In the pursuit of women abroad, we can sometimes find ourselves in some pretty dodgy areas, where crime is commonplace. Therefore, to help reduce the chances of getting mugged, it is important to take precautionary measures. And while bad luck can follow us to any city, following the tips below will help ensure a safe traveling experience.
Blend in With the Locals
Tourists are frequent targets for muggers. Therefore, do your best to blend in with your new surroundings. Pay attention to how the locals act and dress. For example, in Latin America it is not customary to wear shorts unless you’re at the beach or in a beach city.
Yes, people do wear shorts in cities, but it is not as common as it is here in the U.S. Thus, keep the shorts for appropriate activities. Being a foreigner will draw enough attention to you as it is. You don’t need to make yourself a walking billboard for thieves to target.
Don’t Wear Expensive Watches or Jewelry
Leave the Rolex and the bling at home guys. Unless you’re looking for a gold digger or hoping to get robbed, there is absolutely no reason to bring these items with you when you travel. Buy a cheap watch or use your cell phone for the time. My feeling is the less stuff you have on you the better.
Foreign women are already wooed by the fact that you are North American or European etc. You don’t need to try and impress them with a fancy watch. If you insist on wearing the Rolex, then wear a long sleeved shirt or something to conceal it.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Nice cameras and cell phones are commonly targeted by thieves. It is important to pay attention to who is observing you and only use your camera and phone when needed. You also might consider leaving that nice iPhone at home and opt to buy a cheap phone in the country that you are in.
Unless you’re a professional photographer, leave that professional camera at home. It would be wiser to use a camera that could fit in your pocket or jacket.
Don’t Talk About Your Finances
It is never a good idea to talk about how much money you have or make when you travel. Be very wary of giving out this information and those who ask such questions.
Even if you are among people that seem trustworthy and can be considered friends, it is a good idea to keep this information private. If people know you have money, you are much more of a target for being robbed or worse, kidnapped for ransom.
Kidnappings have been a big problem in many third world countries. They are generally very well planned and are not random acts of violence.
Therefore, the problem with letting others know about your family’s wealth is that the wrong person could catch wind of it. You never know who your so called friend is going to tell…intentionally or unintentionally.
Be Alert When Walking the Streets
You are most likely to get robbed while walking on or hanging out on a street. Therefore, it is important to have an elevated awareness during these times. Here are some good rules to follow:
• Avoid walking alone after dark. This can be hard to do if you are traveling alone and without friends, but try and minimize this as much as possible.
• Use taxis from location to location.
• Walk with a purpose. When walking the streets, behave confidently and act like you know where you’re going. Don’t look lost or confused. Instead, walk as if you are in a hurry to get somewhere. This doesn’t mean sprinting or speed walking – unless necessary – but rather walking at a good pace. The rational behind this is that the faster you walk the more effort it requires for a mugger to catch up with you.
• Walk along the sidewalk closest to the street. This is to help reduce a robber from jumping out and surprising you. When it’s really late at night, and virtually no traffic on the street, I personally opt to walk in the street along the curb and avoid the sidewalk altogether.
Use your judgment on this and obviously be alert for passing cars. Some people would warn against this, but for me, I feel safer in the street as it gives me more options for escape. One pitfall of walking down some sidewalks is that you can become trapped in when cars and houses/buildings are on either side of you. You have no where to run if attacked.
• Don’t listen to music while walking. You will not be able to hear someone sneaking up behind you and muggers will think you are an easy target.
• Never stop to answer a question at night. A classic trick used by muggers is to distract you by asking a question like what the time is, and when you stop and look down at your watch or pull your cell phone out… Bang! You are hit by surprise and before you know it the thieves have a knife on you and are stealing your stuff.
Instead of stopping, keep on walking. If someone asks for the time, keep walking and tell them after you pass them. DO NOT STOP! Though maybe rude, it is better to be safe than sorry.
• Avoid dim lit streets and lifeless areas. Stick to well lit areas and areas where people are congregated.
• Know who is coming your way. If some dodgy character is walking toward you, look for ways to avoid him. Keep a watchful eye on him and try and cross the street before he gets near you. If he starts to do the same, reverse back to your original path. If continues to follow your motions… run!
• Keep your money in a safe place. Don’t have all your money in your wallet. While wearing a wallet is convenient it also makes it susceptible to pickpocket. Always keep enough money safe for a cab ride back to your place. If you get held up, at least you will be able to get home. A good place to keep some money is in your shoe or sock.
Also, it is a good idea to carry a decoy bundle of small notes. The equivalent of US $10 should be sufficient. Use this bundle to give to the assailants.
• Lastly, be especially careful when withdrawing money from an ATM machine. Keep a lookout for people watching you and following you after you have used an ATM.
The More You Know the Better
In the end, there is no sure way to protect yourself from theft. However, the more you know and the more alert you are, the better you can protect yourself.