HOW TO AVOID BEING ROBBED

I’ll start this off by placing a huge jinx on myself. I have yet to be robbed while traveling. Yep, in over five years of travel through more than thirty-something countries. Never. Been. Robbed.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I need to take a minute to go knock on some serious wood.

Alright, let’s face it, you’ve read endless stories on the web and you’ve watched it on the news. Hell, you might even have some friends or family members that have been robbed on vacation.

Trust me, I’ve heard it all.

Although I’ve never been robbed while traveling, I’ve met plenty of people who have.

Yes, robbery and theft DOES happen.

I’m not here to tell you that there’s a magical way to avoid being robbed on the road but there are a few rules that I always try my best to stick to. I think you’ll find the following travel safety tips of mine quite helpful and if you take my advice, I’m sure it will lessen your chances of being taken for everything you’ve got.

1. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

You’ve heard it before. I know you have. But, sometimes we all need a friendly reminder.

Being aware of your surroundings is one of the most important things when it comes to lowering your chances of becoming a victim of robbery.

Being aware of your surroundings includes having a good idea of where you are even if you have just arrived in a destination that is foreign to you, knowing where the local police station is, where the center of the town/city is, and more.

2. MAP IT OUT

Nobody wants to unknowingly wander into a bad part of town where you’re likely to be mugged. Avoid this situation by loading maps on to your smartphone prior to arrving in a new city.

There are a few different ways to load maps on your smart phone prior to arriving in a new city.

  • You can purchase a premium offline maps app or download a free offline maps app for your smartphone.
  • You can use this handy little tutorial which explains how to save offline maps in the new GoogleMaps app.
  • You can take screenshots of your hotel, arrival bus station, or airport as your focal point and save them to your phone for later use.

While I don’t suggest that you keep your eyes locked on your phone the entire time, having a digital map of sorts is a hell of a lot better than fumbling around one of those oversized paper maps that fold into 26 sections.

Which brings me to my next point…

3. USE YOUR PHONE ONLY WHEN NECESSARY

Having a mobile data plan can be a great way to keep tabs on your location and having one gives you the ability to map out directions, save important locations and more. While having a data plan can be a real handy tool, it can also be a great way to get yourself robbed.

Try to avoid pulling your phone out in unfamiliar areas. Instead, simply step inside a restaurant, coffee shop, mall, or any other public establishment before you whip your phone out. Doing so will allow you to truly focus and figure out where you are currently and which direction you need to be headed.

You have no idea how easy of a target you are when you’ve got your eyes glued to your phone.

Thieves love people who are fully engrossed in their phones.

…and rightfully so. You’re a walking jackpot!

Whether you like to hear it or not, thieves are watching your every move. They see you coming from a mile away. If you’re eyes are locked on your phone because you’re catching up on the latest Facebook drama, there’s a good chance you could find yourself in deep, deep trouble.

4. KEEP YOUR MONEY SAFE

You could dream up a few ways to trick potential thieves and keep them from stealing everything you’ve got, but why waste your time when you can duplicate my not-so secret system for keeping my money safe when I travel.

I could go on for days about how kick ass this system is, but, I’ll let you read the whole shebang over HERE.

Oh, and remember, always keep your wallet in your front pocket. If your wallet is too bulky to place in your front pocket, then I highly recommend you pick yourself up a slimmy or a money clip wallet like this one.

 5. LOOK PEOPLE DIRECTLY IN THE EYES

One of the first things I tell people when I talk about how to avoid getting robbed when traveling is that you need to look people directly in the eyes. I don’t care how awkward or uncomfortable this may seem. As a matter of fact, you should want it to feel awkward.

I sometimes take things a step further by nodding and saying “Hi” in the language of the destination. You wouldn’t believe how much a simple nod and a “Buenas tardes” can throw off a would be thief.

Think about it.

Most criminals prey on the fact that you’re either not paying attention or that you didn’t get a good look at them prior to the robbery. Looking people in the eyes, giving them a nod and maybe even a small hello as you pass lets them know that you’ve acknowledged them and you’re aware of them.

6. LEAVE THE BLING AT HOME!

You can still stay classy without being too flashy. I’m not saying you should be walking around looking like a scrub. I’m simply advising you to leave all of those high end purses, shiny diamond rings and blinged out watches at home.

If you do decide to take some of your most prized possessions on your trip, pick yourself up one of these awesome Anti-Theft Lockdown Bags and you can rest assure that your valuables will be protected when you’re out and about.

7. DON’T TRUST YOUR HOTEL ROOM SAFE

Many people will tell you to simply leave your valuables in your hotel room safe but this video proves that hotel room safes really aren’t that secure after all.

Also, something you should always keep in mind that most of the hotel staff, if not all, either have a backup key to your safe or know the default password. I’m not saying you shouldn’t trust in your hotel staff, you should. It’s just always good to acknowledge the risks of your stuff getting stolen on a case by case basis.

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather stuff my valuables in one of these bags versus a hotel room safe that is seemingly pretty easy to break into. At least with the lock down bag, the would be robber needs to cut through the the cable and the slashproof bag before stumbling upon your treasures.

Oh, and there’s something relieving about knowing that no one has a backup key to your most prized possessions.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

If so, please leave a comment below! Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family.

featured photo credit: KJM·427 via photopin cc

GET THE NEWSLETTER

Enter your email address below to subscribe to my free newsletter.

Psst... it's chock full of my latest updates, expert travel advice,
travel hacking tips, and more exclusive content that never makes it to the blog.

Enjoy this article? Please share!