Tips from a fellow traveler

Hello all you world travelers! Today we have a guest collaborator, KC Owens, who is a fellow traveler and writer. In his article, KC writes about potential hazards of traveling abroad and how to avoid being a victim. Check it out:

Safe Travel Tips

Traveling around the world is something that everyone should experience for new culture, adventure, and sights. Traveling can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do, but sometimes the unexpected happens and your plans don’t quite work out as you had hoped they would. When this happens, things can go downhill, fast. Before you plan any big trip, learn about some of the troubles you could run into while traveling and have a contingency plan in case they do.

Pickpockets make a business of preying on unsuspecting tourists and can walk away with your wallet without you even suspecting that something happened. While getting a wallet stolen is never convenient, having a prepaid credit card instead of a normal credit card or cash can save you a lot of hassle. According to Credit Card Insider prepaid cards are secured so if you discover that it has been stolen, then you can cancel it at any time. They are also handy because they don’t carry personal information on them. You can keep a small amount of money on it instead of an entire bank account so if it does get used without your authorization you only lose a small amount of money. While you are traveling, you can use a secure Internet connection to transfer money onto the card as you are using it. If it is stolen, you can cancel it and it becomes useless to the thief, just like a regular credit card. Prepaid credit cards are easy to apply for and use and are popular among the traveling student demographic. 

The other valuable item that pickpockets would love to get is your passport, especially if it’s an American one. If you discover that your passport has been stolen, contact the nearest embassy of your native country. If you are an American, you can find a list of embassies at http://www.usembassy.gov. Always keep a copy of your passport somewhere different than your actual passport so you have proof of your identification. Keep the copy in a plastic bag to make sure it stays dry throughout your adventures. Of course, the easiest way to travel is to try to keep your passport from getting stolen. Keep an eye on your belongings by keeping your purse locked and your pockets empty whenever possible. If you are keeping items in your pockets, keep your hands in your pockets in busy places and check for your critical belongings often.

Sometimes, thieves become more aggressive and will mug foreign travelers. While there is no way to completely avoid getting attacked, there are several behaviors to avoid while traveling. Whenever possible travel with other people, especially at night, when you are walking around in public, avoid flashing money or expensive pieces of technology around that would make you a target for a thief. Lastly, regardless of how much fun a nightclub is, be sure you have your wits about you when you head back to your hotel for the night.  Travel.State.Gov gives some great tips on ways to be safe when traveling broad. 

KC Owens has written and submitted this article. KC is a college student who loves traveling, college life, fitness and a good survival kit. He enjoys studying different cultures, meeting new people and leaving his footprint somewhere most people only read about.

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