Going Unnoticed When Traveling

Going unnoticed when traveling is my number one tip for staying safe. If people don’t notice you, less trouble will come your way. How do you achieve this?

Of course, this is not so easy when you visit a country where you’re a minority, but then, that’s not what I mean by going unnoticed.

Tips for Going Unnoticed When Traveling

Here are a few tips for going unnoticed when traveling that work anywhere you go and were tested on my own trips:

  • Don’t show off. Wearing clothes with big brand logos, shiny watches, and flashy shoes just grab attention you don’t need.
  • Be discrete while using your electronics. If they don’t see it, they don’t know you have it. I always carried my camera in my daypack. I took it out for a picture or two and would put it back into the backpack. Walking around with a camera around your neck is not being discrete. It’s asking to be robbed. Also, if it doesn’t feel safe to take a picture, don’t take it.
  • Walk in open areas, in the light. If there is not enough light on a sidewalk, walk as close to the road as you can staying safe from traffic.
  • Avoid staring. Some people get offended or feel threatened by it.
  • Unless you have no other option, avoid doing any sightseeing after dark on your own. I woke up early to enjoy daylight as much as possible. After dark, I had dinner and went back to my hotel to write or research for the next days. Sometimes I sat outside my hotel and watched the locals go by.
  • Avoid dodgy areas, but if you do have to walk through them, try to walk close to other people giving the idea that you’re in a group.
  • If you stay in the same place for a while, change your routines. The same tourist passing by the same place every day at the same time can be tempting.

Stick to Your Safety Rules

  • Keep your stuff locked. I had a rule: always chain my backpack with a sliding cable lock to a heavy object in the room, normally the bed. It might seem extreme, but it gave me peace of mind. I wouldn’t break this rule even if I had a roommate. It might seem a bit distrustful, but it’s when you break your rules that bad things tend to happen.
  • Don’t walk around with your passport. Leave the original at your hotel safe and take a copy with you.

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