Earlier this year, we helped Vancouverite Michael Graziano plan his flights to South America in an attempt to obtain his Global Degree (visiting every country in the world before he turns 30). He and his friend Alex are documenting the entire journey on their Youtube channel to share all of the ups and downs they experience along the way.
However, travel isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. You never know when you may get sick, injured, or in this case, encounter an attempted robbery.
Upon entering Buenos Aires, Michael and his friend Alex are met with a nerve racking encounter when a local attempted to rob them at gunpoint while on a bike tour. They captured the whole experience on their GoPro camera and luckily they got out of the situation unharmed. Despite the shake up, they are now on a mission to spread the word that despite this incident, Argentina is still an incredible country worth visiting.
“Although the video went viral, the last thing I want is to have this video be a direct reflection on Argentina, because the extent of my trip was wonderful. I really enjoyed the people and I really enjoyed the culture. It’s dripping with sexiness, music, dance, wine, barbecues, and family. It’s really an amazing country!” -Alex
This still raises the issue however, that there is still a high crime rate issue in Buenos Aires and it’s important for travellers to take precautions when visiting. No matter what city you find yourself in, here are some helpful tips to avoid situations like this future, and keep you (and your belongings) safe:
Tips for Staying Safe While Travelling
1. Avoid touring around a city by foot or bike with expensive equipment.
When you’re out site seeing, consider just bringing your camera and leaving your laptop/ipads/hard drives at your hotel or hostel locked up in a safe place. If you’re on the move (ie- a bike tour) just bring a GoPro or smartphone to capture the experience. Take only the minimum amount of money you think you need, and a passport photocopy. If your room doesn’t have a safe, ask the front desk if they have a safe or room to keep your valuables locked up in while you are out.
2. Consider wearing a hidden money belt.
This can easily be disguised under your clothes and will not be easily seen or accessible to pick-pocketers.
3. Travel with a reputable tour company
Consider taking a tour with a reputable tour company that won’t take you through unsafe areas of a city, or will warn you what areas to avoid. Companies like Urban Adventures offering short day tours in most major cities and have received some very good ratings from their travellers. Talk to a Flight Centre Travel Expert for more information on tour companies to consider.
4. Bring back-up bank and credit cards
The longer your trip is, the more likely your primary cards will be compromised or lost and thus the need to access other bank accounts. Pack these backup debit and credit cards in your larger backpack/suitcase so that if you lose your wallet or day bag, the other set will still be safe at the hotel.
5. Memorize your passport number
A passport number is commonly required as part of the hotel check-in procedure and sometimes for tours. The less often you pull out your passport, the less you expose the contents of your money belt or bag for the world to see.
Have any more great tips for keeping you and your belongings safe when travelling? Leave a comment below!