travel tips

mycompass.ca

Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: For traveling can you offer some tips on how to be safe? I'm so familiar with my own surroundings but when I do take a trip there's always a nagging feeling that something might happen. How can I avoid the unexpected?

A: Avoiding the unexpected is next to impossible because after all we can't control the weather. But there are certainly points to consider whenever you venture outside your front door especially when your plans are to visit foreign countries.

The travel ezine, Journeywoman.com run by astute intrepid traveler Evelyn Hannon lists a bunch of safety tips great for any gal traveller in sections entitled, "Go Alone Travel Tips" and "Her Travel Tips."

In addition, Peter Savage author of "The Safe Travel Book" lists a series of Dos and Don'ts for Walking in Public Places. He says, "Don't carry your passport unless you need it. Passports are a common target for street thieves." Once, I had a friend who managed to get her pocketbook and passport lifted from their backpack while on a trip to Mexico.

Savage also points out how it's best to avoid street vendors and crowds, especially groups of children. "The standard technique for picking pockets or slitting purses or bags is for a street vendor or child to approach you as if to make a sale,"

Savage cautions. Other pointers are not to wear conspicuous clothing. Use the old adage "When in Rome do as the Romans do." If the locals dress conservatively, do the same. If flip-flops and tropical printed shirts are the norm then opt for more casual. I leave the map reading for sheltered areas like hotel lobbies or restaurants. Another routine I practice is inquiring with the concierge or hotel front desk on places to avoid.

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