14 tips for a safe stay

Travel broadens the mind through new experiences. But one experience you don’t need to have is a dangerous situation. Here are 14 tips to keep in mind when you’re out exploring a new culture.

• Get to know the concierge and hotel staff. Tell them where you’re going and when you’ll be back – especially when you’re travelling solo.

• Keep your room number private. If the desk clerk announces it aloud, have your room changed.

• Ask for a room between the second and seventh floors – high enough to deter ground-level entry by thieves but low enough in case of fire.

• If you’re travelling alone, ask for a room that isn’t near a stairwell (a good hiding spot and easy exit for thieves).

• Always store your passport, tickets, cash and other valuables in the hotel safe when you go out.

• If your passport is stolen or lost, contact the nearest Canadian embassy as well as police.

• Avoid political or other demonstrations or gatherings. You could easily be taken for a demonstrator which, in some countries, could mean jail.

• Carry only the nimum amount of cash you need for the day, and use a money belt or waist purse.

• Learn the words for “help” and “police” in the local language.

• Have your hotel call you a cab so you’re sure it’s a legitimate one.

• Don’t discuss your travel plans with strangers.

• Never accept food or drink from strangers. Criminals can drug their targets in order to steal their money and passports.

• Watch for people in close proximity – they may be pickpockets.

• Always carry the name of your hotel on a card and in the language of your host city.