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The following is a short "primer" on how to keep yourself and your stuff safe when traveling abroad:
1. When walking at night stick to well lit areas on the road.
2. Never carry on your person anything you do not want to lose. This means important jewelry, lots of cash, credit cards, and expensive electronics.
3. Remember that there are eyes everywhere. This means that every time you bring your IPod, lap top, and DSLR camera out of your room and into public view someone might notice and someone might either confront you right there or scope you out for a burglary later.
4. Do not flash expensive bling. Again, eyes everywhere and it could make you a mark as someone "rich".
5. Do not talk to anyone about what you have at home - your Corvette, your house, your job even. Remember where you are...while you may know that you are of modest means, they will know that just for the fact that you are on vacation you have a lot more than they do. If you pepper that notion with conversation about your possessions that only confirms it.
6. Keep your expensive stuff, cash, and passport locked up in the safe in your room or hotel lobby. Do not leave expensive stuff near the windows. A new popular rip off technique has been the "fishing line" burglary - the thief will literally fish stuff out of your room through the window.
7. Do not go off on a "trip" with a stranger. That might take some of the "adventure" out of your trip - but if you want to see some stuff off the beaten path and need a guide, use a red plated driver to do so. They know those places as well as the bartender's boyhood friend sitting at the bar drinking beer.
8. If you are approached, hand it over. Do not argue, do not puff up and try to get physical. You WILL get hurt. Remember that a thief is more desperate than you. If you stick to rule #2, this should not be a huge problem.
9. Never tell anyone where you are staying.
10. Don't get too high/drunk/whatever unless you are in a safe place to do so, like at your hotel or out with friends and/or have a driver picking you up.
11. If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair. Pack them and any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage.
12. Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity or nationality.
13. Leave at home irreplaceable family objects, all unnecessary credit cards, your Social Security card, library card, and similar items you may routinely carry in your wallet.
14. Avoid public demonstrations, political meetings, and civil disturbances.
15. Avoid loud conversations or arguments in public.
16. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.
17. Only take licensed taxis. In Jamaica they have red plates with white letters and digits.
18. Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money. Use banks, cambios, and your hotel. Do not change money on the street.
19. Ask permission before taking photographs of anyone you do not know.