Protection against crime

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Usually crimes can be prevented easily, if you are not too carefree. An expensive phone can be more than a monthly wage for locals in third world countries, so they will develop creative ways to steal it from you, if you let them. The majority of humans are hard working and honest though. Your fellow travellers tend to get underestimated often. Sadly some of them won’t hesitate for a second when they see a chance to prolong their travels for a few days. Despite them having the chance to experience something this unique, they are rather greedy than gratefull. Below are a few easy ways to keep your most valuable belongings safe.

  • You should always keep your crucial documents and cash stock either in a Safe, if there is one, or directly on your body. An easy way to do so is by wearing a “money belt“. Most thiefs will either try to pickpocket or steal your whole backpack. Even if you fall asleep during a long busride nobody will dare to start searching your body. In case your backpack(s) get stolen you can still help yourself, and you’re not completly lost and in need for other people’s help. The downside is that the money cat is uncomfortable, especially at higher temperatures it will make you sweat. Since 2 of my wallets dissapeared (1 was my fault, I’m not sure about the other one) during my travels I will use a money cat for my next trip anyway.
  • Don’t keep a high amount of money in your wallet. You can’t always avoid that, sometimes you need to pay higher amounts in cash and you need to withdraw every now and then aswell. Keep it to a minimum whenever you can though. As mentioned above I lost 2 wallets during my trip. Since I never kept a lot of money in them, losing the wallets themselves was actually a bigger loss than losing the money inside them.
  • A dummy wallet can be very valuable, especially if you stay a lot in dorms. Put a few notes of the local currency and an expired credit card (if available) inside it and then place it inside your backpack. It shouldn’t be too obvious but also not too hard to find. This might satisfy a thief in a hurry and prevent him from actually finding your really valuable stuff.
  • It makes sense to pack a smaller padlock asweell. You will most likely always get one, whenever you need one, but the owner will also most likely have an extra key for it.
  • Women travelling alone might wan’t to pack a little rubber doorstopper. Same as with the padlock, the owners usually have an extra key for your room’s door aswell. If you feel unsafe you can use it to prevent people coming into your room at night.

Besides hidden thefts you should think about armed robbery aswell. Not to get you paranoid, but decide for yourself how you want to react. Especially if you think of defending yourself with the help of weapons. Your life is not worth much to someone who is poor, hungry and desperate. If you don’t know how to defend yourself properly it’s better to just give the thiefs what they want. You can replace your equipment, but not your life.

Lastly I recommend to make copies of the most important documents. You can also scan them and send yourself an email, so you can print them in any internet cafe. This will make replacing them in case you actually lost them way easier. Especially the copy of your passport will usually be needed plenty of times anyway.

As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!

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