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5 Tips when traveling to developing countries.

1) Blend in and avoid bringing materialist items. Nine out of ten locals know who's a tourist and who's not. Blend in as much as possible so you're not an obvious target. Leave the Chanel bag and your expensive jewelry at home. Items such as these bring attention to you even if you're not the richest person in the world. To a mugger, if you can afford expensive items, they think you may have more money or more valuables to take from you.

2) Name your price! Often people have the tendency to think you're loaded with money since you can afford to travel. Don't just settle on any price given to you while shopping, booking a taxi or local tours. Bargain with the seller to make the price you think is reasonable. Don't get swindled paying overly high fees when you shouldn’t. Normally, before leaving our hotel, we always make sure to ask the staff we TRUST how much we should be charged for taxis or booking tours.

3) "The where are you from question" along with the previous tip: Some locals aren’t really interested in where you're from. They want to know if you come from a place of money. Now when traveling, this is an obvious question you're going to get frequently. You have to use your best judgment with this question depending on who you're talking to. For an example, my friend from Honduras booked a tour in Mexico that was fairly cheap. I wanted to do that same tour for the same price. Later that day when I asked to book the same tour, they tried to raise the price after having a typical conversation learning I'm from New York City. Fortunately, I already knew the price they had given my friend and called them out about the pricing they had quoted to my friend earlier that day.

4) Separate your money! Spread out your money in different pockets. If you're doing a tour, and you know it cost $150USD, have that exact money in your pocket. In the other pocket should be any extra money you'll need for food or shopping around. You don't want to pull out $400USD in cash and start counting it so people know how much money you're carrying around. That person you just bought a bottle of water from doesn’t know you're going on a tour for $150, they may assume your loaded with lots of cash. It's also not a bad idea to leave any extra cash you're not using at your hotel in a hidden place to prevent people from knowing you have extended cash or in an event you ever did get mugged. This way you won’t lose all the money you brought with you.

5) Never say never and don't think it can’t happen to you. Before traveling to Bangkok I had heard how shady the city can be but my hubby and I didn’t think much of it because we’re from New York. We know what shady is in New York! We figured we can spot it in another country as well! Besides my hubby is pretty big and tall. We don’t look like the type of muggers would go after. I always feel safe with him, so who would want to mess with us?! Boy, were we wrong!! Just walking in the streets and my hubby pulls $60USD out of his pocket and here comes a young boy, grabs its, and runs away in the foreign streets. After that day nothing gets past us! Thank God it was just money that can be replaced but you must always have a guard up when traveling to places you're not familiar with.


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