Capital cities are the most popular destinations around the world. Everyone wants to visit London, Paris, Tokyo and Rome at least once in their life. Capitals have the best museums, the best theatre productions and the best food. However, they also have some things you need to be aware of. These things might include currency exchange scams, high parking fees, invisible boundaries and fines for small things like littering. So if you would like to enjoy your visit to a capital city without stepping in a cultural or economic puddle, then you should be aware of these things.
Your personal belongings
As you walk around looking at the statues, gazing at the skyscrapers, you must be aware that there are scammers everywhere. One of the things you need to be wary of are pickpockets on public transport and high-traffic zones.
- Put your purse or bag in front of you. Hang it over your quads instead of at the side on your hips. This way you can see it all the time and avoid prying hands trying to unzip it.
- Put your purse in the larger bag cavity. If it’s on the outside, the shape of it will be spotted and it will be an easy target.
- Put your phone in your jacket pocket instead of your jeans. Once again the shape of it in your jean pockets will be spotted. The same goes for your wallet.
What to do when…
If you happen to lose your wallet along with your identity then you need to contact the embassy. The embassy may locate the stolen items for you but they can’t necessarily help with the damage that has been done. If the thieves have stolen your identity, such as bank account, address and perhaps your passwords on virtual accounts, then you need tough and aggressive criminal defense attorneys. They will build a case of stolen identity and push forward with compensation for money lost. It’s a good idea to make sure they are a domestic legal team who know the laws of the land instead of contacting your own lawyer back home.
In almost every country you will have scammers who prowl the streets in search of gullible tourists. There are some who offer currency exchange ‘services’ on the street. They will give you a very good rate. However, when something is too good to be true, it often is. They will give you money which isn’t even the nation’s money, hoping that you can’t tell the difference. They might also hide the true exchange rate they are offering and say it’s only for exchanges above a certain threshold, but you’ve already given away your money to them. Always use a certified exchange rate, never go to what seems to be a false exchange rate counter. Check they have the right certificates and ask a local police officer if you can’t find one.
It’s often the star-struck tourist that falls prey to these things. Enjoy your time abroad but don’t have your head in the clouds, lest your trip is ruined by a silly mistake or lack of awareness.