If you are planning your vacation or holidays to a different country it is a very good idea that you follow some simple tips that should help you avoid falling victim to the many criminals that lay in wait for the trusting tourist.
The very first thing you should do when you are planning your trip abroad is to check for any and all kinds of travel advisories that might be available for the area that you are going to be traveling to. You can check with www.travel.state.gov before you leave and get all of the latest updates for the country you are going to visit. You might even want to consider registering your trip with the U.S. Embassy that is located in that country. You may never need their services but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Don't take cash with you on your trip. Make sure that the only things you have in your wallet or purse are your ID, health card, ATM cards and no more than two credit cards. You should leave everything else home. You should also write down all the numbers for your cards and the numbers to call for the companies that issued your cards. Do not put your name or address on this piece of paper and keep this paper anywhere but in your wallet. You should also make a few photocopies of your passport. This way you can keep your passport and the paper with all of your card numbers on them locked away safe in a hotel safe or locked in your suitcase. Then you can carry your cards with you a long with copies of your passport which is OK once you have been checked into the country.
It's important to have a plan of what you will be doing and what you want to see when you get to your destination. Do this before you get there. You don't want to be caught off guard messing around with all of your baggage, your guide book and other papers when you are trying to say find a taxi to get you somewhere. Speaking of taxis, don't get into any cab that is not official. You need to be aware of what cabs are officially registered with cab stands.
When you decide to go and do some sightseeing it is not a good idea for you to have your guide book or even your map out where everyone can see it. It's a good idea to disguise your guide book before you leave your hotel room. Nothing says tourist like a map and a guide book. If you are traveling a lone or with someone it's always fun to explore new places but can be quite costly if you decide to venture out at dark a lone, so always have someone with you or skip going out after dark.
As said earlier, if at all possible do not rely upon money as your way of paying for things. Either try to stick with credit cards or even use your ATM cards where there is that possibility. Make sure that if you do use an ATM machine in a different country that you only do it during the day time because you want to make sure there is someone there to help you if the machine should happen to eat your card up and this does happen. Believe it or not, the rates you will be charged to use your credit cards or ATM cards will be far less than the fees you will be charged for travelers checks or if you have money, you will be charged a large for to exchange the money to their currency. So using a card is cheaper, easier and in the long run a lot safer.
Finally, men should never put their wallets in the pock in the back of their pants and women should never carry any kind of purse, especially a shoulder bag with a long strap. Anything that is valuable should be carried over the front of your body or better yet under what you are wearing if at all possible.