Travel Safety for South America
To start with, the followings tips and pieces of advices are not proper to South America but to any travel around the globe. I’d like to think of this as common sense.
When traveling abroad you always become a target by people looking to take advantage of travelers. Even though you feel like you blend, more often than not, people know you’re not from around there.
This fact added to places with a higher crime rate creates a weird mix than can create fear.
But let’s relax, through South America, Europe, Asia or Africa, people travel safe everyday.
Travelers put themselves at risk
The first thing I tell people when they tell me about their plans is that they will often put themselves in situation of danger. There are things that you should not do in some countries and you must be aware of it. For examples, when you’re under the influence of alcohol, you become an easier target. So you should be even careful when you go out at night. Just take enough cash for the evening and leave everything else in a safe box at your hotel. Passport, credit cards, jewelry should be locked. Even if robbers are not after you, it’s always better that you keep your stuff safe and don’t risk to loose them.
Other example, buying drugs is also an other thing that I’ve seen people do that got them into trouble. Either getting robbed by dealers or cops looking after them. There are places where cops will use of their power to empty your pockets… If you carry drugs or not.
Extra care in areas of affluence
There are specific moments and areas when you must to be extra careful. Anything that gather large groups of people is a good opportunity for robbers to have distractions. For examples, streets fairs, bus stations, markets are times when you get to be distracted and don’t pay as much attention to your belongings.
To solve this, put your bag in front of you, lock your pockets and keep an eye open.
Relax, you’re on vacation
If you’re either traveling for a few weeks or a few months (years?), the most important is to enjoy your time. Everyday, hundreds if not thousands of travelers are safe so no need to freak out. However, like any place in the world, precaution need to be taken to fully enjoy a trip and not turn a fun trip into a nightmare. So keep an eye open and stay responsible.