Safety Tips

Tips on Trips
Editor: Piero Scaruffi

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Tourists are often targets of criminals around the world because they must obviously travel with money and most likely with a lot of money. In most countries even your most humble belongings (such as old shoes and t-shirts) constitute a luxury for ordinary people.

This page is meant to provide basic advice to tourists who are traveling to poor areas of the world. Of course, many dangers exist for travelers to rich countries, and they are not listed here.

Generally speaking, there is only one country not at war where guns are easily available and violent crime is common: the USA. In the rest of the world (not at war) guns are rare and violent crime is confined to extremely poor neighborhoods that you are unlikely to enter. The main problems for a tourist are: 1. the thousands of very persistent touts with a vast repertory of tricks to sell all sorts of unnecessary services; and 2. pickpockets. Again, in the USA a simple argument may escalate to a deadly shoot-out (even with ordinary people), whereas in developing countries it will most often result in the tout moving on to the next tourist.


Frequently Encountered Problems | Precautions | Avoid being a target | If robbed | If attacked | When driving | Drugs


Frequently Encountered Problems
Precautions
Avoid being a target
If robbed
If attacked


When driving


Drugs

If you are stupid enough to do drugs, you probably deserve what is going to happen to you. One of the oldest tricks is this. A westerner sells you drugs. You take it to your hotel. The police breaks into your hotel room and finds you with the drugs. You are arrested. The police charges you a huge fine and threatens to keep you in jail for years. You can get off only if you accept to help them: they give you drugs and they ask you to find a westerner who will buy it from you... Get it?