Many people say that when travelling abroad you are an easy target for crime, but that is really only true if you don’t know how to blend in. Like all countries, there is crime, however, you really need to be educated on the culture and understand how not to like a tourist. This article contains a number of helpful tips on blending into the native culture and not looking like a tourist.
In order to make the most of travel abroad, try to plan at least a couple of activities that aren’t listed in tourist guide books or blogs. You can do this by getting hold of information designed for and produced by locals, be it from newspapers, blogs or people on twitter. Stepping outside the tourist bubble will make your trip that much more exciting and fun.
If you are a visitor to foreign cities, keep your eyes open for thieves that might be dressed as law enforcement or government personnel. Show officials your passport, but do not give it to them. If they are insistent about detaining you, ask to walk to the office. Don’t enter a vehicle with a local you don’t know.
Select a hotel in an older, more central part of town if your travel budget will possibly allow it. While these centrally-located hotels are usually more expensive, they are also much more vibrant and memorable. They are right in the middle of the action. Suburban hotels can be cheaper, but the hassle of their isolated locations often offsets your savings.
Remain vigilant while you are traveling. It is no secret that tourists are often the mark of pickpockets and con artists. Whether you are vacationing or traveling on business, remain vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings. Being cautious and wary of others who might wrong you is the very best defense against them.
Make your travel plans more affordable by booking your flight through a meta-search site. It can be tempting to get your tickets from a website whose purpose is to locate cheap airfare, but a meta-search site looks through a variety of airlines and travel booking sites at the same time. It will then redirect you to the site that has the price you want, saving you money.
If you are traveling with a laptop and plan to spend a lot of time in your hotel room, pack an A/C cable in your laptop case. If the room features an HDTV, you can use the cable to connect your computer to the television. This allows you to stream movies from Netflix or Hulu to your laptop, then watch them on the larger screen. It is definitely cheaper than paying five bucks a pop for video rental.
Before you begin thinking about where you would like to travel next, subscribe to get emails from major airlines, hotels and rental companies. It will increase your amount of “junk” mail, but these newsletters often include information about last-minute hotel deals or flights that will allow you to use your frequent-flyer miles. Since these deals go quickly, finding out about them first is essential.
If you plan to travel more than a few weeks, you will want to make sure you have paid up all your obligations prior to leaving. This will ensure that you do not come home to discontinued services. Travel lasting longer periods of time can result in reconnection fees when you return if not planned in advance.
Think about travelling in the low season. If you can avoid taking a vacation during summer holidays or over the Christmas period, you should be able to find some good bargains. Travel is nearly always cheaper off-season and lots of airlines offer special deals. Another advantage of travelling off-season is that your destination is likely to be a lot less crowded.
A general mistake that many travelers make on vacation is doing too much. Vacations are about relaxing and getting away from the rush of the everyday world. Planning events that encompass most hours of the day will leave you feeling rushed, stressed and tired while on your trip. Stop and relax for a couple of hours everyday to decompress.
Before leaving home, do some research on the sightseeing locations you plan on visiting. Make note of attraction hours, days they are closed, and whether you need to get a ticket beforehand. For example, it is very frustrating to get to a much-anticipated art museum, only to find that they are closed every Tuesday.
As was stated in the beginning of the article, knowing how to blend in with the local culture is crucial to not being a victim of crime. Criminals prey on tourists, but if you apply the advice from this article the chances of you becoming a victim of crime are much less.