Travel Tips for Europe
In this guest post, WorldNomads.com take a look at some tips for travelling in Europe. WorldNomads.com is an essential part of every adventurous traveller's journey. Follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.
As the winter snow begins to melt, and spring starts to unravel into full bloom, Europe is starting to look like a much brighter and desirable destination for travellers.
But lurking beneath the wonderful sights, smells, sounds and unbridled frivolity is a small cabal of nasty travel trolls that can snare you quickly. So here are our 5 tips for a fun-filled European vacation that's heavier on hedonism than it is laced with larceny and louts.
1. Pickpockets and Scam Artists
Speaking of thieves, pickpocketing is probably the number one potential dragon you will have on your Europe trip. In basically every major centre in every European country, you will find some element of the world's oldest crime.
The methods and devices that pickpockets use to try and take the contents of your pants are steeped in old traditions; here is how you can combat a few.
- Pickpockets will try to distract you with any means possible. It could be using children to get your attention, shooting you with water pistols, pretending to be a tourist, pretending they are hurt, or simply just approaching you for conversation. It's not to say experience your trip through blinkers and be afraid of anyone and everyone you encounter, but just be on your guard when anything unusual happens.
- To minimize your exposure to pickpockets, make their job as hard as possible. Try to not wear expensive brand clothing and flash around expensive equipment like cameras, iPads and jewellery. Keep nondescript and try your best to blend in with the locals.
- It's also important to be on the lookout for scam artists - we can't list every single permeation, but a few good rules can be followed. First: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Second: Dodgy agents will do anything to get you to part with your cash. Third: Counterfeit merchandise is not only illegal to buy, it is complete rubbish and will give you a few months use at the very most.
- Also, make sure you keep all your money and important documents in a money belt underneath your clothing - wallets and purses are an easy thing for pickpockets to get their hands on.
- Don't leave valuables in bags.
- Don't leave your items on tables or on the backs of chairs.
- If you get hassled by a pickpocket, simply don't respond. Walk away without acknowledging their presence - engaging with them will only create more opportunities for them to distract you.
2. Train Safety
One of the best ways to get around Europe is to take advantage of the excellent sleeper train system - and thieves know this very well. This is why you need to be vigilant with your pack or suitcase or it could be going on a solo journey of its very own.
Make sure you keep an eye on your pack when embarking on and off trains and make sure that if you are going to get some shuteye, that you have at least rudimentary locks to keep wandering hands the hell away from your personals.
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