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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Drop down wallets and traveling safe

Travel safe. 

I read all sorts of advice online by people that some, I feel are just armchair travelers, and have never been anywhere.. 

They advise you to hide your money somewhere on you when traveling. 

Hide it where?

Thieves are not all stupid. Some are well versed in how travelers carry their cash. They might have been fooled the first time they tried to rob someone... but they learn.. they learn all about the tricks that travelers use...
So be wise, be forewarned...

Forget money belts, that is the first place they are going to look. Your socks (duh) yeah right.

Dummy wallets or drop down wallets with fake cards and some cash.. These are an insult to any intelligent thief. Getting robbed is one thing, insulting you thief is another.

And another thing, they, the thieves don't just come up to you and ask politely "oh please, please can I have all your money?"

Most likely they will be very excited, even to the point of being scared and will definitely frantically waving their arms about and madly screaming at you. 

They may have a gun and that may even be loaded, or a machete (yes and sharp). Often times thieves will be just as scared of the whole situation as you are. Robbing someone is a scary and dangerous business. I would think it could even be a stressful thing to do. I mean all they want is to take what you have and leave you alone and that is all. 

Throwing down a dummy or drop down wallet, and them seeing it empty... or sort of empty, well they will start screaming even louder. And then when they find your real wallet and its nice stash of bills, they will be really pissed off with you. Do not ever get a thief pissed off at you... remember that they have the upper hand here all the time.

So how do you travel safely?

  • Don't carry anything you do not want to lose.

  • Don't carry a lot of cash.

  • Credit cards are rarely accepted, unless in large stores (Walmart) or first class hotels..

  • Travelers cheques are useless anywhere but some banks (a thing of the past).

  • ATM's well these are sometimes aok. I try to use an ATM machine attached to a bank. Or inside a store that I know will be locked at night. Or has that guy with a nice shotgun guarding it. Nevertheless all ATM machines are all subject to and vulnerable to scanners, cameras... scam artists everywhere.

  • If you are staying anywhere for any length of time, you could open a bank account and have funds transferred to the country you're staying it. 

  • Try opening a bank account that has an affiliation to a bank in your own country. That way it can be easier to do. Some banks will require that you get your passport certified at your consulate. Others will want a utility bill from the address your staying at. The utility bill does not need to be in your name either.

  • Another way is to open up a Western Union account for yourself and then transfer money online to that account and have sent to you. They will do this, but with some added security questions that will be involved.

So back to being robbed..

If you are ever faced with a situation and in a confrontation with thieves, my advise. 


  • Your life is not worth a few hundred or worse a few thousand in cash. 

  • Your life is not worth the cost of replacing your fancy I phone or Android phone. 

  • Your life is not worth that very expensive camera you may be carrying that really you should have left at home and brought a cheapo version instead. 

  • Countless time I have had to quietly tell tourists that have that expensive camera that dangles loosely on their shoulder to be more careful with it. That camera is probably worth more than most people make in a year.

  • Dress down...  Hey they all know that you have money, a lot more money than they have... but the best way is not not flaunt that fact. 
  • Don't try to make yourself look rich.
  • Dress simple, who are you trying to impress? Leave that fancy and expensive jewelry at home, unless of course you want to donate it to a gun or machete wielding fellow.

Travel safe, live simple and have fun.. and oh yes smile a lot.

And remember ... people get robbed in every country out there, not just in less developed countries...

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