Security Awareness Tips: Travel Tips that could save your life


Posted on Thursday July 11, 2019

1. Unsolicited car service: Never accept transportation from a person who first approaches you at the airport, grabs your bags and says they have a car waiting. If you want car service, arrange it in advance. If you rent a car, never stop for anyone who’s not wearing a uniform. A common trick among criminals along the roadside is to lure unsuspecting drivers to pull over by faking a flat tire. Don’t fall for this tactic, say experts. Keep going.

2. What’s the safest hotel floor? Always try to get a room on floors 2-8. A room on the ground floor will be more easily accessible to criminals from the outside. A high level -- such as the 20th floor -- may be quieter, but in case of a fire, there’s little chance firefighters could reach you with even their tallest ladder.

3. Dressing safely: Do your research and emulate locals and how they dress, blending in makes you less of a target than if you announce your home country by wearing your country’s flag or national colours.

4. Instincts: Trust your instincts and don’t venture through side streets, even if it seems like a convenient shortcut. Criminals like to strike in uncrowded areas, if you stick to the well-traveled streets, you’ll be less likely to have anyone approach you with a gun or a knife, the experts say.

5. Jewelry: Leave the fancy jewelry at home. And carry your wallet in your front pocket, or better yet, get a money belt or a passport holder/wallet you can wear around your neck (but be sure to keep in under your shirt when you can). Be aware that people who are jostling you are potential pickpockets.

6. Wallet: Clean out your wallet before you leave home. Don’t carry any more credit cards than you need. Make sure you leave your Social Insurance card behind.

7. Where’s the safest place on a bus? If you ride on a bus, stand near the bus driver or near an exit. If you find a seat, sit with your back to the side of the bus so you can see people in the front and back of the bus.

8. Invitations: Never go with someone you just met to their hotel room or invite them to yours. Also if they want to give you a ride to another hotel or bar, get your own cab.

9. Abductions by car: If someone orders you or tries to force you into a car, you must do whatever you can to stay out of that vehicle. That means they are going to take you to the secondary crime scene, and nothing good ever happens at the secondary crime scene.

10. Eye contact: Make eye contact with people. Don’t stare but use a “stern gaze” to acknowledge people around you. Criminals count on the element of surprise and will seek other victims if they know you have checked them out. “I’m not talking about staring people down, but acknowledging people around you.

11. Eyewear: If you wear glasses, bring an extra pair. If they’re broken in another country, getting a new prescription could be difficult and you want to be as alert as possible to your surroundings.

12. Proper research: Experts agree that the first thing any Canadian traveler should do to prepare for an international trip is check and search the Web to find out what’s happening right now at your destination which might affect your safety during your trip.