Top tips to avoid being a victim of crime overseas

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Although travelling is usually an unforgettable experience, it’s important to ensure that it’s memorable for the right reasons. Here are some tips to guarantee that you’ll stay out of the way of any trouble whilst holidaying abroad.


Keep your belongings safe

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The risk of theft when travelling has unfortunately been slowly creeping higher and higher. Thankfully, though, there are precautions you can take to stop it from happening. Keep your valuables concealed when out in public, and wear a cross body bag to minimise the chances of bag-snatching – this occurs when an opportunistic thief rides past on a motorbike and grabs your bag out of your hands.

When in your accommodation, keep your belongings concealed either in a safe or somewhere that’s equally as secure, and keep all entry points closed and locked when you’re not there. If you are unfortunately a victim of theft, make sure to report the missing items to the police within 24 hours of noticing that they’re gone. It’s the first step of what you should do after being robbed overseas, according to 1Cover, who highlight Rome, Barcelona and Hanoi amongst the pickpocketing hotspots.


Don’t head off the beaten track

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If you’re got a bug for adventure, don’t let it take you somewhere you’re not sure of. Tourists are often tempted by the allure of an undiscovered location whilst travelling, but you’re at a risk of running into trouble whether it be with nature or with the locals.

If you choose to tour a secluded spot away from a busy town, make sure it is with a reputable company that have the correct registration and are taking the right safety precautions. Another thing to look out for is the safety of activities – if you’re an intrepid explorer, you’ll likely want to try your hand at traversing the land in some unique and exciting ways, but make sure they’re all safe to do.


Be careful when trusting strangers

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Head to any tourist hotspots and you’re bound to end up conversing with likewise travellers. Why not? Sometimes you can make friends for life on a holiday, so it’s worth striking up a conversation with others staying in the same spot. In fact, staying in hostel dorms and hanging out at the bars is one of the easiest ways to befriend people abroad, say Adventurouskate. Just be sure to not invest too much trust in them.

Although your new friends may seem genuine and good-natured, that might not be the case. Stay vigilant and careful – don’t tell your new friends exactly where you’re staying, for example. If you’re in the same accommodation, don’t tell them where your room is. Don’t leave them to look after your belongings, either. It may seem cold and hostile, but putting too much trust onto people you barely know is not wise when travelling.


Look out for scammers

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A lot of less-developed towns and cities across the world rely on bustling marketplaces, usually vibrant and popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s here where you may run into scammers, especially if you’re easily distinguishable from the locals.

Be prepared to haggle your way through stalls and vendors in order to avoid astronomically high prices. Locals may try to take advantage of the fact that you’re likely to be clueless about how much things should cost, so be on the lookout for adapted prices and negotiate them back down to something much more sensible if need be. This doesn’t just happen in marketplaces, either – taxis and shops are where you also need to be careful.


Written by: Ivy Oliver for

22 thoughts on “Top tips to avoid being a victim of crime overseas

  1. All good things! Thanks for sharing these. I was lucky to travel with a well-seasoned traveler on my first trip to Europe, and she shared all sorts of helpful tidbits while I was abroad to keep us and our stuff safe!

  2. Great tips, I do love venturing off the beaten path so I also make sure I buy travel insurance ahead of my trips just in case something happens!

  3. Good tips to keep in mind when you are traveling or planning to travel. But I don’t think you should be too paranoid when it is about traveling off the beaten track and about strangers. I think mistakes are part of traveling. Being scammed is just one of them 🙂

  4. What a great post! Everyone just keeps writing about wonderful travels but no-one really says about the risks we can fall into, like getting robbed, getting drugged or getting scammed. Its even more difficult when you a single girl just trying to see the world. Safe travel to you!

  5. OMG! That’s a sensitive topic… A blogger I know ended up giving a counterfeit note at an event without realizing it. It was good that the local police understood that they weren’t bad people! Its really difficult and scary to be held up like that! In places where pickpocketing is prevalent, I carry my metal selfie stick as a weapon! Lolz… You’ve given some very useful tips!!!

  6. Very useful tips. We would also like to add putting your money in different places…your wallet, three pockets, and in your backpack for example. In that way, if you get robbed, you still have money.

    Traveling, while exciting, has also its share of danger. It pays to always be alert and apply common sense to ward off these dangers.

  7. It is indeed imperative to be on the guard when traveling so that one does not fall a prey to scamsters and the kind. Being aware of of ones; surroundings is so important and straying to desolate and unknown areas is always advisable. These are indeed practical and easy to practice precautions that you have suggested.

  8. Great tips! These are all universal way to keep yourself safe everywhere. The tip about telling people where you are staying is something everyone needs to hear. It’s a seemingly innocent question but could get you robbed or worse.

  9. Safety comes first to me when thinking about traveling. It’s important to follow the tips you are offering to keep safe. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks a lot for this security check list… it’s essential for solo women travellers and it’s always good to have a few mor tricks up one’s sleeve.

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