In our Be Smart series we took a look at common things that you might encounter that seem strange that you should be informed about, common scams that you would encounter and how to deal with them.
Now, with all that learning out of the way we must cover something very important.
Your first priority is always to stay safe. No exceptions.
The first part covered how not to get taken advantage of so that you can make the most out of your vacation, how not to lose valuables and not stress about your trip.
The most important thing though, is to always stay safe.
If you are afraid for our safety in the neighbourhood that you’re in, immediately walk away, get in the first taxi that comes along. Pay the exorbitant price and when you’re no longer worried, go to the nearest 7-11, buy yourself and ice cream, sit on a bench and relax.
If you’re afraid of confronting someone when you do get taken advantage of, don’t. Move along. Remember what you lost and make sure to not do it again. For example, don’t go to “normal” exchange rates any more, go to ones in malls. Sure, your exchange rate will be a bit worse, but it’s worth it because you wont have to put yourself in what you’d consider a dangerous situation.
If the hotel you’re in is truly awful and you can manage to get a refund, contact the booking site and get a refund through them and in the mean time move to another place.
If you fear your taxi driver, ask him to stop immediately, give him enough to cover the meter, or even the entire trip and leave immediately.
For an extra dose of security, depending on how courageous and experienced you are before you go write down the number for the police and your embassy and as soon as you arrive, get a SIM card. That way you’ll be able to contact someone in case of emergency.
At the end, it’s no fun if you don’t feel safe and comfortable.