If you are planning your vacation or holidays to a different country it is a very good idea that you follow some simple tips that should help you avoid falling victim to the many criminals that lay in wait for the trusting tourist.The very first thing you should do when you are planning your trip abroad is to check for any and all kinds of travel advisories that might be available for the area that you are going to be traveling to. You can check with the government travel advisory website before you leave and get all of the latest updates for the country you are going to visit. You might even want to consider registering your trip with the U.S. Embassy that is located in that country. You may never need their services but it’s better to be safe than sorry.Don’t take cash with you on your trip. Make sure that the only things you have in your wallet or purse are your ID, health card, ATM cards and no more than two credit cards. You should leave everything else home. You should also write down all the numbers for your cards and the numbers to call for the companies that issued your cards. Do not put your name or address on this piece of paper and keep this paper anywhere but in your wallet. You should also make a few photocopies of your passport. This way you can keep your passport and the paper with all of your card numbers on them locked away safe in a hotel safe or locked in your suitcase. Then you can carry your cards with you a long with copies of your passport which is OK once you have been checked into the country.It’s important to have a plan of what you will be doing and what you want to see when you get to your destination. Do this before you get there. You don’t want to be caught off guard messing around with all of your baggage, your guide book and other papers when you are trying to say find a taxi to get you somewhere. Speaking of taxis, don’t get into any cab that is not official. You need to be aware of what cabs are officially registered with cab stands.When you decide to go and do some sightseeing it is not a good idea for you to have your guide book or even your map out where everyone can see it. It’s a good idea to disguise your guide book before you leave your hotel room. Nothing says tourist like a map and a guide book. If you are traveling a lone or with someone it’s always fun to explore new places but can be quite costly if you decide to venture out at dark a lone, so always have someone with you or skip going out after dark.As said earlier, if at all possible do not rely upon money as your way of paying for things. Either try to stick with credit cards or even use your ATM cards where there is that possibility. Make sure that if you do use an ATM machine in a different country that you only do it during the day time because you want to make sure there is someone there to help you if the machine should happen to eat your card up and this does happen. Believe it or not, the rates you will be charged to use your credit cards or ATM cards will be far less than the fees you will be charged for travelers checks or if you have money, you will be charged a large for to exchange the money to their currency. So using a card is cheaper, easier and in the long run a lot safer.Finally, men should never put their wallets in the pock in the back of their pants and women should never carry any kind of purse, especially a shoulder bag with a long strap. Anything that is valuable should be carried over the front of your body or better yet under what you are wearing if at all possible.
When backpacking around Europe (or any part of the world) here are a couple of tips that I found useful:1. Lay out everything you need for your trip and then reduce by about half!! One of the first mistakes that many travellers make is taking too much on their trip. It’s important to remember that you are there to enjoy your vacation and see incredible parts of the world and not to lug heavy luggage around strange streets. As well its important to realize that as you travel you will inevitably purchase souvenirs that you will need room in your bags for.2. Get a camping towel! Believe me the first time I traveled through europe i took an ordinary beach towel and by the end of the trip i couldn’t stand the sight of it! It didn’t matter how many times it was washed it just never seemed the same… But luckily you can buy camping towels (that are very similar to a sham wow) that are anti-bacterial, dry very fast and absorb lots of water. The second time I travelled Europe this was best improvement in packing I made!3. Take advantage of accommodation deals on websites such as Expedia or Travelocity. If you are the type of personality that can travel around and book your accommodations with short notice (I know some people like to know far in advance they have a place to stay every night) you can really save a lot of money on hotels. The later you book generally the better deal you receive.4. Be sure to take advantage of the social offerings that hostels can offer. Hostels offer a unique experience you can’t get in any hotel. They offer you the chance to meet people from all over the world that are travelling just like you. And believe me this is a unique chance to form relationships with people you would not otherwise get the chance. Even if they are only friends for a few days they may be some of the best memories of your life.5. Once in Europe a great way to travel is with a Eurail Pass. These passes can really save you a lot of cash once abroad. As well the trains are an incredible way to travel around most places in Europe. Essentially how these passes work is that you pre-pay for your tickets before you leave had a significant discount. It takes a little research to determine what pass is right for you but from my experience it is always a good buy!6. A secondary way to travel is to look into discount airliners over in Europe such as Ryan Air or Easy Jet. Because these airlines (and there are others) don’t serve all places in europe I find that they are a great way to supplement a Eurail Pass for transportation. Often you can find flights for as low as $50, and depending how you plan your trip there a great way to get from one remote location to another and save valuable time that other forms of transportation take.7. One important thing you should do before leaving on a vacation (especially on an lengthy stay) is to register with your embassy as to what countries you will be in. The reasons for this aren’t the happiest to think about but they are incase of disasters or other problems that could leave you stranded in a country. This way the embassy knows you are there and will be able to account for you. Once again not the happiest item to think about, but a good idea to do when travelling abroad, and keep in mind that the odds of something unfortunate happening to you are incredibly slim but its best to be prepared.