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34

I think the best write-up I've seen on this is at Corporatetravelsafety.com: They begin the Paris String Scam by engaging you in innocent conversation and will usually say that they want to show you a magic trick. Before you know it, a "string man" has grabbed your wrist or one or two fingers and encircled it with a homemade bracelet of colored ...


34

I'd ask if she had any blank cheques (checks) with her. A common trick is to remove a cheque or two from the middle of a book so it isn't immediately noticed. With a perfect sample of her signature, she could be set up to lose thousands of dollars from her chequing account. This was no accident. On the positive side, the motives are more likely those of ...


33

In my experience, having a positive detection at the swab testing station is not a problem. The testing machines only give an indication of possible explosive residue, and are not conclusive. Several times I have had a positive detection at the swab test station (not actually carrying or handling any explosives). If they get a positive test, they may ask ...


26

Why do you need to give them an excuse? [Currently] we have the right to opt-out, no questions asked. Having to explain yourself eats away at this right. I've never been asked why I opted-out, but if I was, I think I would say something like "to protest overly-burdensome security regulations". Which is the truth.


25

For hotel rooms there is an easy solution: It is called the "hotel safe". Earnestly, do not store important valuables in hotel rooms. Even cheap hotels have very likely a cupboard which is under constant supervision at least at daytime. If you have a rented apartment you have another situation. Burglars and thieves have the following mindset: Break in as ...


24

I'm afraid I can't find any government numbers to back up my anecdotal evidence, but Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro are all very safe - much safer than their equivalents in London, New York or any other 'world' city. I've spent many nights in each, in varying states of sobriety, and never had any problems at all. I've lost my wallet a few times (on trains, ...


23

While I don't regularly sleep in the airports, I suggest you check out these tips: Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. They've probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will ...


22

I can't find the reference now, but there was a great story that an organisation was testing security at airports around the world, by taking a suitcase to the airport and leaving it there, timing how long before it got stolen or identified. The exception was Johannesburg, where the car was hijacked enroute, and the suitcase never made it to the airport ;) ...


22

Although I haven't brought champagne in checked luggage, I have brought wine on multiple occasions. (Typically bringing it home from places with nice wine.) I roll a nice soft Tshirt around it tightly, and if I have two bottles (which might clink against each other) then after each is rolled in a shirt I wrap the two of them together in another shirt or ...


22

In most juristictions that operate with something approaching sanity, someone is liable for accidental damage in the following three cases: They caused the damage deliberately or with "blameworthy carelessness". They have entered into a contract where they explicitly accept to be responsible for the risk. The law contains an explicit exception for the ...


21

The only possible difference is that in the EU, they may not have the TSA keys. Therefore it just becomes like a normal lock that you have the keys for and they don't. So worst case, they may flag the bag for inspection and require you to open it for them. Indeed in Europe you're still allowed to lock it with whatever lock you want, so it's perfectly ...


21

One of the most effective measures I use frequently when travelling is Kensington lock. It's very likely your laptop already has the appropriate slot, so you need to buy the chain and that's about it. I lock my laptop at any rented place I stay, even if it's a reputable hotel -- no need to take any chances. The cable should fit easily in your hand baggage. ...


21

No, using a "TSA lock" is not compulsory. What using one does is enable TSA to physically inspect your luggage, if they so deem it necessary, without cutting your existing lock(s). If you use a "TSA lock", it has been designed to allow TSA to use a master key to open it. Of course, this also means, as you have surmised, that anyone else with a master key ...


19

Depending on the countries involved, both are possible and there are a few other scenarios too. You are arrested, prosecuted locally and serve your sentence where you committed your crime. As others have said, local law fully applies, it happens all the time. Your home country should be informed and can at most complain and try to exert some pressure on a ...


17

Jerusalem is no longer divided (it was divided between Jordan and Israel between 1948 and 1967). Israel controls all of it, and there are no check points or border control anywhere in the city. There are security checkpoints at the entrance to the Temple Mount, but they're there to keep the Israelis (and weapons) out, not the foreigners (as opposed to what ...


17

I'm assuming you mean onboard. It's perfectly safe. I've travelled from Washington, D.C. to Chicago, and down to Austin, Texas (two and a half days). I've also done a bit in the Pacific North West, and from NYC to Phily. So I feel I can speak on this a bit. (I also did a LOT of it in Canada on a coast to coast trip, but that was split up with buses ...


16

I spent four and a half months backpacking in the 7 countries you mentioned in 2009. Just based on my own experience I would say the difference in how dangerous a place felt was not between the countries but between places within each country, or even parts of a city. Some parts of the bigger cities should be avoided, especially at night. However many ...


16

I went several times to this park and I never had to deal with that kind of people (I am French). They certainly target tourists so I would recommend the usual stuff I apply to myself not to be bothered in such a case. Walk confidently, a bit fast. You know where you are going. Do not look around or stroll in front of them. Look in front of you. If they ...


16

TSA locks are not "mandatory", in the sense that it's perfectly legal & allowed to bring any old suitcase with any old lock into the US. However, if you use a lock that is not TSA compatible, the TSA reserves the right to break it open if they need to check the contents of your bag. The "other places" you describe seem to be more about Customs issues, ...


15

Jozza'a quote above is on so many of the 'crazy' travellers' Facebook profiles that I encounter. I'm in southern Russia at present after a 34 hour train journey, and I'm trying to work out how to get into Kazakhstan. I don't speak the language, don't know where I'm going, and am on my own. And you know what? I haven't had any problems, no crime, the train ...


15

One of the simplest, cleanest and cheapest solutions that I've seen is a couple I met who were travelling around South America. They'd back up onto a second SD card as well. When a card was full, they'd simply put it in an envelope and mail it home. Very cheap and very easy, and pretty reliable. Send it registered mail if you don't trust it. Once their ...


15

We went to Empire State Building during our Christmas season (2012) trip to NYC. I carried a small digital camera in addition to my phone which had a camera. My girlfriend carries a Nikon digital camera D50 with exchangeable lenses, and also a camera in her smartphone. Security checked the camera equipment without difficulty. I was completely unaware that ...


15

First, I believe you are overreacting to the current situation, all I'm aware of is the disappearance of flight MH370, and I believe that will eventually prove to have a tragic but non-malicious explanation, with an accident, heroic pilots (and maybe a touch of government bureaucratic incompetency thrown-in during the search, not that it would have probably ...


15

You are sort of right. People who don't need visas to enter can be turned away if the agent believes their visit will be for the wrong reasons, such as being a "stay risk" who wants to immigrate rather than visit. People who show up with visas can be turned away if the agent believes the visa was obtained by lying (such as arranging a tourist visa but ...


14

The Eurostar rules for what is prohibited cover the case of knives Carriage Prohibited: Flick knives/gravity knives, lock knives and daggers, any knives with a blade over 3 inches/75mm in length (note that standard folding knives with a blade no greater than 3 inches/75mm long are permitted to be carried). So, you'll need to measure the blade on your ...


13

Last night we had a story on Carte Blanche (a South African investigative reporting program) where they said that there are about 140 000 incidents of theft at OR Tambo per year, so the situation is still really bad despite lots of measures put in place. They showed CCTV camera footage of how the thieves know exactly where the cameras are and grab bags off ...


13

If at all possible, park near other cars. The proximity of other cars means that any potential thief not only has to watch for you returning, but also the owners of any of the other cars. An active alarm, preferably with a highly visible red light blinking in a prominent location. These tend to get ignored when they go off in urban areas simply because ...


13

Use your suitcase/bag as your pillow, you'll know as soon as you miss it! If you have more than one bag, put your hands through the bag handle or tie it to your hand or leg when you fall asleep. Most importantly travel light, the lighter you travel, the safer you will be!


13

All of the capital cities are dodgy, but some only in certain areas. Belize Belize City and Belmopan both have bad reputations, but they're the only capital cities in Central America I haven't been to. Costa Rica The most developed and safest country in Central America. San José feels safe compared to the other capitals and people do go out at night. ...


13

While the kidney thing is almost certainly nonsense, there have been quite a few (by Canadian standards) Canadians murdered in Mexico, and the police investigations verge on nonsensical. Like the young man found in a ditch covered in injuries and the police said "he must have fallen off his motorcycle, and then perhaps someone stole it since there's no sign ...



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