Safety Guide


For almost any hotel or other lodging you will be using, you will need to provide your full name, home address, and a cell phone number. In many instances you will need to hand over your passport so that the staff can make a photocopy of it. That is standard law in most countries, and there really is nothing you can do about it. However, once you get your passport back you need to decide whether you will be storing it in your room or taking it with you around town. A good philosophy is that if you are not in a very dangerous or unstable country, you can probably leave your passport in the hotel safe or hidden inside some type of luggage or wrapped up and stored under the mattress or chair cushion. Just be sure to make a mental note to retrieve your passport before you check out of the room. If asked for identification at museums or other tourist sites, you can generally just show a drivers license. Be sure to research whether you need a passport to rent any type of motorized vehicle or bicycle (you probably do), or to purchase a tourist card or other discount package or excursion. If you are in a dangerous or unstable country, you might want to keep your passport with you at all times in case you have to make a speedy exit to the airport to get out of the country on short notice.


Personal security for excursions is almost entirely about researching your destination and mode of transportation and deciding the best time to go and the best company to use. Try to research and pre-book your excursions while still at home. If you want to book something while you are in the country, talk with the hotel concierge or the tourist information office. Be careful about booking an excursion with a broker off the street, unless it comes highly recommended. With Tripadvisor and similar websites, it should be easy to evaluate an excursion company before booking. Use your heightened personal security awareness from the minute you leave your hotel room until you return safely.