Kathleen Crislip says:
- If you've grown up in a small town and this is your first big trip, you may not be prepared for the fact that not everyone you meet in a big city has your best interests at heart.
- Not being able to speak the local language while traveling, for example to Mexico, could hinder you from getting help.
- Street crime takes forms in other countries that you may not have seen at home, even if you live in a large city.
- Scam artists and conmen may target you because of your youth, which they might equate with naiveté.
- Check U.S. government issued travel warnings and consider not choosing a destination that the State Department is advising Americans to avoid.
- Invest in a phrasebook and memorize some possibly helpful phrases before you leave home. For example, if you're going to Mexico you might want to learn: "Socorro!" (Help), and "Llama a la policia!" (Call the police).
- Use the same safety precautions you would at home: avoid walking alone on deserted streets after dark, keep your travel cash stashed, and stay alert.
- Pay attention in taxis and on trains - you're unlikely to get too far from your bags during air travel, but losing them during other transportation is easier than you might think.
- Watch the crowd - Many thieves prefer crowded areas. Stay alert in places like bus stations and during street celebrations, where you're likely to be jostled - thieves use these circumstances to grab for your purse or to pick your pocket.