Traveling to Italy is a safe experience but unless you have been there before, it's going to mean you're in unfamiliar territory. So it pays to know a few safety and security tips for traveling in Italy that will make your trip trouble free and enjoyable.
- Don’t transfer money or do any online banking using public computers - Sure, they’re convenient but they’re also one of the easiest to hack for cyber criminals. As a rule of thumb, never do online banking using a public computer or public Wi-Fi for that matter.
- Keep valuables within reach - Keep valuable possessions like your phone, wallet, passport and anything else on you within close reach. Don’t put them in your back pants pocket. Keep them in your front pockets where you can feel and see them easily because pickpocketing can occur, especially in packed tourist areas.
- Keep your luggage secure - Use a TSA-approved lock on your check-in luggage because customs officials have a special key they can use for TSA-approved locks. You may also want to invest in a bag mesh protector or plastic wrap you can put around your suitcase.
- Be wary of people approaching you out of nowhere - Always beware of suspicious activity and that includes from children. Many pickpockets will use children and others to distract your attention and then they’ll either take your valuables or luggage from you while you’re not paying 100% attention. If someone approaches you randomly out of nowhere then make sure you walk away.
- Use a travel belt - A travel belt is the easiest way to keep your wallet and cards secure at all times. It may feel a little weird at first, but at least you have peace of mind knowing your wallet and cards are out of reach from anyone else.
- Don’t leave wallets and money lying around - It may sound silly but don’t go to a restaurant or cafe and leave your wallet or money laying on the table, especially in outdoor areas. This is even more relevant in tourist areas where pickpockets will target naive travelers.
- Stay away from public demonstrations and protests - It goes without saying, but if you know in advance that there is the possibility of a public protest down a certain area of a city, then make sure you stay away from it even if there are attractions there you’d like to see.
- Use a VPN - Due to the ease at which cyber criminals can access public internet and Wi-Fi networks, it pays to invest in a VPN, especially if you’re taking your laptop with you. A VPN allows you to connect to a secure server and encrypts all data between you and the server so you can do things like online banking without worrying about a data hack.
- Ask about safety - As a general rule, the easiest way to do to find out about the safety anywhere is to ask local staff at the hotel you're staying at. They know the area, customs and more so will be able to give you the latest and most up to date tips to stay safe while traveling in the area.
- Trust your gut - We have instincts for a reason so if anything feels strange or suspicious to you, then there is probably something fishy going on. Avoid the situation and get out of there.
Common sense should prevail more often than not and should be enough to ensure you have a safe and fun experience traveling. Traveling to Italy is a great experience but, like anywhere in the world, there are some safety tips and advice you must adhere to if you want to have a hassle-free trip. Lastly, check the U.S. State Department website for Italy before you go as it contains safety and security information that is updated daily.
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