Before embarking on your journey, you should take a few safety precautions at home. Lock all windows, balcony and patio doors and double-lock your front door, even if you are only going away for a few days. Avoid leaving any signs that your home is temporarily unoccupied. These include constantly closed blinds, drawn curtains, piles of post or an overflowing postbox and answering machine messages. It is advisable to ask family or friends to pick up your post or empty your postbox and make sure your home looks inhabited. Neighbourhood watch is a great help in keeping unwanted visitors at bay. Also, do not leave a spare key lying around. Deposit all valuables in a safe, a safety deposit box or with relatives while you are away.
When using public transport, at the train station or at the airport, i.e. in crowded places, expect pickpockets to be operating. Never leave your luggage and valuables unattended. You should always keep handbags, cameras and coats on you and refrain from putting them down anywhere or hanging them over the back of a chair. Keep your travel documents and valuables in a safe place. It is advisable to carry money, cheques, credit cards, etc. in closed inner pockets or neck pouches close to your body. Also, do not accept any luggage or items from strangers if you don't know what's in them.
Always keep your travel documents, valuables and house keys in a safe place, even when on holiday. If possible, you should give these to the hotel for safekeeping – if this seems like a safe option. Be on your guard for pickpockets and bag snatchers. Do not fall for diversionary tactics such as someone bumping into you or spilling a drink down you. Bag snatchers often strike while driving by on mopeds or motorbikes. Also be careful with invitations from strangers and over-helpfulness. Foreign currency should only be exchanged at banks or hotels to avoid counterfeit money. Be sure to get a receipt. Always keep an eye on your card when paying by credit card. Credit cards can be copied very quickly.