Article by Solo-Travel
You’re walking down a street in Barcelona – in the dream, you blend in, you’re part of the parade, you’re at ease. But how do you join the scenery and not look like what you most likely are, a tourist or at least a visitor?
In an earlier post, we talked about feeling safe and confident. Security boosts your confidence and helps you do all that you hope to do in a strange city. There are also practical tips that fellow travelers can offer that do boost your safety. Part of being and feeling safe is not sending out the signals that you are out of place, unsure of yourself, distracted or inattentive.
Barcelona comes to mind because The Rambles is the most recent place where I didn’t feel safe and I wanted to go back to the hotel. I was sure the area was prone to pickpockets and I felt like a target. Luckily, I had been warned (and by savvy travelers who never overreact!) I had taken precautions and I was fine but I didn’t like the feeling! You can do simple things to take care. I asked some friends who travel often to share their best ideas.
What You Do
Ask for help smartly. Lisa Ball of Lisa Ball Travel Design in Kansas City is beyond savvy. She says, “Know who to ask for help. If you’re lost in a city, go inside a reputable hotel. Hotels always have maps and usually a nice person who will give directions.”
Remember the little things. Look for small things you can do. In Paris, so many residents use metro passes and I find the smaller station’s ticket machines sometimes out of order. I buy more than a single ticket and kept an extra or two. Keep a little easily accessible cash in your pocket for the small things. Carry a card or brochure from your hotel in case your pronunciation is as bad as mine.