We’ve all heard the term ‘dumb tourists’ – but what if it’s possible to be one of the smart ones when you’re traveling abroad? You don’t have to walk around in the middle of the city, looking lost with your fanny pack and water bottle, you know.
By reading up on the city you’re going to and gaining a few skills that will make you slightly more street smart, you may actually be able to not just avoid that whole dumb tourist-stigma – you’ll also save yourself a lot of trouble abroad.
Here are a couple of things you should know about before you head off so that you’re able to look out for yourself a bit better. It might mean that you return home with all of your stuff intact, after all, and you’ll even go home on your own passport instead of an emergency passport.
First: Learn to use the safe
While the best solution would be to leave most of your most treasured possessions at home, this isn’t always an option; we need our phones and laptops, and it would be nice to take some high-quality photos as well.
What you need to learn, however, is that the safe in your hotel should be used rather than ignored. Leave as much as you can behind before heading out on your adventures, and remember to never bring your passport with unless you’re actually going to need it.
Most tourists end up being pick-pocketed around the subway station, by the way, or in general crowds where it’s difficult to say who’s just bumping into you and who’s stealing all of your stuff.
When your valuables are locked up safely in the hotel, the thieves will only find your half-eaten sandwich and a few used tickets to the museum – maybe they even take your trash for you so that you don’t have to take it to the bin.
Next: Learn to look street smart
The trick behind being street smart is that you have to look the part; be suspicious about your surroundings and make sure that it shows. Don’t walk around looking dazed and confused – and especially not after a few drinks while fumbling around at the ATM.
It’s a common trend to act like they’re trying to help you out with the ATM, so make sure that you never accept any help even if you are a bit confused. Before you know it, they’ll have snatched your card away from you while another person behind you have scribbled down your pin.
You might think that the machine just ate your card – at least until you check your bank statement, that is.
As long as you look like you know where you’re heading and like you have no time for silly questions, people tend to leave you alone. Thieves are much more likely to target those who seem like they don’t have a clue about where half of their belongings are, in any way, and like they’re completely lost.
Have some backup cash available
Before you’re going on holiday, it’s a good idea to have a look at your finances. While you may have more than enough cash to fund all of those dinners out and late-night snacks from the mini fridge in the hotel, you should try to prepare for the unexpected as well.
Is your flight flexible, for example, and will you be able to head back home on a short notice in case something should happen? Sure, we hate to think about anything that might spoil our holiday – but planning for these things could actually make you a bit more comfortable and confident.
No matter what happens, at least you know that you have money to get back home. If it’s impossible to plan for this and be prepared, you should at least go over your options; have a look at this page for a payday loan, for example, in case you can’t use your credit card. That way, you have covered all your options and can relax in peace.
What you choose to pack has a lot to say, not just about how you look, but also about how others will perceive you and how comfortable you’ll be.
There is a lot to this tip, in other words; try to dress in something that makes you look less like a tourist and more like you belong – and tell your dad, if he is coming along, that there are other comfortable options than those open-toe sandals.
When you want to stay comfortable during your long walks in the city while also looking smart, you should opt for some proper walking shoes instead. That way, you can stay comfortable throughout your walks without actually looking like a tourist.
The same goes for the rest of the clothes you pack; if possible, avoid everything that makes you look like a dumb tourist and an easy target; khaki-colored safari shorts, an open checkered shirt with short sleeves, sunglasses with a string, a sunhat, and a fanny pack.
No, actually, keep the fanny pack on but wear it underneath your clothes. Now you can keep your valuables close to your body without everyone knowing about it.
Staying out of trouble abroad means that you should try your very best not to have your possessions stolen, try not to end up in jail, and avoid the hospital at all costs. Other than that, you can simply lean back and enjoy your holiday.