Things to do and not to do when you travel abroad!
Yes theft is everywhere and YES you must take precautions when you travel!
1- Lock your luggage with a TSA lock, in flight and at the hotel/villa. Make sure to rotate the numbers on the lock, so no one can easily open it or remove the lock.
2- When riding a train it’s a good idea to bring a bike lock and lock the suitcases together. Or to the pole near the luggage rack, this makes it difficult for someone to walk away with your luggage!
Most of these maneuvers are done very quickly by the thieves, they are experts. Don’t make it easy for them.
3- Take a snapshot of your of your passport with your iPhone, text and email it to yourself. This way if they are lost or stolen you have all of the information readily accessible.
4- Make copies of your passports, credit cards (both sides) and keep then with your passport.
5- Once you check in note where the local police are and the ambulance phone numbers (especially if you are staying at an independent Villa or Apartment). Know where your local Farmacia “pharmacy” is located.
6- Notate your address and the concierge or villa owners phone number. Be sure to put it in your phone and write it down. Ask them for the “off hours”
emergency contact information.
7 – Do not leave your credit cards or anything in a back pack! Keep the in your undergarment tote (you can buy these at Walmart for $5.00), or a money belt. You can get the pouch that wraps
around your waist (UNDER YOUR UNDER GARMENTS).
8- Do not walk around with cash in your hand, do not tap an ATM in a remote area. It’s a good idea to have someone on “look out” and don’t do this alone.
9- Do not exit the taxi without all of your belongings. And do not pay the taxi until you have your luggage outside the taxi cab.
10- DO NOT roam the streets late at night, do not go alone to a bar or a club if you are traveling solo. And solo or not don’t stay outside in the towns late. Once the crowds start to go indoors, you do the same. Early to bed and early to rise, enjoy the attractions when other people are around.
11- When at the train stations, keep walking, stay focused & do not stop for begging mothers with small children. They will attempt everything to get you to pay attention, even throw their child at you.
The entire family and smaller children are going to take your purse the moment you pause. Keep walking have your car waiting for you.
12- In the larger cities Naples, Rome, Florence, Milan and in Sicily, pay careful attention as thefts happen and you don’t realize you’ve been “pick pocketed” until you reach for your
wallet or money! If you have to take a taxi ask the price before entering.
13- I usually “tap MAC” it’s called the BANCOMAT. This is the best exchange rate you’ll get once you are there. Don’t exchange your money for EUROS at the US or Italian airports, you’ll pay a lot more. Just use the “BANCOMAT,” which is the ATM. Be sure to call your bank before leaving your country and inform they you will using your credit card abroad. Many credit card companies give you a pin code to use abroad.
14- PLEASE DO NOT PAY FOR POTTERY and have it shipped to you. You’ll never see it again! This happened to me too many times. Ship it yourself at the MAIL BOXES etc. You can find them in large cities and on the Amalfi Coast. If you can’t bring it back with you, don’t buy it!
15- If you have problems call the police. They are helpful and will take a police report.
16- Be it a restaurant, a taxi driver, a boater, an excursion, try not to arrange in Italy. Please set them up with me before you get there. I have long standing relationships with boaters, taxi drivers, chef’s, etc.
I have personally selected these people for your safety and quality of service.
17- Be sure to take your prescription medication with you, make a note and read the list before you leave your home. I would take an Antibiotic, Motrin, Tylenol, and Benedryl everywhere you travel.
I had an allergic reaction at dinner one night. Benedryl is a helpful medication and easy to take with you.
Now you know more and you will be alert and notice these things! You can now enjoy your time and how to avoid the scammers and tourist traps!