Traveling should be an experience to remember and treasure forever, filled with special sentiment and wonderful memories. But due to the many scams and number of thieves just waiting to prey on unsuspecting tourists, a perfect vacation can easily turn into a traumatic event. Before starting on your journey, there are some things you should know about how to avoid scams and thieves during your travel.
First of all, the prevention for scams and thieves should start even before you leave your home. Choose a destination that is safe to visit and avoid dangerous countries with limited legal resources and heavy political unrest. When you are getting ready for departure, you should contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know that you will be traveling. Consider giving these institutions some information about your destination and vacation dates. It is best to carry only pin-based ATM cards instead of debit cards or checks when traveling.
To manage your mail delivery, rather than asking a good neighbor to pick up your mail while you are away, you should stop your mail entirely by going to the post office and requesting a hold on your mail until you return. Before leaving for any trip, make sure to check your wallet and remove anything that you will not need during your travel. These items will include your checkbook and any extra credit cards.
The tag attached to your luggage is also very important regarding your safety. A tag which contains your full name and address offers far too much personal information for a dishonest person. Therefore, it is important to only write your name and phone number on luggage tags. If you lose your luggage and an honest person finds it, you still have a chance to get it back and if a thief steals it from you, he will not know your entire address. This is important because it is obvious that you are currently away from your home.
You should try to pay all of your bills before leaving on vacation and leave them behind as they may contain important account information which could fall into the wrong hands. While on your trip, shred any paid bills or receipts instead of throwing them in the garbage. This way, you ensure that no personal information can be found and used by possible thieves.
If you are traveling for pleasure rather than business, leave your laptop at home instead of taking it with you. Also, it is a wise choice not to post any information regarding your travel plans on social media communities. Never announce on social networks when you will not be home. Delete any banking or other financial apps on your cell phone which might give someone access into your accounts.
During your travel, you should first of all take care of your boarding passes, even of those you already used. They contain precious personal information which could become dangerous when in the wrong hands.
Whatever documents you do not need while sight-seeing or engaging in local activities should be left behind, locked up in the hotel room. This ensures that these important documents will not be lost or fall into the wrong hands.
When you need to withdraw money from your credit card, it is important to visit a bank instead of using an ATM machine. ATMs are usually monitored by thieves who will try to capture your pin and eventually, your debit or credit card. Of course, you should never let your card out of your site, not even at restaurants. Pay for all purchases in person rather than via servers and other wait staff.
Regarding scams, these can be met during any travel itinerary and they wear many different “uniforms”. First on the list, pay very close attention to taxi drivers. All around the world, taxi drivers are known to pull scams on foreign visitors. They overcharge the clients by driving long, out of the way routes or attempt dishonest money exchanges. For example, when you give them a banknote of $100.00, they may try to persuade you that the banknote was only $1.00.
Pick pocketing and other thefts of this manner happen to tourists every day but this can be avoided. Never fall victim to these kinds of thefts by being observant and use preventative measures. Keep wallets and other valuables in snug fitting pockets next to your body rather than in a jacket or purse. When a stranger walks up and offers assistance, you should pay attention because there may be another person somewhere who is ready to steal your wallet or luggage while the first one draws your attention upon him. In order to avoid this, you should always treat any and every diversion as a pickpocket attempt and keep an eye on your valuables permanently while on travel.
Scams will try to offer you what they call valuable items or will try to sell a so-called valuable at a low price. Beware of any of these, as they usually are unworthy items for which you will have to pay too much in exchange. Never accept any ‘gifts’ from a stranger as you will then be expected to ‘pay’ for the gift in some way.
The best way to avoid scams and thieves while on travel is to always stay well organized and keep an eye on your valuables. Keep your wallet or bag as close to your body as possible and check them whenever you feel something is not right around you. Also, consult your travel agency or online sources for additional advice and information regarding the usual scam methods most commonly reported at your chosen destination. These and other sources of information may help you to better know what to expect and how to avoid this kind of disaster while traveling.