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Safety tips for travellers and tourists

Posted November 15, 2013 by myjoburg in My Joburg
Safety tips for travellers and tourists

At the airport:

Stay especially alert and watch your bags and valuables at all time. Don’t let anyone but uniformed airport personnel handle or watch your bags. Don’t allow clearly unemployed persons to assist you with your luggage. Watch our for clearly staged mishaps, for example, someone bumping into you or spilling a drink, as it is often a ploy to divert your attention and steal your bag or passport. Carry your purse close to you body, or your wallet in an inside front pocket. Better yet wear a money pouch under your clothes. When paying a porter be aware of snatching thieves. Keep a separate check of the contents of checked luggage. Keep anything of value in a bag that stays with you at all times. Avoid displaying expensive camera, jewellery or luggage that will draw attention. When seeking directions proceed to marked information centres only. Don’t pack valuable items in your check-in luggage Thieves are quick to spot a person who appears to be lost and will approach such a person in order to steal from them. Make sure you are not being followed when you leave the airport and be fully aware of your surroundings when you arrive at your destination, including your permanent residence.

At hotel (accommodation):

Ensure that identifiable hotel staff assist you with your luggage on arrival. Do not leave your luggage unattended unless it is locked away in your room. Store valuables in the safe deposit box. Keep your room locked at all times. Hand in the key at the desk when you leave the hotel. If someone knocks, check who it is first, before opening the door. Make sure that luggage is only given to the hotel’s bell staff and a receipt is issued for stored luggage.

In the street:

Plan your route Don’t stop people to ask for directions or check your map on the street. Try not to look like a tourist by making it obvious that it is your first time in the area. It is better to explore in groups and stick to well-lit bust streets. If you find your self alone, try to refer to yourself as party of a group Avoid drawing attention to yourself, by wearing expensive jewellery and visibly carrying valuable items such as cameras, cellphones and binoculars. It is definitely not advisable to carry large sums of money around. Carry just as much money as you require for the day. Leave copies of your travel documents in the hotel safe and take you passport, driver’s licence or ID with you. Don’t take all three items with you at the same time. Keep your handbag and cell phone with you at all times and never leave them unattended to. Always keep an eye on what’s going on around you. Never allow young children to wander off. If you think someone is following you, take out your cellphone and pretend you are going to  make a call. Say the words police with enough volume for the person following you to hear. Don’t confront a person, who is following you, you may alternatively just get yourself to the nearest public place as soon as possible. Avoid going out unnecessarily after hours. If you want to call a taxi, your hotel of the nearest tourism information centre can recommend a reliable service. A police official or traffic officer will be glad to direct you if you get lost. Don’t ask strangers to take a group picture, no matter how friendly they may seem. Don’t hitchhike

On the road: Practise the same preventative skills you do in parking lots or garages at home. Become familiar with your route before you start your trip. Get a map of the route and study it. Make sure your rental car is in good working order. Learn how all the windows, door locks and other equipment work before you leave the agency. Keep your maps and rental agreement concealed, not lying around on the seat or dashboard where others can see them. Keep car doors locked while you are driving. Store luggage in the boot of the car, where it is out of site. If your car is bumped by another car, think before you get out. If you are in doubt or feel uncomfortable signal to the other driver to follow you to a nearby police station or a busy, well-lit area where it is safe to get out.

In your car: Plan your route in advance. Keep the doors locked at all times and wind the windows up. Don’t leave your cellphone or other devices where they are visible from outside the car. Lock your valuable inside the boot before your departure. At night park in well-lit areas. If in doubt about the safety of an area call a police station for advice.


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