What To Do To Stay Safer During Vacation – Part 2

Photo of tropical scene with cabana area under palm trees. The whole scene is back lit by a sky made pink by the setting sun. Blog graphic for blog post what to do to stay safer during vacation--part 2 for awomansoutlook.com.

Photo by Recal Media

Welcome to part 2 of this post! If you haven’t already read part 1, click here, as there are tips in part 1 that you don’t want to miss.

But if you’ve already read part 1, then let’s just jump right into part 2!

4. Watch out for your backpack

Photo by Vinta Supply Co. | NYC

Why do I say this? It’s because you need to watch out for those pickpockets! You probably were wondering how they could steal from you so easily, but one way is if you have a giant backpack on your back.

You don’t know how easy it is for someone to take something out of your backpack until it happens.

So dealing with pickpockets during vacation can be a big pain. So, there’s a way to prevent this.

One way I’ve heard is to wear your backpack in front of you (here’s a picture of someone doing it). This could work, but in my opinion, it’s not a good idea because 1. It brings more attention to you, 2. The backpack limits the bottom part of your vision, and 3. It could get uncomfortable.

So something you can do is have the zippers of your backpack on the top of your backpack instead of the sides of your backpack. Why? First, for someone to unzip your backpack and get your stuff, they will have to reach over to the top of your backpack and pull the zipper.

This is more obvious to people than if you had the zipper to the side, so people around you will realize that someone’s trying to unzip your backpack. Also it’s a little harder to unzip it and therefore means that there’s a higher chance for you to realize the pickpocket.

A skilled pickpocket is usually going to bump into/distract you, unzip your backpack, and take your stuff.

If you have the zipper on the top of your backpack, it’s harder for them to pickpocket you, so that will deter many pickpockets from pickpocketing you.

Make sure to check out this video, as that’s where I got the information for the backpack trick.

5. Look out for tourist traps

Photo of Cinderella's castle from Main Street U.S.A. Walt Disney World Orlando Florida
Photo by Craig Adderley

One of the important things to look out for when traveling (especially when you’re in a place where tourists are common) is tourist traps.

Tourist traps are places (such as a restaurant or business) that’s designed to attract tourists. The stuff that they sell will be overpriced and more expensive than they actually need to be, so they can get as much money as they can from you.

You need to be careful, because if you fall for them, then you can end up spending more money than you need too.

So how do you tell if something is a tourist trap or not?

One thing is that if you’re going to a place where there are a lot of tourists (for example NYC or Paris), be more suspicious anyways, because more tourists = more people wanting to take advantage of that. 

Another thing is if it’s close to a big landmark, like the Eiffel Tower, it could be a tourist trap, since many tourists are going to go there.

Also, if there are many tourists in the building (look for the signs of a stereotypical tourist), then it’s also probably one.

If you’re in a very popular city, you’re bound to run into one. Of course, just because you run into one doesn’t mean that you’ll fall for it, but if you know what to do, then you’ll be fine.

Now this topic honestly could be a full post, because there are many things to this, and there are tourist traps that are unique to each city.

So I would recommend doing more research about tourist traps in the place you’re going to.

6. Look out for scammers on the street

Photo by Kaique Rocha

“Scammers on the street? What??” You may think. Scammers are only on the internet, right? No. Now they’re on the street. Yay.

Have you seen those videos of someone walking through New York City and then a person on the street approaching them speaking in a “foreign” language trying to sell you something for some reason?

Don’t trust them! What they’re trying to sell is fake

But the bad thing is that they’re evolving! There are different versions of it. The one I showed is the “fake monk scam”, but they don’t have to always be monks.

I’ve seen a video of one of these scammers in Paris trying to sell bracelets, and they’re not dressed up or anything, just wearing regular clothes.

There’s also another scammer in NYC, where someone dressed up as a hero/Disney princess (for example Spider-man) will offer to take a picture with you. Then, when they’re done with taking a selfie with you, they’ll demand payment, which is some crazy amount of money. When you say no (because you thought it’d be free), they’ll get angry.

So how do you avoid these kinds of scammers? Well, it’s actually very easy.

Just ignore them. Don’t even look at them, because as soon as you lock your eyes on them, they’ll want to get you into their scam. Be like the locals, who just walk past them like they don’t exist.

Think of scammers on the street as panhandlers. They stand in one place, looking around, holding something. So look for that. But like I said before, don’t look them in the eye.

The takeaway

Photo by Riccardo

So, what’s the takeaway? Be aware and make sure to stay safe, since just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly immune to bad things that could happen.

When you’re on vacation, you’re still in a country–not some perfect paradise–so crime can still happen. Crime that doesn’t just happen to tourists, such as stealing. Make sure to remember that.

Also remember the last 3 tips I had in the last post, and the tips I have in this post: watch out for your backpack, look out for tourist traps, and look out for scammers on the street.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it helps you out when traveling!

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