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Street Smarts and Safety Tips

I have traveled the world to 39 different countries without incident (besides that cab-driver-purse-napping-in-cabo-at-age-18). To make your overseas trip as stress-free as possible, here are some quick jet set street smarts and safety tips.

1.) Go with your gut instinct and always use common sense. If it feels weird or shady DON’T DO IT.

2.) Don’t leave your luggage, purse or valuables in unattended places. When flying, take valuables in your carry on bag instead of checking them in your luggage.

3.)Don’t be flashy. Wearing expensive clothes, jewelry and luggage can make you a target for crime. Try to blend in with the locals.

4.) Don’t bring anything you would hate to lose. Traveling as light as possible is the easiest (and most stress free!) way to go.

5.) Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation. Don’t walk alone down unlit streets. Don’t discuss travel plans with strangers. Don’t flash huge amounts of cash. Be proactive in guarding your safety.

6.) Men~ Please don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket. Even I could pickpocket that.

7.) Familiarize yourself with the laws of the country you are going to visit. While in their country, you go by their rules. =)

8.) Before traveling make 2 copies of your passport. Leave one at home in an easy-to-find place with friends or relatives, and take the other one with you.

9.) Use luggage tags! Name, address, phone number. When I worked for Alaska Airlines, you would not believe the number of lost bags which had no ID!

10.) Know basic words of the country you are in.

11.) Have confidence. As a woman, you learn that if an attacker sees confidence and purpose in a person, they have less of a chance of being attacked.  Always look someone shady in the eye or acknowledge them with a nod of your head. Don’t look down or avert your eyes, as this is taken as a sign of weakness and someone that is not aware of their surroundings.

12.) Keep calm in any high stress situation.

13.) For peace of mind, have a travel “safety kit”. This can be purchased online or  personalized to your needs, but can include items such as a cell phone, flashlight,  radio, whistle, glow stick, bottled water, duct tape, emergency poncho, water purifier, personal smoke detector, hotel door stop and visual international translator card . AAA makes great variations for road trips.

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