How to Not Look Like a Vulnerable Tourist

How to Not Look Like a Vulnerable Tourist

Tourists are easy targets for theft and scams. Share these tips with your employees so they can travel like pros and protect themselves from unnecessary losses.

Anti-Theft Tips

  • Awareness of your surroundings will minimize risks. Burying your nose in a map with cameras around your neck is a clear signal you’re a distracted foreigner. Assume you’re always being watched.
  • Don’t use your money belt in public; it’s supposed to be hidden. Visit a bathroom or other private place to access the contents.
  • If you see a sign warning people of pickpockets, don’t check your valuables! Somebody could be watching, and you’re telling them where your stuff is.
  • Never set down bags containing valuables. (There are scams designed to distract you while an accomplice steals them).

Carrying Cash

Once bereaved of cash, there’s no recourse. So be smart about how and where you handle it.

  • Don’t keep all your cash in your wallet; store it in different places (eg: zippered pocket, underclothes pouch, in your shoe), and divide it among travel companions if applicable.
  • Don’t flash cash in public, especially in crowded places! Carry only what you need and keep your wallet somewhere difficult for pickpockets to access.
  • When shopping at local markets, bring small bills. Negotiating hard then handing over a large bill can be insulting and increase your chances of being ripped off.
  • Lastly, keep emergency cash in your luggage, somewhere nobody will look, like your toiletry kit or even a dirty sock.

ATM Tips

Tourists withdrawing wads of cash from ATMs are prime targets. Be aware of your surroundings! Don’t be obvious about where you put your money. For example, pretend to put it in one place while stashing it elsewhere. Or, visit a bathroom and divide your cash amongst hiding places.

ATMs in tourist spots may also have card skimmers or illegal cameras. Use only bank-affiliated ATMs that are beside or inside the bank, during banking hours only. (This also alleviates complications if the ATM eats your card).

Avoiding Scams

Street smarts keep you safe when you can’t hide your foreigner status. Here are some classic travel scams to avoid:

  • If a taxi driver tells you the museum or hotel you’re going to is closed, don’t believe them. If they insist, get another taxi.
  • If a restaurant offers you food without ordering, don’t assume it’s free.
  • Don’t get drunk alone! Also, don’t leave drinks unattended, nor accept a drink that you didn’t see poured.
  • Making local friends is a travel boon, but beware of overly friendly strangers. Don’t give them your personal information or go anywhere with them.
  • Be even more careful around fellow travellers! They can be bigger predators than locals.

In general, listen to your gut. If something seems off, evaluate your surroundings. And don’t let this scare you from travelling! With these tips you can avoid looking like a vulnerable tourist.

And remember to consult your Travel Navigator app! The security section for every destination describes travel advisories, at-risk groups, security precautions, areas to avoid, and more.

For more insight, visit Travel Navigator.

Discover Travel Navigator

A mobile-first, Duty of Care solution, that provides information and support to travellers under your care


Other News

Request a Travel Navigator™ Demo