3 tips to stay safe while traveling abroad.

3 tips to stay safe while traveling abroad.

My clients often express their concern about personal safety while traveling abroad. While I cannot personally guarantee safe travels, there are bits of advice that I can offer my clients to help them stay safe. 

Here are three tips that may help you have a safe and trouble-free vacation:

1. Put your cash away.

Never carry or display large amounts of cash. My advice is to take a small amount of cash with you and stash it in a money belt or any flat wallet that can be worn under clothing. 

You can obtain cash at ATMs almost anywhere in the world, so take debit or credit cards that may be used to obtain cash when you need it. There are exceptions to the ATM rule, depending on which countries you may be visiting.

2. Watch for pickpockets.

Be vigilant about watching for pickpockets in large crowds. Most European cities are rife with pickpockets who are looking to victimize unwary travelers. 

For gentlemen, I advise carrying your wallet in your front pants pocket with a rubber band around it so it cannot be easily removed. It's a good idea to keep your hand on your wallet also. 

Never carry your passport with you when you are out sightseeing, as pickpockets love to get their hands on those as well. A lost or stolen passport can ruin your trip, so keep it locked in your hotel room safe or leave it with the front desk of your hotel as you depart each day. You only need a passport when you are transiting customs or crossing international borders.

3. Use common sense.

For personal safety, your best defense is common sense. Don't walk down lonely dark streets alone. It's always advisable to travel in small groups. 

Also, try not to stand out as a tourist – dress comfortably, but fashionably. When in Rome, dress as the Romans do. As Americans, we tend to dress down and that is how potential thieves identify us as possible targets.

Safety is always a concern, whether here at home or abroad. These tips and others should help you to stay safe and keep possession of all your belongings. Remember that no matter where you travel, enjoy the journey!

About this Angie’s List Expert: Marina Byrum is the owner of Travel by Marina, a travel agency located in Austin, Texas. Since 2001, Travel by Marina has specialized in cruses, packaged and escorted tours and more. Byrum is a certified travel counselor. You can follow this #ALExperts contributor on Twitter @TravelLady2.

As of November 18, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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