GLOBAL TRAVEL: MY FOUR STREET SAFETY TIPS REVEALED
Travelling safe is essential, obviously. However when you're in a different country exploring new cities, taking photographs of interesting sights, enjoying local food and talking to people you've just met, things can get a little distracting. Especially your street safety. Below are my foolproof tips to ensure you don't put yourself in any unwanted situations whilst travelling, as well as making sure you come home with all of your belongings. Avoid becoming a target Simple things such as dressing like a local and leaving your jewellery at home are essential for fitting into your local environment. So 'when in Rome' avoid becoming a target of theft by simply dressing in the way of a local, being discreet when checking maps, not flashing your cash (some currencies make you feel like a king), avoid discussing travel plans or other personal matters with strangers and people you meet on the road, and by looking like you know where you're going. Even if you're lost, try to look like you know where you're going and what you’re doing. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority.
Keep a keen eye on your belongings An obvious tip, however this is the first thing people get distracted from when travelling. It can be as simple as leaving your phone on the restaurant table you were just dining at, or leaving your camera hanging from the hook on the back of a bathroom door in a hotel. Before you go somewhere, always account for your personals. Bag, check. Camera, check. Phone, check. Simply 'checking off' your personal items will save you a lot of heartache and hassle.
Street safety Walking around a new city can evoke a feeling of wanderlust as soon as you step out the front door and onto the pavement. However blissful this is, you need to get your street savvy on. This is easy as avoiding narrow alleys, poorly lit streets and taking shortcuts. Try not to travel on your own at night wherever possible, keep a low profile and avoid public demonstrations, loud conversations or arguments.
Beware of pickpockets Pickpockets often work in pairs or more. This means one pickpocket can distract you as they push you in a crowd, pointing to something of interest or asking you for directions, whilst the other pickpocket has their way with your belongings. Be aware of groups of vagrant children, especially the Gare du Nord in Paris. One word: hectic. Always wear a shoulder strap bag with a zip and place it across your chest in front of your body. I always have one hand on my bag when travelling overseas as another precaution. You can never be too careful.