A crime is an event that happens independently of the victims' will — it is a fact over which the victim has no control or blame. Nevertheless, it is possible to avoid situations of risk by adopting some precautions and, thus, diminishing the probability of the occurrence of a crime or decreasing the potential consequences of such an event.
Before you travel, keep in your email a digital copy of your identification documents and travel tickets, so that you have them easily accessible in case the originals are taken away from you.
Do some research and take with you the contacts of your country's consulate or embassy, and the police, hospitals and other support services available in your destination country - this will speed communication in case you need to use them. Make sure you let your family and friends know about your itinerary and provide them with the name and contact of the places where you will be staying.
When you are in a country or city you are not familiar with, ensure you plan your visit ahead, so that you avoid deserted, isolated or badly lighten places. In your research, consult published maps, the internet and speak with people who know well the locations you will visit, seeking advice about specific spots to avoid and the safest routes.
Choose safe means of transportation and be wary of clandestine bus companies or unofficial taxis — whenever possible, call a taxi company to book the service.
To avoid crimes against property (burglary or theft), leave your valuables and documents safe, preferably in the hotel safe, or if you are renting a house, in a concealed place. When you are out, only take the essentials with you — the money for the day and a copy of your identification documents.
For more travel tips for before and during your trip, click on the side menu.
Before the trip
Prepare your trip in advance, assessing the necessary logistical matters according to your country of destination.
In general, you should do the following:
- Research the literature and the internet for information about the country and cities you are visiting (which are the risk areas, the most frequent crimes and the existing support services);
- Make a digital copy of your travel documents and send it to your email address;
- Keep also a digital copy of your travel tickets in your email box;
- Make a note of the numbers of your bank cards and the contact of your providers in case you need to cancel them;
- Have a security copy of the numbers on your mobile;
- Make a list of the different services available in the country your are travelling to (including the consulate, hospital, police, victim support services, etc.)
- Leave a contact list of the places you will be staying in with your family and friends.
During the trip
In the street:
- Take a colour photocopy of your identification document and leave the original in a safe place (e.g. in the hotel safe)
- Only carry what you need and do it safely. For example, spread the money between your wallet, pockets and bags
- Always use bags with fastenings
- Never loose sight of your belongings — in restaurants or bars, do not leave your bag on the table or hanging on the back of the chair
- Avoid walking in quiet and poorly lit streets
- If you feel you are being followed or if you feel threatened, go to a safe place where there are other people (e.g. a restaurant) or, if needed, contact the police
In the hotel:
- When arriving or departing, do not loose sight of your belongings
- Always close the windows and doors of your room when you are away or when you are sleeping
- Use the hotel safe to keep your valuables
- Leave your room key in the reception (preventing it being taken away from you in the street)
If renting a house:
- Have a list and photos of the items in the house (furniture and other valuables)
- Hide your documents and part of the money in a concealed place
- Always close the windows and doors of your room when you are away or when you are sleeping.
- If you are going to be absent for a few days, do not make that obvious (keep a light on for example)
- Be wary of technical services you have not booked (water, electricity, gas, etc.), and ask the technician for identification
In the car:
- Keep your doors locked, particularly at the traffic lights
- Always park in authorised, busy and lit areas
- When you park, do not leave your belongings on display
- Do not place your belongings in the boot of the car after you park; do it before you leave the house or the hotel
- Do not display anything that indicates that it is a rental car (stickers or documents with the name of the rental company)
In the beach:
- Only take with you the necessary money and avoid taking any valuable objects
- When you are in the water do not leave your belongings unattended
- Ensure you stay near the support services (bars, restaurants, life-guard)
To prevent crimes against property, consult the APAV — Crime Prevention (http://www.complique.org/) webpage for more information.