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Travel safety tips

Planning to go abroad on a vacation or to take a trip to the unvisited part of your own country? Take our safety advice to avoid probable dangerous or unpleasant situations in travel; the given tips may be useful especially for beginner tourists.
- Get detailed map of the place of your destination and become acquainted with the general checkpoints and transport junctions around the respective locality. Obtain the maximum of security-related information concerning your tour and respective places from your travel agent.
- Secure your house before departure. Take care of your valuables; we recommend you to take minimal amount of valuables in a journey, and it�s preferred to store most part of them in a bank safe before leaving home.
- Keep photocopies of your passport, visa, airline or other tickets and a list of your traveler�s checks with you in a separate location from the originals and leave copies with someone at home (also keep one set of copies with yourself).
- The kind of your dress is a point of considerable importance. Dress casually and unsophisticated to divert criminal�s attention from yourself. Comfortable clothes might help you to escape in a danger.
- Don�t take a lot of baggage. It�s desirable to place all the items (except documents, credit cards and cash) in a single trunk (suitcase). Being not overburdened by heavy and bulky baggage, you can move freely and will attract less attention of criminals. Also you will be able to control the surrounding conditions better.
- When you�re at an airport, you always keep your valuables and all the baggage with yourself. This fact is also evident to the thieves, and they won�t lose a chance of robbing you silently if you�re inattentive and careless. Try to register and get through passport control zone quickly � thus you will leave the area of the thieves� activity.
- Keep valuables only in a hand baggage.
- Don�t linger at an airport after landing and a following passport control. Try lo leave it quickly.
- Remove all identification badges after meetings.
- Take only official (not unmarked) taxis; avoid occasional private drivers offering their service. Pay special attention to this point when leaving airport.
- When you�re accommodated in a hotel, store your documents, valuables and most of money in a safe. Hotel administration will be responsible for the items placed in their safe. When leaving a room, secure your suitcase/trunk with a lock to prevent probable ransacking � even a small and cheap combination lock will be a good protection.
- For extra security against intruders, lodge a rubber door stop under the room door.
- Avoid permitting unknown people in the room. If a person claiming to be a hotel employee insists on entering, call the front desk and verify the person's identity and reason for coming in the room.
- Study a map before leaving the hotel. Ask a concierge or guide to mark any dangerous areas on the map.
- When leaving the room, place the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, and leave the television or radio on. Do not leave the "Please Make Up Room" sign outside the door; call housekeeping instead.
- Waiting for a public transport (bus, train, etc), stand in a well-lit and occupied (by non-shady people) areas. When taking a bus, seat near driver�s cabin. When entraining, try to sit in a busy compartment and keep personal possessions right next to you or over your knees. Choose seats by aisles when possible, to make a quick exit easier.
- Be familiar with train schedules to avoid waiting on platforms.
- Remember that crowded places including public transport are primary zones of thieves� (pickpockets�) activity. Thieves may use razor blades to cut purse straps or to slit the purse, take valuable or the whole purse, and escape in a crowd.
- Be aware of the fact that criminals in some countries might wear police uniform.
- Seek out emergency phone numbers for destinations, and put the numbers on speed dial in your mobile phone.
- If you decide to rent a car, don�t take fancy models that will attract criminals. Pay attention to car�s working condition. Avoid renting car with an evident attributes of leasing company � criminals might hunt for such cars knowing that they are used mostly by wealthy tourists. Always lock up doors of a car, even while driving. If possible, rent a car equipped with an air conditioner and keep windows closed all the time. Park a car only at official parkings. Don�t park next to vans. When parking or entering a vehicle, survey the cars parked on either side.
- Carjackers often try to attract drivers' attention to get them to stop, or bump them from behind. If a minor accident occurs, do not stop: drive to a lit, busy area (preferably a police station) and exercise caution. If driving to such an area is not feasible, stay in the car and blow the horn to attract attention.
- Criminals often play on victims' sympathies. Beware of men walking with canes, or limps, requesting help to enter or handle their vehicles (especially vans).
- Thieves/pickpockets often perform certain tricks to distract tourists and then steal their valuables. For example, one person �accidentally� drops ice cream on a traveler's shoulder, apologizes and offers to wipe it off (usually with a large handkerchief). As one thief wipes off an ice cream and distracts the traveler, a partner picks the traveler's pockets.
- Become familiar with foreign currency before using it. Make all the currency exchange operations only at the bank offices; avoid small street currency exchange places.
- Before entering elevator, survey its occupants, and don�t enter it if the situation looks potentially threatening. Do not stand in the back corners of the elevator - stay near the front, by the doors, ready to exit. Stand by the buttons. If a potentially threatening person enters the elevator, leave it.
- In some countries, security personnel are sensitive about use of cameras and binoculars regarding military or police installations, roads, bridges, or anything that might be considered a strategic target. Travelers using these devices without asking prior permission may be detained or upbraided by security personnel.