1. Do your research to learn common travel scams – check Google to learn the most common scams in your travel destination.
  2. Create a safety plan – know where you will meet your people if you get separated, ensure everyone has a copy of each other’s passport number, emergency numbers, and local police, and the number to the hotel. Plan for getting help before you need it, and affirm the plan often.
  3. Sightsee in numbers and keep your family close. Make sure everyone knows the Safety Plan.
  4. Carry the business card of your accommodations. Book your room for the upper floors of the building if possible.
  5. Make photocopies of your passport, driver’s license, and accommodation confirmations and leave them with someone at home. Let family at home know your itinerary.
  6. Minimize the opportunity for theft – don’t flash cash around, keep your wallet and passport in front pockets, attach your purse or backpack to your chair with a carabineer, never set your handbag or backpack on the floor.
  7. Don’t share too much with strangers: don’t tell them where you are staying, or that its your first time in the country. Be polite but private.
  8. Use licensed taxi and ride share options and settle on a price before you get in.
  9. Stay in public places where there are plenty of other people. Try to blend in as much as possible.
  10. Ensure your clothing matches the environment – nothing screams tourist like expensive clothing and jewelry in developing countries, or wearing a bathing suit in a supermarket. Try to not stand out.
  11. Plan to arrive during the day. Its best to get oriented to your accommodation and neighborhood in daylight. If your accommodations are not suitable, it is easier to make other arrangements during daylight hours.
  12. Don’t jump in to help someone who appears to be in distress. Let local authorities manage the emergency.
  13. Tune into body language cues – both yours and people around you. Walk confidently and with purpose, make brief eye contact, put your phone and your map away. Notice how you feel about people in your vicinity. If there is any discomfort, move to a different location, even to the back of a queue if need be.
  14. Inform your bank and credit card company that you are travelling.
  15. Be alert to suspicious ATMs – Pull on and jiggle the card reader, if it appears to be loose or tampered with, use another machine or go into the bank. Protect your PIN while using the ATM and debit machines in stores or restaurants.
  16. Do not use your back pocket. It is the first place a pick-pocket will look. Put your money and wallet in your front pocket, oruse a money belt.
  17. Stay sober. Stay sober. Stay sober! And protect your drink with a lid. Bring your own insulated cup from home, pour your drink in it and enjoy.
  18. Trust your instinct and respond in ways that keep you safe – remove yourself from the situation. Never negate this feeling, it will keep you safe every single time!
  19. Stay alert, be aware and be responsible.
  20. Learn basic self-defense – establish your boundaries, stay aware, and be prepared. Do all you can to avoid a physical confrontation, but if you cannot avoid, then scream and fight back as much as you can!