4 Potential Dangers When Traveling In Europe

Traveling through Europe is potentially both fun and exciting. For instance, if you’re American and want to head to the UK because you’ve never been there before, you will probably find plenty to occupy your time.

Amsterdam, Europe
Photo by Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash

You might head to a pub and catch a soccer game, though the locals will call it football. You will doubtless enjoy the many fine museums and historical sites, and fine dining should be on your agenda as well.

While you’re enjoying yourself, though, make sure to watch out for potential dangers. You will find several of them exist, and we’ll talk about just a few of them right now.

Hotel Theft

If you stay at a hotel, you can stow your bags in the room while you go out and explore. You can feel confident that they will be there when you return, with all your personal items undisturbed.

However, you probably don’t want to leave your bags or suitcases unattended in the lobby before you go out. This is where you can see the value of a concierge security guard. They can grab a porter or bellhop to take your bags up for you. Once you see that, you’re probably fine leaving the premises.

You should not just leave the bags in the lobby and trust that someone will take them up for you, though. Until you see someone who works for the hotel take them to your room, you don’t know if some enterprising thief might just walk in off the street and stroll out with one of them.

If you have clothing, cash, credit cards, and other valuables in the bag, that can put a damper on an otherwise fun trip. Taking an extra couple of moments to see to it that your bags are on their way to your room instead of leaving them unguarded is a much better move.

Pickpockets

Let’s stick with the theft issue for Americans traveling in Europe. You might want to visit some outdoor markets or walk about in crowded areas. You never know what fun shops you’re going to find or what street performers you might encounter.

However, you should watch out for roving pickpockets when you are exploring. You never know if the person who jostles you, seemingly by accident, has walked off with your wallet.

You can keep your wallet in your front pocket rather than your rear one. It’s much harder for a pickpocket to pilfer it if you have it in a front pocket.

You can also keep your cash and credit cards in a hidden pocket on your belt instead of walking around with the whole wallet. You can find these belts with hidden pockets on Amazon and certain other websites. A pickpocket has virtually no chance of getting away with your valuables if you wear one.

Robbery

If you are in a country or a neighborhood that has a high crime rate, you should not walk around unescorted. You might have someone sticking a gun or knife in your face before you know it.

If you don’t know the area and look like a tourist, you make a tempting target. You can stick to well-lit places and don’t go around at night.

You can also do some research before you start exploring anywhere that you’d like. If you find out beforehand that you’re in a dicey area, you will know to be on your guard and to stay in the hotel or hostel, especially after the sun goes down.

Debit Card Skimmers

If you use your credit card, you should watch out for skimmers that can copy your number. These skimmers don’t all look the same, but before you travel, it’s best to look at some pictures of them to see what they resemble.

You should avoid anything that looks out of place on a cash machine. Someone who uses these skimmers usually places them over the actual spot where the card goes in. You should look for anything jutting out at an odd angle.

You can jiggle the card reader to see if it’s firm or whether there’s anything loose that someone fitted over it. If you detect anything, don’t use that one. If possible, try to use real bank ATMs instead of nonbank ATMs as well.

If you watch out for the threats we’ve mentioned, you should do fine while traveling. You can enjoy yourself and come back with some fun pictures and stories to share with your friends.

Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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