Europe can be a great place to visit. After all, the countries of Europe are steeped in history, filled with exciting attractions, and filled with beautiful scenery. However, before you head to the travel agent you need to be aware that, just as with any other place in the world, Europe has its share of crime. If you are traveling to countries on the continent, you will need a few tips on how to stay safe. With just a few pointers, your traveling can be enjoyable and peaceful.
When traveling, you must understand that there is crime, no matter where you are. In big cities, you are more likely to have problems with pickpockets. In order to avoid being a victim, be aware of your surroundings all of the time. Keep your valuables in an abnormal pocket like the inside of your jacket. Keep a record of all your credit card numbers, and keep a photocopy of your important travel documents (passport and visa) in your hotel, stored away from your wallet or bag. If your wallet is lost, these copies will be invaluable helping you cancel yor cards, providing ID to the police, and returning home without too much drama.
Another good travel tip for women is to never carry a purse with a long strap. In countries such as Spain where many youngsters and teens ride mopeds on the streets and sidewalks, motorized bag snatching is common. The rider will ride their moped past you on the sidewalk, grab your bag and cut the strap with a knife. Don’t tempt them by making sure you carry a bag with a short strap which is tucked under the arm as you walk.
If you must use an ATM, do so with care and be smart. Do not approach the ATM at night or when it is quiet. When using an ATM, be sure to check it carefully for signs of tampering. ‘ATM skimmers’ are as common in Europe as they are in America. You can detect a skimmer by tugging on the top of the ATM, and checking the part where you put your card in. If it feels lose or seems to have an extra part glued or stuck on, avoid the machine and find another.
Another great traveling tip is to do your best to not look too much like a tourist. Many people want to purchase and wear tourist clothing while traveling in Europe, however, this makes you stand out like a bullseye to the practiced eye of the thief or scammer. Instead, choose to wear clothing that blends in with others. This way, you will not appear as a tourist and therefore, an easy target. If in doubt, wear black (or white in desert countries).
Traveling in Europe can be a fun adventure. When you are traveling, you can take easy steps to stay safe. By practicing good common sense about your surroundings, dressing to not garner attention and being careful with your valuables, you can enjoy a safe traveling excursion.