How to avoid getting mugged overseas

Carrying a decoy wallet can be a good idea. Photo / 123RF
Carrying a decoy wallet can be a good idea. Photo / 123RF

Any number of things can go wrong when you're travelling, and one of the worst scenarios is getting mugged.

While you need to be alert, your travels can be spoiled by worrying too much.

Here are some tips from travel blogger Steve Haenisch to avoid the chances of being mugged - and give you some peace of mind:

Store important stuff in a safe. That should be done as soon as you arrive in your hotel or hostel. When you're out exploring, take only as much cash as you need for the day. Make sure you have a copy of your passport for back-up ID.

• The most dangerous part of a journey can be on the way from the airport to the hotel when you're carrying everything, so it's best to take a taxi or an organised transfer service.

• Carry a second wallet. Haenisch says he carries one concealed beneath his clothes containing important documents and cards, and a second containing a bit of cash. He uses that to buy things at markets when thieves or "spotters" may be watching.

• Make sure valuable items aren't visible. Your smartphone should stay in your pocket if you're out on the streets and make sure your camera isn't hanging around your neck.

• Make sure you know the emergency contact number of your bank or credit card company to call and quickly block your cards.

• If you are going to a high-risk country additional travel health insurance coverage is always advisable. Extra insurance is also advisable if you have some really expensive equipment, such as cameras.- If you do get mugged, don't play the hero.

"In this situation I'll think it better to hand something over than to end up in hospital," Haenisch says.

Credit cards, passport, camera can all be replaced. Your health, or even life, is another matter.

- AAP

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