Basic precautions can lessen threats to your personal security. Use these tips to increase your personal safety while traveling, especially when alone. 

At All Times and In All Places

  • Blend in as much as possible, especially in your dress and appearance. Avoid an obvious tourist appearance.
  • When sightseeing, try not to appear overwhelmed by an attraction. Such behavior makes you appear more vulnerable to a criminal.
  • Keep cameras and video equipment in a bag when possible; avoid walking around with such items hanging from your neck.
  • Avoid viewing maps in plain view; thieves prey on travelers who seem lost or disoriented.
  • Do not accept food or drink from strangers; would-be criminals often try to drug their victims through food and drink.
  • Ignore attempts by locals to provoke an argument. Change the topic of discussion and, if possible, remove yourself from the situation.

At Your Hotel

  • Do not discuss personal matters with strangers, including your itinerary, place of lodging or mode of transportation.
  • Lock hotel room, connecting room and balcony doors, and all windows.
  • Know the local emergency assistance phone number and how to use the local phone system.
  • Store all unneeded personal documents and excess cash in the hotel or room safe.
  • Meet people, especially strangers, only in the hotel lobby and not in your room.

Getting Around

  • Have hotel management call for a taxi rather than trying to hail one yourself.
  • Be knowledgeable of any restricted areas requiring entry permits, and attain these documents before traveling to such locations.
  • Do not photograph police stations, military installations, government buildings, airports, ports, or train stations without first determining whether photography is permitted. If in doubt, ask permission from someone in authority before taking any photographs.

On the Street

  • Avoid walking alone at night.
  • Do not take shortcuts or go off well-traveled roads.
  • Stay on well-lit main streets when possible.
  • If disoriented, ask for directions only from uniformed officers or individuals of obvious authority.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers or new acquaintances.
  • Avoid all demonstrations or other civil disturbances; leave the area immediately if caught in an impromptu assembly.
  • Seek immediate shelter from violent situations; hotels, large restaurants, museums and police stations are good places to take refuge.
  • Withdraw money from ATMs only during daylight hours and preferably only in banks or hotels.
  • Report suspicious activity to your hotel's management, the police and/or your embassy or consulate.


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