1. Luggage: When entering or leaving an airport, never board public transportation with your luggage in tow. Lugging bags on buses, trains or trams, especially while traveling alone, is more dangerous than it’s worth. If a thief runs off with one of your bags, you’re left with a choice of stopping the criminal or protecting your remaining luggage. Short answer: Take the car or find a cab.
We have just decided to take public transportation to the airport (it literally is 30 minutes from our home) and we will save about $80 is airport-parking fees. However, we say this ALL THE TIME and have taken the car EVERYTIME… luxury has it’s reward, but the cost associated with that luxury is getting harder to justify. Now, my first safety tip says that I should NOT take my luggage on public transportation. Does one carry-on bag per person “count” as luggage? Well, I guess so - but I do have a child traveling with me so there’s still a “safety” issue. Does nearly 17 years old “count” as a child? OK, I guess not. Eh! I guess we’ll be taking the car again. Safety first.
2. Unsolicited car service: Never accept transportation from a person who first approaches you at the airport, grabs your bags and says they have a car waiting. If you want car service, arrange it in advance. If you rent a car, never stop for anyone who’s not wearing a uniform. A common trick among criminals along the roadside is to lure unsuspecting drivers to pull over by faking a flat tire. Don’t fall for this tactic, say experts. Keep going.
I really have to adhere to this rule. No, I’m smart enough to not accept rides from ANYONE, but I am THAT guy that stops for people who appear to have car trouble.
3. What’s the safest hotel floor? Always try to get a room on floors 3 – 8. A room on the ground floor will be more easily accessible to criminals from the outside. However, the top floors are usually the most targeted for theft. Stay in the middle.
The perception is; the higher the floor you can afford (The Penthouse, Presidential Suites, Junior Suites, etc.) the more money or things (laptops, blackberrys, jewelry, Kenneth Coles or Pradas, etc.) you have for criminals to take.
4. Instincts: Trust your instincts and don’t venture through side streets, even if it seems like a convenient shortcut. Criminals like to strike in uncrowded areas. If you stick to the well-traveled streets, you’ll be less likely to have anyone approach you with a gun or a knife.
Again, I’m not just talking out of my a**, this is what the safety experts are saying – please be careful.
5. Jewelry: Leave the fancy jewelry at home. And carry your wallet in your front pocket (experts actually advise to get a passport holder/wallet that you can wear around your neck but be sure to keep in under your shirt when you can). Be aware that people who are jostling you are potential pickpockets.
Also, clean out your wallet before you leave home. Don’t carry any more credit cards than you need – 2 should do. Make sure you leave your Social Security card behind. You should not carry your SS Card in your wallet anyway. Always have your driver’s license with you. In some countries (America included) if you do not have identification if stopped by the police, they can take you into custody “just because.”
6. Invitations: Never go with someone you just met to their hotel room or invite them to yours. Also if they want to give you a ride to another hotel or bar, get your own cab.
Now I know this is hard to do when you meet that sexy hottie on vacation, but being in a new environment tends to make us forget our inhibitions. Throw in some alcohol and drugs and you have a seductive combination of danger. Do not succumb to that temptation (thank goodness i carry along my hottie on vacation with me.)
7. Abductions by car: If someone orders you or tries to force you into a car, you must do WHATEVER you can to stay out of that vehicle. That means they are going to take you to the secondary crime scene, and nothing good ever happens at the secondary crime scene. Experts say, ”That’s where they identify the body.”
Sex-Slave Trafficking is at an all-time high and “abducting tourists” is their number one resource. Beware!
8. Gun Control: Your options when someone approaches you with a gun are pretty simple. Give the criminal your wallet – not your life… turn and run while yelling as loud as you can. Police say that the odds of that person shooting at you are 50-50 and the chances they hit you are 50-50 (that’s a 1 in 4 chance – the odds are in your favor.)
If you do not give up your wallet there’s a 3 in 4 chance that you will be shot – not great odds. Give up that wallet!
9. Drinks: Do NOT accept drinks from strangers or people you met for only 48 hours. You have no idea what she or he has put in that drink (date-rape drugs, cocaine, etc.) Also, you want to be “alert” when meeting new people. She or He may possibly be the love of your life (or at least a great hook-up) but you won’t know that if your senses are dulled.
Buy your own damn drinks, but know your limits (DO NOT GET DRUNK.) Drunks are the easiest targets. TIP: If some unbelievable hottie approaches you with a drink, and you are really interested – just say, “Oh no thank you, but we can chat for a moment.” If he/she turns and walks away, he/she understood that you were not to be “messed” with and went on to another “target.”
10. Proper research: Experts agree that the first thing any traveler should do is to prepare for any by going online at checking out the area you are vacating to.
Search the Web to find out what’s happening right now at your destination which might affect your safety during your trip. Look at us; we were going to our favorite destination place – Cancun, Mexico, but CNN reports daily of a new and powerful drug cartel (a group of people who try to control a “product” – in this scenario: drugs) that’s sweeping that beautiful country. This drug cartel is bringing alot of crime and violence in Mexico right now.
So, we’re probably off to Miami instead for some great and relaxing fun in the sun.