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Safety tips for travellers to your country/state/city/area

first aid safety emergency survival

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#1 Rey Leon

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 12:06 AM

What basic tips do you have for foreigners, out-of-towners or other visitors to where you live?

Things that all the locals know, but visitors are probably ignorant about.

 

Here's some of mine:

 

LOCATION - QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

 

Swim between the flags.

Everyone who's grown up here knows that the red and yellow flags mean you need to swim between them because they're the areas lifeguards observe. But this isn't passed on to international visitors on their flight or in arrival literature.

Consequently a lot of tourist who can't swim very well get fooled into a false sense of security by all the other beach goers - and end up being dragged out by rips, or just going out too far in unpatrolled areas - and either drowning or needing rescue.

There was even a TV show about it here called Bondi Rescue.

 

Ladies - don't walk alone at night in public parks

Sad to say, but there's been a spate of recent murders and assaults on women, both local and overseas, in Queensland's capital city Brisbane. Probably because Australia is mostly a law-abiding society and everything looks clean and modern - these poor women haven't thought there would be any danger walking through a park or public area late at night.

The police here have been accused of victim-blaming by telling women not to be alone late at night, but whatever your thoughts about that, in the meantime a bit of forewarning might help.

 

Don't cross a flooded road through a creek/crossing/river

Every time there is flooding here, as there was last week, people think they can cross a flooded area, and people die. Five people perished trying to cross flooded roads this time, and that was just in two days.

People are used to thinking of their vehicles as big, heavy pieces of metal - especially their 4x4's.

But they don't consider that the side of a vehicle is a fantastic sail for water to push against, that the contact area of their tire on the ground is about the size of a deck of cards, and that even low-level water has tons of pressure behind it.

I think there's also some kind of return-to-home trigger in their minds when conditions are bad, that pushes them to do something foolhardy.

 

Where there's drinking there's fighting

If you go out to a pub or popular nightlife area in Australia, especially where younger people go, there is a reasonable risk of some kind of fight or assault. King hits (being hit from behind), glassing (being stabbed in the face with a broken beer glass), drunken brawls etc. are not rare these days. In Brisbane, Fortitude Valley is the most notorious.


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#2 Mikey Bautista

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 03:44 AM

Location: Manila, Phililippines

 

1. Bring a secure bag

I've been preaching about Pacsafe elsewhere in the forums, and while they're not that popular here, pickpockets and other similar elements sure as hell are. Do a search on "Manila modus operandi" or "Philippines modus operandi" or check out a small sample on this Facebook page and you'll see what I mean. I've had personal acquaintances mugged or threatened in broad daylight, in a mall, even walking down the sidewalk. I'm on medium alert everywhere I go despite the fact that Manila likes to pretend it's a first-world country.

 

2. Knives and weapons are actually illegal to be carried

We're a big knife culture and many people carry a knife, but it's actually illegal to carry and it's right in our constitution. It's also very hard to get a gun permit these days. You will be persecuted to the full extent of the law if you use your weapons maliciously, especially given the number of -- again -- modus operandi of people on bikes gunning people down right on the street.

 

3. Inspect an ATM before using it

There's an increasing number of ATM skimmers in the wild, so I always check the card entry port for any foreign gadgetry.

 

4. Take Uber where you can

Cabbing here is a terrible experience. Drivers turn down fares, go on 24-hour shifts, do drugs, try and drug you, or drive half-asleep or drunk. It's not everyone, of course, but that one bad experience may be your last. I strongly suggest using a safer service like Uber where the cars are new, drivers are somewhat vetted, and you can send someone your travel itinerary over a smartphone.

 

5. Foreigners are targets

If you're male, white, and optionally tall, you'll stand out, in both good and bad ways. In some areas, girls will try to pick you up with the intent of trying to get you to take them home (for money). You're also a more obvious target for pickpockets or solicitors. If you can't be in the company of locals, keep your wits about you.


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#3 Rey Leon

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 06:27 AM

Location: Manila, Phililippines

 

 

 

Wow, hey thanks - that's some good advice that I will keep in mind when I head over there later this year.

Your descriptions remind me a bit of all the youtube clips you can find about Brazil - where two guys on a bike often means you are about the get ganked, and using a cash machine can be a health hazard.



#4 Mikey Bautista

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 10:02 AM

It's actually not as bad as I make it sound, if you stick to the upper-middle class areas like malls and the fancier restaurant zones you're actually quite safe. I would only consider the stuff above as "hard" rules when you start venturing out on the street on foot or go to busier parts of the metro, and by busy I mean places where even cabs won't pass.

 

If it's an area where there is an abundance of pedicabs and jeepneys and a large volume of foot traffic, though, better check on your Pacsafe clasps. :P


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#5 Dave

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 02:49 PM

Well, I've never heard any bad stories from tourists that

visit my area (near Disney World/Universal) other than

about the horrible traffic. I can, however, offer advice on

how to get the most out of your visit.

 

Location: Theme Parks, Florida, USA

1. Attire

Definitely dress yourself in preparation for the infamously

grueling heat and intensity that is Florida weather. Loose-fitting

clothes, a hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and maybe flip-flops/sandals.

Check ahead for the weather to see if it will be raining,

certain rides will close in the event of rain. If you plan on

riding any water rides, which there are plenty of, wear

swim trunks and put your money/electronics in a plastic

bag in your pockets. You may want to wear something

very bright and noticeable as well in the event you lose your

group while in the park.

2. Food

There are plenty of places to eat around theme parks,

but be prepared to spend a lot on food. You can pick

up a park map and see all the locations where food is

served. If you want to grab a quick bite while walking

around, there are many stands with drinks and snacks.

Epcot is my personal favorite park to eat/drink in, 

especially during the Food & Wine festival ( ;))

3. Experience

If you want to get the most out of your time and truly

experience every ride/attraction, take some time ahead

to study the park maps and plan out your day. I recommend

leaving early in the morning from wherever you're staying to

get there before any rushes and find optimal parking. Definitely

take a picture of the lot you're parked in just in case you forget.

 

TL;DR: Take some time to plan ahead.

Crime seldom happens inside the parks, just keep your

items in your pockets. I don't recommend bringing bags, but

if you do- don't leave them unattended.

That's the basic information, if anyone is interesting in more

detailed info on Disney World and surrounding parks,

feel free to message me and ask  :)


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#6 Rey Leon

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 07:00 PM

Well, I've never heard any bad stories from tourists that

visit my area (near Disney World/Universal) other than

about the horrible traffic. I can, however, offer advice on

how to get the most out of your visit.

 

 

Thanks for the tips. I used to live in L.A. and would go to Disneyland and Universal there

- but haven't been to the Florida ones yet.

Will keep your tips in mind.


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#7 Stupendous Walrus

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 07:43 PM

It's kind of funny, but ALL these put together sound like Toronto. :D
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#8 Dom

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 07:49 PM

It's kind of funny, but ALL these put together sound like Toronto. :D


Funny, I was thinking manhattan :D
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#9 naomi george

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 02:20 AM

Good and informative post.



#10 WallyGator

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 06:43 PM

+ 1 on Epcot, another good tip for amusement parks is start with the rides / attractions to your left. Since most folks are right handed they start to the right so the shorter lines are usually those attractions on the left. Since I live in the coastal area of Florida I'll give you my tips and advice about the more rural areas.

 

Watch out for the wildlife -  If it looks like a stick floating in any body of water (ponds, rivers, water hazard on a golf course), it's an alligator. They usually will leave you alone but if you value your hands, pets or kids, keep away from them. Gators can hit 30 mph for a short distance on land. Watch where you put your hands and feet when you are at the beach or in the woods, we have both coral and miniature rattle snakes. Also in north Florida we have full grown rattlesnakes, along with cottonmouths in most bodies of water. Snakes are unusually shy and will go the other way if you allow them to. We also have sharks but very few folks have been bitten by them.

 

Sinkholes - Really nothing you can do about them but if you find your car or house missing one morning it probably got sucked up by a sinkhole. Florida is basically sand on top of hollow limestone. Water dissolves the top of the limestone cavern and the top falls in along with anything that was on it.

 

Driving in Florida - We have folks from all over in Florida and they all drive like they did from were ever them came from. Add in senior citizens and a ton of motorcycles and you have a lethal mix. On top of this we have a thing called Florida ice, for the first 30 minutes or so after a rain started all the oil and gunk comes up on the road surface and makes it slick as ice.

 

Florida is a great state and I love it but I just wish folks would get away from just the attractions and see the real Florida.  



#11 Belinda Fullmer

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 01:56 AM

Thanks for sharing the great tips. My brother is planning to go on a voyage humanitaire with Shammesh. His preparations are going on, so I will suggest him to read these safety tips for travelers and implement those in his mission trip.







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