But what about when you travel? How do you avoid the scams? How do you avoid unwanted attention? How do you keep safe?
You’ll never be able to blend in if you have blond hair and blue eyes and you’re travelling around Africa, but it helps to understand what steps you can take to look after yourself.
Here’s our top tips:
1. Take two wallets – Have a day to day wallet with a little cash and store your cards, majority of your cash, passport etc, somewhere safe (hotel safe, concealed money belt, your socks). You want to avoid people seeing notes falling out of your purse each time you buy a drink. You also won’t lose everything if someone steals it.
2. Carry a phone that has a camera – not only will you be constantly snapping holiday pics, but if something goes wrong (car crash, room ransacked etc), you can take a photo of the scene before the evidence is disturbed. The photo will automatically be time and date stamped.
3. Pack your sunglasses – Not only do they protect you from the sun, but if you have blue eyes they will help stop people starting at you if they are not used to seeing your eye colour.
4. Pack a sarong – useful in so many way: as a scarf when it’s cold; as a beach towel; as a cover-up in air-conditioning; to wrap around your backpack to stop people having access to your pockets;
5. Secure your stuff – if you’re travelling on a sleeper train and are sharing an open carriage, put all your valuables in your sleeping bag with you. Bring a bike lock and chain your rucksack. Tie your shoes to the bunk. Don’t just slip your passport under your pillow. That’s not enough.
6. Online security – Use Dropbox, or cloud-based storage, so you have access to documents wherever you are. Use 1Password so you can store all you passwords, scans of your passport and credit card information securely. If your card gets stolen you need to know how to cancel it.
7. Stay in contact – Leave your flight details with someone at home. Make sure someone knows where you are, even if your plans change.
8. Stay safe – Get travel insurance, and ensure your vaccinations are up to date.
The more you travel, the more you’ll understand how the world ticks, and the more streetwise you become. The world isn’t a dangerous place, but you don’t want to make yourself a victim.
Do you have a tip to add? We'd love to hear from you.