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Travel Security

Travel Security knowledge is what allows a person to feel secure, safe, and satisfied with their trip. Learn Professional Travel Tips

Mon, 9 Aug 2010 18:00:13

"Americans come to Guatemala --- they talk to Guatemalan people as if --- We are the light ---"
"This is annoying and stupid, this feeling of superiority gets them into trouble."
- Mario owner of Internet Cafe in Rio Dulce, Guatemala

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
- Helen Keller


Security is Situational Awareness and attention to detail.

Security is state or feeling of being safe and protected, the freedom from worries of loss, the assurance that something of value will not be taken away. What  provides a sense of protection against loss, attack, or harm, what makes you feel safe, and protected against attack? There are precautions to maintain safety: precautions taken to keep somebody or something safe from crime, attack, or danger, there are security measures to learn and know.

Inside you home, neighborhood and city you know the dangers and subconsciously take the necessary precautions to be safe. When you travel outside the 25-50 mile radius or your home and neighborhood the rules change, the situations change, the people change, and you must adapt and cope with new problems. There are solutions to your security problems, there is a need for common sense so you do not become the target.


I met a Canadian man by the name of Jack in Acapulco, Mexico, he had worked in many countries doing large tunnel construction projects. For years he went from country to country working as management that ran these slip-form concrete projects. He married a women from Mexico City and lived until he died of cancer in Mexico, he was good friend and a true source of travel wisdom. Over the years he was involved in some crazy situations, he went into partnership on fish farm in Costa Rica with a famous Soccer athlete, then his corrupt partner had the contracts changed and he lost most of his saving. He moved to Acapulco and  purchased a Condominium with his Canadian wife, then continued to travel and work around the planet. He returned to Acapulco and while he was gone his wife had used the Power of Attorney to transfer all his assets in Canada and the world into her name.

Extremely good natured and a drinker of many beers during the hot beach days of Acapulco, Mexico, I remember him saying,
"Never talk about God or Politics."

This was the best advice given to me, it appears simple to obey.


To stay safe and security outside your neighborhood or home is simple enough if you do not volunteer to be a target. The goal than is to stay out of the crosshairs of both criminals who wish to rob you, and angry people who would hurt you. This is done by not looking like a good person to be robbed, this is rather simple, yet somehow the self-esteem of tourist lies in conspicuous consumption and being a big spender.

To stay safe from deadly consequence, you need to understand what it means to "never talk about God or Politics." This means, you not only cannot talk about these subjects you do not have the right to tell other people how to live, it is common respect. It is the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." You may think a person is poor, weak, living in poverty, you may feel guilty with your overwhelming amount of wealth in comparison, however, you do not have the right to treat them different. Simple with politics or God, remember, "You are not God."

Safety and Security by Hotel Budget
0-10 US Dollars per Day
10-25 US Dollars per Day
25-100 -US Dollars per Day
100-150 US Dollars per Day
150-200 US Dollars per Day
200-300 US Dollars per Day
300-500 US Dollars per Day

Over 500 US Dollars per Day

Security Solutions
Situational Awareness and attention to detail is needed, than if your instincts tell you their is danger, you obey and avoid the situation. Never assume you are more powerful or stronger, there is always a bigger threat, the savvy person never is involve, to be involve is failure.

Mythical Beliefs about Security - These are false, and truly the opposite

  1. Your safe in an expensive hotel
  2. A bodyguard can protect you
  3. Walking with a locals is safer than being alone.
  4. Tours are safe
  5. Meeting Friends will help
  6. Having a person help translate
  7. Renting a car is safe, because you drive yourself

List of Situations where Precaution is Needed

  1. Accidents
  2. Airplane
  3. Bus - The compartment above the seat is bad, put your foot through the strap below chair.
  4. Travel Insurance - Does no include countries with Travel Warning by Government.
  5. Kidnapping - Five Star Hotel problem
  6. Missing People - Normally too drunk to contact home, but many girls come up missing.
  7. Missionaries
  8. Mythical Ideas on Travel Security
  9. Loss of Items
  10. Physical Danger - Normally happens to drunks after midnight.
  11. Rape - Constant problem in the Spanish or Latino world, and date rape is epidemic
  12. Restaurants - Do not put your cell phone, camera, money belt, or day bag down, nothing, your foot through strap and the richer the country the more important.
  13. Routine is Needed for Travel Security
  14. Terrorist - Like getting struck by lightening.
  15. Theft
  16. Tours
  17. Train - While you sleep you bag disappears, you must chain it to the walls or chairs.
  18. Volunteers - You are set up as target for all Travel Scams, and volunteers are traditionally naive.
  19. Walking - Do not have camera around your neck, chains on neck, watch, and billfold in back pocket.
  20. Price of Hotel - The middle range is the most prone to Theft 25-125 Dollars

Most to Least Travel Security Situations

Top 10 Dangerous Activities of Travel

  1. Driving a rented motorcycle
  2. Driving a rented car
  3. Riding a Bicycle
  4. Drinking alcohol with locals or new friends in a bar.
  5. Having sex with a local or prostitute
  6. Being a volunteer or missionary that gives large items of value to a community
  7. Living in a Five Star Hotel in an Islamic Country

Theft --- Most to Least Travel Secure

  1. Walking from bus to Hotel
  2. Cleaning or Housekeeping cleaning room.
  3. Walking Home after Midnight from Bars Drunk
  4. When a person comes up and becomes you friend
  5. Walking around in a tourist market
  6. Restaurant Sitting with Bags under Table
  7. Bringing Local Lover to your room
  8. While on the Bus
  9. Giving the Keys to the Hotel Reception
  10. Beach
  11. Swimming Pool
  12. Losing items and not being robbed

Losing Items, Most Likely to be Lost

  1. Cell Phone
  2. Day Bag
  3. Books
  4. Guidebook
  5. Umbrella
  6. Jacket or Sweaters
  7. Sandals

Items Most Likely to Stolen

  1. Music Electronics
  2. Camera
  3. Cell Phone
  4. Wallet or Billfold
  5. Items in Cargo Pockets
  6. Day Bag
  7. Whole Backpack
  8. Guidebook

Danger of being Hurt by Accident

  1. Riding bicycle on public highways
  2. Walking on highways
  3. Driving a Rental Car
  4. Driving a Private Car
  5. Motorcycle Accident
  6. Strained back because of backpack weight
  7. Bike Accident
  8. Getting hit by car or motorcycle
  9. Walking out of elevated stop into shower

Danger of being Attacked by Humans

  1. Walking Home Very Inebriated after Midnight
  2. Walking from bus, train or transportation terminal with all your bags
  3. In the taxi from the Airport or Transportation to you hotel
  4. Doing good deeds for a community
  5. Taking a photo of people
  6. Girls accosted by men after being in a bar
  7. Entry into room of Hotel

Most Likely way you will be Killed

  1. Car Accident
  2. Argument in Bar
  3. The village attacks you because you constructed a school or made an obviously large contribution to the community.
  4. Going into business that competes with locals business

Love Problems in Room

  1. Money
  2. Cell Phones or Electronics
  3. Scam with Police, whereby the police needs bribed.
  4. Young girl who appears old words scam with police.
  5. Fight whereby the Police are called.
  6. Pimp or other Lover Comes to Room to fight
  7. Lover takes you somewhere, while friends of lover robs room.

Natural Problems - Earthquakes, Floods, Typhoons and Hurricanes
These situations are handled the same in or out of your home country, there is a need though to stock up on food, and stay in your room more than normal You need to resist the temptation to try to save the world, you are truly having trouble saving yourself. If you wish to contribute, pay for labor, 5-10 dollars can pay the salary for a person for a day and help a family be fed, if you personally work you are robbing the wages from a local.

The chance of being involved in a terrorist situation is about the same as being stuck by lighting. There is truly only one piece of advice, do not stay in the most expensive hotels in Islamic Countries.

Need to Do

  1. Do not put items on table in front of open window
  2. Close the curtains so nobody knows what you own.
  3. Chain Backpack to table in room
  4. Buy lock to connect all you luggage
  5. Lock you bags
  6. Do not allow cleaning people to clean room with you not in the room.

Insurance Against Problems

  1. Airline Insurance, this can be helpful if you have many medical problems.
  2. Insurance does not cover countries where the government issues travel warnings.

Travel Blogs Post by Andy Graham

Andy' Favorites
US Geological Survey  Volcanoes - Earthquakes
US Government Travel Warnings
US Government  Warning List
United Kingdom
Danger Finder

Top 10 Ways to be Robbed when Traveling
050  Avoiding Danger - Remember you have choices.
067  Secret Pockets
077  Designated Travel Pants
076  Why I was robbed
075  Cooperatively Rob Oration
057  Look into their eyes.
014a  How to put your own lock on your door.
021  What to do in a Military Coup?
029  What to do after you are robbed?
124  Dangerous Clothes
123  How Freedom Defined?
121  Illusions of Safety
120  Travel Instincts - Intuition - Insight
117  Backpack Camouflage.
Small Annoyances
Travel Crimes of Convenience
Danger - Travel Rape - Where you will get raped?
Travel Locks
How to be Macho for safety reasons when traveling?
Danger Quotes
Big Dog Theory or Alpha Theory



DANGER - Types of Danger for traveler or tourist
     Ferry Capsize or Sink - Amazon River - Mekong - Philippines
     Car Accidents
     Ran over by car - (I believe this is most dangerous situation for travelers.)
     Kidnapped and killed
     Raped and killed
     Airplane Crash
     Bus Crash
     Train Crash

SCAM - Submit Scams
     Taxi Scams
     Timeshare Scams
     Jewelry Scams
     Tour Scams
     Hotel Scams
     Airline Scams
     ATM SCAM ALERT - Contributed by Lynn

City Crime Rankings by Morgan Quitno Corporation, this company publishes  an annual reference book


Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets, although this type of danger is probably the smallest worry for travelers, you are probably more likely to get hit by lightening, but if you a worried my recommendation is to not drive a rental car, live in 5 Star Hotels, or stay in one place more than three night, be irregular or unpredictable in your travel, and do not have a translator or guide. Be part of the local population and do not represent western values.


WARNINGS: Subscribe to Newsletter Travel Warnings Warning List


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