Smart Travelers Don’t Do This in Big Cities Abroad
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Whether it’s Paris, Delhi, or New York, there’s a good chance your international trip will take you to a large city. Major cities are cultural and tourism centers, full of attractions to see and new experiences to enjoy. However, you need to be smart when visiting a big city abroad. Even the safest large population centers have crime, and doing the wrong thing can put you at greater risk of being a victim.
To have a safe and enjoyable international trip, we recommend not doing the following five things in large cities abroad.
Walking With Your Phone in Your Hand
We get it. Smartphones are useful tools, and practically extensions of our bodies at times. But do yourself a favor and put your phone away when walking in crowded areas. They’re extremely easy targets for thieves in squares and shopping plazas, on public transport, and in desolate areas of the city. One minute you’re reading up on tourist attractions or scanning a map, and the next a thief has grabbed your phone from your hand and run off. Now you’re stuck in an unfamiliar city without an expensive and valuable possession.
To avoid this, keep your phone in an inner pocket of a purse or backpack, or in a pant pocket that isn’t visible from the outside. Also, be sure to turn on your phone’s GPS tracking software, and write down its serial number in case it does get stolen.
Using a Low-Security Bag or Backpack
Keeping your valuables safe and secure is priority #1 when sightseeing in a foreign city, making a backpack or other bag a tourist’s best friend. But you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage if you’re carrying a standard bag. Get one with high-security features.
Such features include slash-proof fabric and straps to resist having the bag or contents stolen with a blade, hidden zippers, concealed pouches, and even a GPS tracker. Regardless of the type of bag you carry, keep it on the front of your body in crowded places, and never put valuables in the outer pockets.
Dressing Flashy or Like a Tourist
Though you may love your expensive jewelry and designer clothing, you might as well wear a sign proclaiming “I have a lot of money to steal” if you don it in cities abroad. Sightseeing is not the place to wear your Rolex or bling.
Instead, try to blend in. Look how most locals dress and try to dress similarly. The best way to avoid being targeted as a tourist is to not look like a tourist. So, also put away the binoculars, get rid of the stuffed cargo pants, and try to be less conspicuous.
Hailing a Taxi at Rush Hour
If you try getting a taxi in Bangalore, London, Chicago, or Kuala Lumpur right at rush hour, you’ll get a firsthand introduction to sitting in traffic for upwards of two hours, along with an expensive cab fare.
Instead, make use of the public transport that’s available in most major cities. The trains, subways, and buses may seem confusing and involve a bit more walking, but they’re well worth the effort for the time you can save.
Going Without Travel Insurance
No one travels abroad with the intention of getting the flu or breaking their leg. But prepared travelers always have the right insurance coverage in case it happens. Remember, the domestic health insurance from your home country is unlikely to be sufficient to cover medical emergencies abroad, so you need the appropriate coverage for your destination.
For international trips to the US, get visitors medical insurance. Healthcare costs in the US are extremely high, and a single medical emergency could bankrupt you if you don’t have visitors insurance coverage. Many visitors insurance plans participate in PPO networks, allowing for direct billing and network-negotiated rates, and they can all cover you for any new medical condition that occurs after the effective date of the policy in accordance with the policy’s wording.
If you’re traveling abroad to an international destination other than the USA, get travel medical insurance. Remember, just because a country may offer socialized healthcare for residents, it doesn’t mean the same will cover foreign visitors. You need travel medical insurance to cover you for new illnesses and injuries that occur abroad.
If you’re traveling to a Schengen country on a Schengen visa, purchasing Schengen visa medical insurance is mandatory. You must provide proof of this insurance coverage as part of the Schengen visa application process. We can provide you with compliant insurance as well as an instant visa letter to provide to the consulate.