Top 5 Crimes to be Watchful for when Travelling Abroad

I’m the biggest fan in the world of hopping aboard a plane, train or automobile and having a marvellous adventure to wash away the stress of life. Letting your hair down returns you back to work refreshed and ready to battle through your day but, sadly, there are still some things you’ll have to look out for when travelling abroad.

As a woman, I know that female travellers have to be mindful for our personal safety (in a way I wonder if men truly understand) but for this piece let’s look at the top five crimes you need to be watchful for when out and about as a conquistador of the world on holiday >>>

Identity Theft

Identity fraud becomes a heightened concern when you’re overseas, because you’re travelling around with a host of important personal documentation. If any of this goes missing, you can become an instant target.

If you lose any of your info, make sure to instantly alert the authorities and get it cancelled. Also make sure to cover your card details when you enter them into cash points. In some places, such as New York, warnings are being issued regarding small cameras which have been hidden in plug sockets. These are placed above the cash machines themselves, with the camera recording the likes of sort code, account numbers and potentially even the card’s pin.

Home robbery

While you’re out on your travels it would be easy to overlook the potential danger presented to your home. With nobody there to man the fort, your house suddenly becomes a lot more susceptible to invasion.

You can avoid this crime by allowing a trusted neighbour to regularly come round and ensure everything is still in order. If you have the tech, set up timers for your lights to give the illusion somebody is in throughout the day. 

Pick Pockets

In all my long years, across 32 countries, this is the only crime I’ve knowingly been victim to while on a trip. In fact, it has only happened once and it was a few months after I moved from Barcelona to Bangalore to live. I had lived 12 years in Barcelona and had never had a problem. Well, I returned from India to quickly fix my visa and it happened during that visa run. I felt like such a prize idiot!

This is a common crime in most countries, with small children acting as the culprits in many 3rd world countries. Younger kids are particularly skilled with this owing to the fact people naturally trust them. They also have smaller hands which are able to fit into tighter gaps.

Keeping items in your back pocket makes you a perfect target, as you won’t be able to see anyone reaching for them. Don’t worry too much if you become the victim of a pickpocket however, as you’ll be covered for this all-too-common travelling crime.

Car Theft

If you’re on a holiday where getting about with the use of a car is critical, having your vehicle stolen could be one of the worst scenarios. It not only leaves with you a messy headache when it comes to insurance, but could also see you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

If you’re concerned your car might become a target for thieves, employ some of these techniques, which make your vehicle far less susceptible:

  • Never leave the keys in the car
  • Don’t leave valuables lying around in plain sight
  • Turn the engine off as soon as you’re done driving
  • Park in busy areas where there are a lot of other cars

While these tips might seem a little basic, following them will make your car much safer when you’re on your vacation.

Items taken from your hotel room

While we like to give people the benefit of the doubt, the sad reality is you can’t trust everyone when you’re on your travels. In the case of hotel room staff, this is sometimes very applicable.  There are countless stories and examples of cleaning staff stealing from rooms, so you’d be wise to hide any valuables you’re leaving behind – or make use of the safe provided by the hotel itself.

Phewww, okay!  I’m the last person who wants to make you think there’ll be crime waiting for you around every turn on your next adventure; but it is something you always need to keep in the back of your mind.  I’ve been truly lucky to have only had the one pickpocketing incident after decades of travels and I’m grateful for that.  Fingers crossed we all have awesome luck again this year and none of the above occur.

XOXO Angela

© 2017, Angela Carson and ExpatAngela.com. All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 32 countries on 4 continents, residing in 7 of them (currently Kuala Lumpur is my home). By day I'm a digital nomad and by night I'm a passionate storyteller. I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!
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