Avoiding Danger While Traveling
One of the many great concerns travelers have while traveling is the fear of getting mobbed, robbed, raped, beaten, or harassed by the locals of an intended destination.
These worries are not unfounded at all. Traveling can be one of the most stimulating activities one can engage in.
You are constantly bombarded by new smells, sights, languages, and environments all which can be extremely rewarding to the mind.
However there is a certain level of danger that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone, especially into a foreign land where the locals far outnumber you and law enforcement operates at standards that might be different from what you are used to in your home country.
In this post, we will give you some tips that can help you navigate your way through potentially dangerous situations.
Having escaped a mob in Nigeria, an iPhone mugging in Malaysia, and a diplomatic diffusion of a potentially dangerous situation in Koh Tao, Thailand, we know a thing or two about danger while on the trail.
9 Things To Do To Avoid Danger While Traveling.
1.Don’t start fights with the locals
We have never really been able to understand those people who claim they are on a trip overseas to “find themselves” or “get acquainted with a foreign culture” and then get there and act boorish with the local population.
The locals usually have the local justice system behind them, friends in their social network that they can turn to in the event of a fight.
As a traveler you will always be outnumbered by the locals unless you are a diplomat with an armed entourage.
In any case, starting a fight with the locals is a bad idea. Our advise is to find more mild mannered methods of resolving disputes should they arise.
2. Women will always be a lightening rod
Nothing sparks more anger within a local population than when a tourist who comes into their country and starts disrespecting the female population.
Cat calls, hisses, stare downs and the rest are things that will irk any male population of a foreign country.
For the traveling male, it is advised to approach the local ladies in a respectful way and all should be well.
3. Ditch the Flashy Joe or Jane act
One of our party trailers learnt this the hard way when he went to Zouk nightclub in Malaysia and came out of the club to take a picture with his iPhone 5s.
A group of local thugs immediately accosted him for his phone and a fight broke out. Two thugs turned into eight and he was unfortunately knocked out cold and left unconscious on the streets.
When going out it is best to keep all your valuables out of sight. The fact that you are a foreigner will always make you attract curiosity, problems however will arise when you give an intending robber a reason to accost you.
4. Stay Away From Drugs Overseas
You go to foreign country and decide you want to get high. You ask a friend of a friend who introduces you to a supposed drug dealer.
While the transaction is going down, your drug dealer reveals himself as a cop. You find yourself in world of trouble and in a foreign jail.
Sh#t just got real. We have heard countless stories like this coming out of the Fullmoon festival in Thailand and the Exit festival in Serbia. We don’t endorse the use of any narcotics but doing them in an environment you are unfamiliar with is just plain madness.
You walk into a bar, a ridiculously attractive lady approaches you, your gut tells you, “Dude! you are seriously punching above your weight”. You choose to ignore your gut, you buy the attractive lady a drink, two more join you, you feel like you are the man until the bill comes and a huge lump forms in your throat.
Your whole travel fund has been drained and two Eastern European bouncers are threatening to beat the crap out of you if the bill is not paid.
These are active scams that go on in countries in the former soviet bloc. While there are ongoing efforts to enlighten unsuspecting tourists. It is advised to research the prospective bars and clubs in a new city before visiting them.
There is always a review or two about bad experiences in bars and nightclubs in most cities.
6. Don’t get too drunk
If you do, find fellow travelers to do so with. One of our writer personally rescued a girl from getting raped at a nightclub in south east Asia.
Getting drunk to the point where you lose control of whatever situation you are in is a terrible idea. Especially when traveling, we advise always having a reliable friend who will take care of you, were you to get totally wasted.
Also for the ladies, please go to the bathroom in pairs. Traveling is wonderful until the creeps go on the prowl looking for travelers who have dropped their guard and become easy targets.
7.Respect The Local Culture
In Thailand, you don’t disrespect their king, in Riga, don’t pee in the fountain in front of the freedom monument, and in an African-American community in the United States, don’t use the N-Word and say you heard it in a rap song so it is okay.
You bought a ticket with your money to go experience another culture not to go there and disrespect it. Acting in any of the above mentioned ways will surely get you in trouble with the locals and ruin the good time you were supposed to have in the country you traveled to.
It is best to be culturally sensitive and be open to learning about new cultures. If you are going to disrespect the culture, don’t travel there in the first place.
8. Watch The Meter
If you are going to take a taxi, make sure you map out the directions on your smart phone before the journey begins. Also make sure you ask that meter be turned on.
An extreme case of this happened to a Danish couple that were charged $800.00 for an unnecessary ride through New York city.
Their destination from the airport was a couple of miles away. Mapping out your destination gives you the upper hand on the driver and if you notice you were intentionally given the drive-around. Don’t start a fight with the driver.
Simply take down his license plates and his name while you are in his cab and alert the police once you are dropped off at your hotel or hostel.
9. Corrupt Police
Cops in a lot of countries are not all righteous and upstanding like what you are used to back home. In some countries, shaking down tourists for their money and possessions is quite common.
If this were to happen to you, don’t go report the police to the police, this could make matters worse for you. Head to your consulate, they have been in the country longer than you and know the proper authorities to reach were something like that to happen to you.
So there it is, we hope you stay safe while you travel. This article is no way, shape, or form meant to discourage you from traveling, just make sure you stay alert and remain aware of the fact that you are out of your comfort zone. All should be well if you use your head and avoid unnecessary attention and danger.