounded by a crowd of people even on a scooter and they can take off with your scooter. Judging by the hoards of scooters/bikes it just looked too insane to even contemplate driving one of those things so we just walked.

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