Backpackers are considered rich in many popular travel countries. Although that is a matter of opinion. While they are usually not actually wealthy in western terms, a native with the same amount of money would be among the upper social class. That and the fact that they usually lack knowledge about local circumstances makes them easy and appreciated targets. No need to become paranoid, but you should adapt your behaviour to the countries you travel.
Anyhow, below is some general safety advice.
- Be sceptical. If something seems too good to be true, it most likely isn’t. Don’t ditch your chance to get proved otherwise though.
- Talk with the locals. If you worry about the safety situation and want to know how to handle certain situations best, talk to locals. They will always know best.
- The more the better. The bigger your group is, the more likely you are to stay safe.
- Use a money belt. Yea, it can be annoying sometimes, but that one time you are too lazy to use it shit happens.
- Leave valuable things at home. Not always possible but obviously the best way to not lose any of your valuables. The less money you spend on your travel equipment, the more carefree you become.
- Avoid pushy people. Ever wittnessed honest and kind people pushing someone into something? Me neither, they have no reason to. This is especially important for travellers coming from countries with a “polite culture”. Don’t be afraid to say no, it won’t be the first time for those people.
- Avoid crowds when with your backpacks. Should be pretty self explanatory.
- Avoid carrying your small backpack on your back at crowded places. You can’t watch it, which makes it an easy target. Carry it on your chest instead. You will also show thieves that you are aware of them.
- Don’t leave your stuff unattended. Not just because your belongings might get stolen, but also because you can likely forget them since you are way to busy with all the new things going on around you.
- Don’t show off. Thieves will watch you already just because you are a foreigner. Don’t make things worse by showing off and provoking them further.
After all it is important to not be too scared or paranoid. Even if you don’t care about any of my advices you are more likely to stay safe than to actually become a victim of crime. And even if you always follow every single safety advice you can get unlucky by beeing at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Letting go of your worries will make your trip way more enjoyable.
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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