Europe is a very safe place overall, but crime can happen anywhere, which is why we’re sharing a few important tips that will make your next European adventure safer and more enjoyable!
1. Carry the right gear
Be sensible when choosing your travel gear. Always carry a bag with a secure closure (such as a zip AND a hook) to make it more secure and harder to get into. If you carry an over-the-shoulder purse, keep it to the front of you rather than off to the back or side. In particularly crowded areas, it’s even a good idea to wear your backpack as a chest-pack.
If you carry a wallet, NEVER put it in your back pocket (that’s the easiest way to have it swiped). Your front pockets are better, and the best option is a travel security wallet, which is specifically designed to be anti-theft and is worn under your clothes.
2. Photocopy your passport/important documents before you go
Make copies of all your important documents before travelling and keep them in a safe place. An even better option than a photocopy is to scan them and email them to yourself. That way, if they’re lost or stolen while abroad you can easily get copies from almost anywhere, and you’ll save yourself from an amazingly stressful situation.
3. Ask hotel staff about safe and unsafe areas in the city
Hotel staff are there to assist you. Don’t hesitate to ask them for advice on the area you’re staying in, or if there’s any areas to avoid. The best info comes from locals!
4. Don’t keep all your money in one place
Always keep your cash and credit cards separate. In the unlikely event you become victim of a theft, you won’t lose all of your valuables. Something as simple as a few bills in your sock, or leaving your secondary credit card in your hotel, will go a long way.
6. Don’t be distracted
Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded, touristy areas. Large crowds of distracted tourists are like a buffet for pickpockets, who prey on unsuspecting tourists, either by using the crowds as cover, or with distraction techniques. Trust your gut and stay alert.
7. Blend in
The best way to minimize unwanted attention is to blend in with the locals. Be discreet when reading maps (or go for an offline map app on your smartphone), and try to avoid other stereotypical “tourist” behavior. Do as the locals do to stay safe and happy.
8. Use ATMs during the day
Always be safe when withdrawing cash. Only use ATMs that are located in well-known areas, and try to find an official bank ATM. Make sure to cover the keypad when entering your PIN number, and inspect the ATM machine itself prior to using. If the card slot bulges out or if anything looks loose or crooked, choose a different machine. This could be a sign of a skimming device intended to steal your credit card information.
9. Keep an Eye on Your Belongings
If you’re travelling between cities by public transport, such as the train or bus, always pay attention to your luggage and belongings. Just because your bag is right next to you doesn’t mean you’ll notice if someone walks off with something while you’re writing that email or engrossed in Eat, Pray, Love. A safe option for travelling between European cities is Daytrip’s door-to-door service with a friendly, local driver. Your luggage will be safe, and you won’t have to worry about trying to find your way around a busy station, or risk getting ripped-off by taxi drivers!
Stay safe and most importantly…keep travelling! 🙂