Previously posted in www.planningmexico.com
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
~John A. Shedd
I had a conversation on twitter the other day about the saftey in Mexico and at work today the topic came up again, a colleague not traveling that much told me she started to be afraid of traveling by everything she read in the newspaper. So I think that will be the topic of the day.
I am not going to talk about what to do with passport, money or credit cards, that should be common knowledge when going on trips. I have seen that is not always the case, but if you don’t know you better stay at home.
Safety and how you feel about it is much about how you travel. If you are a family traveling together with young children you probably are instinctively more careful, a couple maybe think about it and a group of friends maybe not that much. If it is a group with mixed sex or a group of men the risk to get in trouble are smaller, but it is still there depending on how you behave or where you go. A group of women may have somewhat higher risk, but better than to travel alone.
Myself I often travel alone visiting friends all over the world and do take some unnecessary risk. I have been in some trouble which I won’t go into, I don’t want to scare you away from traveling and… Well, I am alive to write this but I have the scarves to prove my experiences. It’s all part of the adventure.
Of course you can have bad luck. But where I am going with this is no matter how you travel there is one basic thing to think about;
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Meaning where do the locals go and what do they avoid? Walking down a dark alley on the way back to the hotel maybe not is the best idea. Taking a trip to the poorer neighborhoods in the evening I don’t think a local would do, so why should you?
How do you dress?
Walking around in shorts and sandals or flip-flops is tempting in the heat, but in most countries it will scream tourist. If the locals leaves their jewelery and expensive watches at home so should you.
Playing children on the streets may be cute, they may also be well trained pickpockers, think of where you keep your things. Camera is a problem, after all you are on vacation, but maybe you can keep your good photographing to daytime and just bring a smaller pocket-size camera with you to dinner or what you like to do in the evening.
Taking a taxi back to the hotel at night is a good idea, just make sure it is marked. Most countries have regulations requiring taxis to be mark with taxi-registration number. Find it and remember the number if the driver see you reading it all the better. If possible avoid go alone.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do… Not only will you be safer, you will get much more out of your well earned vacation. Meet a new culture, see new people and if your lucky taste some new meals you just need to get the recipe for.
Personally I don’t follow my own advice, but I am smooth talker and run really fast