Saturday, August 1, 2009

Around the World Travel Guide Part 10 [No Fear Travel]

Helpful Tips for Planning a Year Long Trip Around the World Part 10
[No Fear Travel]

For most travellers, the biggest problem they will encounter is not being able to find a public bathroom. (And oh my does this become a problem. I reckon that most of McDonalds tourist business is garnered by people looking for a clean place to do their business.)

Still, there are some problems you may encounter. But if you’ve taken the proper precautions this will not be a problem.

Ahh nothing ruins your day quite like having your pocket picked, or being mugged. But honestly, if this happens just think to yourself, how much did they make off with? Twenty dollars? That would have bought you one meal – that may buy their whole family food for some time.

It’s not like you would ever keep large sums of money in your pocket at one time, would you? Would you?

Spreading out the Cash
Never keep all of your money in one place. This is a simple rule, and one that you should adhere to completely. Sure it’s fine to have your spending cash in your wallet, but this should never be a great sum of money. A good rule of thumb is, anything in your wallet, you should be ok with having stolen.

Do not leave your travel documents in your wallet, do not leave your only credit card in your wallet. In fact, never travel with only one credit card. I’d recommend getting a chipped Visa, and chipped Master Card just to be covered before you set out on your quest around the world.

There are so many places to keep money. You can use a leg wallet, a neck wallet, a money belt, an actual belt that will hold your money, a travel bra, or if you’re up to it, you can modify your own bra to hold your cash.

There are so many ways to hide money while travelling that it almost seems ridiculous that people keep getting upset at the loss of their wallet, because they had no backups.

Honestly, I recommend that you keep your money in a variety of locations. Hide fifty bucks in your pack back in your room, keep some in your day pack, and use at least two of the previously mentioned products. Sure it may sound paranoid, but when someone demands you hand over your wallet, at least you won’t have to think about it.

Think of it as your charitable donation for the year. Unfortunately it does not come with a tax rebate.

Scams on the Street
There are so many scams on the street. In fact, I myself encountered one in New York City where a man demanded I give him money for a blank DVD (which he swore contained his movie.) Did I want this DVD? No – but I was tired, and in a new place, and I got hosed. It makes a good story though: Read it here.

Simple rules people, eyes forward. Never look interested. Are they calling you over? Don’t answer. Don’t look. And if you do, don’t feel pressured. Sure, it may seem like this is easy. But thousands of people every year end up buying timeshares, when all they wanted was a free weekend holiday to go skiing.

If a bazaar has sellers that feel they need to come up to you with their product, it’s because their product is not good enough on its own, more often than not. And if you do want to buy something, well then you best be going in with a price in mind, otherwise who knows what you’ll end up paying?

And if you do get scammed, don’t get upset. Don’t let it taint your opinion of the country, or the people. There are jerks all over the world, and there are some people who really do need the income. Hey, you’re travelling the world – you can probably spare it.

So you return to find all your gear gone, after a long day touring a city. Or, worse, you are held up on the street. Whatever will you do?

Well – it’s not a problem, because you listened to my advice and bought travel insurance, right? So now all you have to do is find a police office, and file a report (yes this can be annoying, and take hours – but you need to do this within 24 hours of theft for any claim.)

Oh no! You didn’t buy insurance? Are you kidding me? Who are you? Oh well – it still might be o.k. Did you buy your gear within the last 12 months on a credit card? Most credit cards offer 12 month protection for loss, damage, or theft. You will still need to file a police report, but once that’s done, you’ll just need to contact the card company and file your claim.

Remember – you are more valuable than your possessions. And more often than not your possessions are insured. Don’t worry about theft. Just make your claim, and get right back out there enjoying your vacation. Just think, a year from now, “that time [you] got mugged in Spain,” will be a great story.

Next Up:
Wait, there’s more? Sure. Why not – I figure I’ll make a Bonus section of travellers tips. In theory I’ll continue to update these tips from time to time, or whenever I think of another good one. It should be a living document. That’s the idea, anyway.

Jump to other Parts
0. Index / Summary
1. Planning Destinations
2. Budget / Culling
3. Hotels vs Hostels
4. Internet Research
5. Tour Groups / Solo Travel
6. Important Travel Gear
7. Packs / Packing
8. Medical Requirements
9. Saying Goodbye / Staying Connected
10. No Fear Travel
Bonus: Overlooked Travel Tips and Tricks

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