Getting robbed abroad is not common, but it does, unfortunately, happen. Although material goods are generally replaceable, the stress and anxiety bought on by being the victim of crime can be difficult to deal with, not to mention the administrative hassle of replacing passports and debit cards.
Here we look at some of the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim and advise on what to do if the worst does happen.
- Know your destination
Before you reach your destination do some research on it: Are there areas that are known crime hot-sports? Does the route between your entry point and accommodation include any hazardous spots? A brief, but comprehensive investigation into where you’re going and what you’re going to do there can make a major difference.
- Be aware of your surroundings
Travelling abroad means new sights and new sounds. However, it can also mean sensory overload and disorientation. Make sure that you are confident in your surroundings before going out alone and ease yourself into new situations. This is particularly the case at night.
- Don’t show off your valuables
Thieves are inherently opportunists. Don’t give them a chance by hiding your valuables as much as possible. If possible store your cash and passport at your hotel and just carry what you need. A discreet storage pouch may also be a worthwhile investment.
- Stay in touch
Travelling alone can be an exhilarating and liberating experience, however, be sure to keep in contact in case anything goes wrong. It is worth sending an email with your travel plans to a friend of family member and perhaps mentioning them to hotel or hostel staff too. Similarly, when you’re on the road make sure that you know the local emergency phone numbers.
- Make copies of your documents
If your passport is stolen it can be a major headache. For this reason it is well worth making a photocopy of it before you leave. This can be of real benefit in expediting its replacement at the local consulate or embassy.
- Remember, money isn’t everything
If you are unfortunate enough to be robbed, don’t try to resist. Give them your money and move on. While there is a very real temptation to fight back doing so could have dire consequences. Losing your money, phone or passport is never an enjoyable process, but it does happen. Stay calm and make sure that you inform the local policy department as soon as possible.