Plenty of changes have happened in the world over the last year. We’ve updated our information and tips about safety while traveling to Italy.
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Traveling can often get a bad rap where safety is concerned. We’ve all heard horror stories of thieves, pickpockets, and amorous men. While all of this does exist, the likelihood of you becoming a victim of crime will remain low if you remember to stay alert and follow a few safety practices.
The single most important thing you can do is use a money belt. These are discreet pouches that tuck into your clothing. If someone wants to rip you off they basically have to remove your pants. My guess is you are going to notice that. Thieves are looking for easy targets. They are not going to take the time or the risk trying to steal from you if you are alert and anything you may have of value in inaccessible. Instead, they will target the distracted tourist with a camera bag on one shoulder and a big fanny pack around their waist.
I do carry a small purse with a thick strap and openings secured with a zipper, but it contains nothing of value and I where it snugly over my shoulder. When I have my camera or phone out I make sure that I am aware of it at all times. When using my phone, I do so without becoming absorbed. If I must stop to look at a map or my phone while carrying a pack, I make sure I am in a spot where a can back up against a wall and never out in the open. I also have started using map applications (apps) on my smartphone to avoid carrying a large, paper map. I am in love with Google Maps which allows you to download city maps and use them without internet connection.
I watch the crowds. Pickpockets can be the typical woman with a baby and kids, but they can also be a well dressed middle aged man. Use your money belt (even though it can get sweaty in the summer), keep your valuables at home, wear your day pack or purse securely, and keep a sense of your surroundings. I leave my wedding ring at home, choosing instead to wear a band.
Another important thing to know is the location of the closest American embassy, should you ever need a passport replacement or a safe haven. American embassies are technically American soil within the borders of another country. It’s always a good safety practice to know where they are.
Finally, we have to talk about terrorism and political unrest. Attacks in Brussels and in Paris along with the increasingly tense situation with immigrants and the political uncertainty with changes like Brexit, it breaks my heart to hear people give up their travel dreams. In reality, car accidents kill 400 times as many people as terrorism. To be safe, even in crowded places, be alert. If you see something suspicious, inform a police officer or other uniformed individual. Always know where your exit is. Most importantly, don’t give up your dreams out of fear; if we stop exploring the world because we are too afraid to leave our comfort, then fear wins. Don’t let fear win. Go have an amazing adventure, go travel, and travel fearless.
Who we are:
Once in a Lifetime Travel is a passionately run company focused on mindful and fearless travel through authentic experiences and connections. We feature small, fully
guided group tours to Italy for women
Italian travel consultant
services feature focused itinerary reviews and detailed
Italy travel planning.
Go Travel, and Travel Fearless.
Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel