Top 5 Travel Security Tips


Keep a Low Profile

You don't need to announce that you are a tourist to anyone within earshot. In fact, making your presence known can be a dangerous proposition in countries where kidnappings and terrorist attacks are common.

To avoid becoming a target, follow these tips:

  • Exercise caution around crowded, touristy places, such as tourist attractions, marketplaces and packed subways or train stations. Also stay away from desolate, remote areas or alleys where you'll be alone.
  • Don't draw attention to yourself. Wearing a fanny pack and a camera around your neck are like flashing billboards that you're a tourist. Dressing expensively or ostentatiously will make you look like an easy target for thieves.
  • Look as though you belong. Figure out where you're going ahead of time. Walking around with a big map will quickly identify that you're not a local. If you do need directions, ask a police officer or go into a hotel or restaurant.
  • Watch out for anyone who seems to be staring at or following you. Report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement officials, or to the local U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Know where to go if you get into trouble, whether that's the nearest U.S. embassy, a police station or hotel.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • CDC. "What You Need to Know About Vaccinations and Travel: A Checklist."
  • CDC. "Your Survival Guide to Safe and Healthy Travel."
  • Sejvar, et al. "Leptospirosis in 'Eco-Challenge' Athletes, Malaysian Borneo, 2000. CDC.
  • U.S. Department of State. "A Safe Tip Abroad."
  • U.S. Department of State. "Tips for Traveling Abroad."
  • WHO. "International Travel and Health."


Hiking el Caminito del Rey, Once the World's Most Dangerous Trail

Hiking el Caminito del Rey, Once the World's Most Dangerous Trail

HowStuffWorks hikes El Caminito del Rey, a very dangerous hiking path in Spain that was closed to the public for 15 years after several deaths.