...some of these points may seem obvious...                  

                    


...until you step off the pavement and can't find the road...

 

 

I have never forgotten something told me by a shopkeeper on my first visit to Greece after having left my bag with him all afternoon for safe-keeping - "Sir, may I suggest you put your wallet in your front pockets? We Greeks are proud of our honesty - it's the other travellers you have to worry about."

...so these are some other suggestions for travelling in harmony:

1. A streetwise UK traveller should also know emergency numbers, the British Embassy, Taxis, Buses, Trains and at least a bit of the language (like the words for "please", "thank you", "good morning", "good evening", "good night", "help").

Know some of the local customs. There are many gestures that you may be accustomed to, but are frowned upon in some rural areas where they may be seen as the opposite of their intention. A travel agent should be able to help you with determining the customs you're used to that might have the opposite effect in Greece.

Show respect in your dress sense, especially at sites of religious importance.

     2. Make copies of your passport, travel itinerary and tickets, credit cards, driver's license, and any other important documents. Copy the back of everything, as well. This can make it easier for you to recover if any of your documents are lost or stolen, but keep the copies in separate locations, and keep them safe.

3. Avoid looking like a tourist. Generally, don't wear any of the following:
Flashy earrings, expensive watches, etc.,
expensive-looking sneakers (especially white ones)--you might be tempted because you might be doing a lot of walking, but expensive footwear will show people that you are indeed a tourist (which makes you look like a target to thieves).
Bum bag.
Expensive rucksacks. A friend of mine was proud of his new leather backpack until it disappeared.
Shoulder bags imprinted with a tour group operator name or symbol.
Obviously new apparel.

4. Mobiles, Electronics - if you must take them, put them in the oldest, most beaten-up backpack you can find. When I drove to Crete, I kept my state-of-the-art quadrophonic radio and cassette player inside a Tesco bag in the glove compartment beneath several pairs of dirty, smelly socks and some rather unmentionable underwear.

      5. Check to see if tap water is safe. Even if it is safe, remember that it may be treated with different chemicals than your home country and could still make you ill. Drinking water contaminated with chemicals or bacteria can make people sick, especially children and the elderly. Also, when buying water from a vendor in the streets, make sure that the cap is still attached to its ring.


       6. Be careful with sexual encounters. If you're a woman, take precautions against date rape. And STDs are common to all cities across the world, even your own. The occurrence of STDs like AIDS and syphilis is higher in some cities, especially amongst street workers. Remember, the only guaranteed protection is not having sex in the first place, but if you do, wear or require your partner to wear protection that prevents the transmission of disease.

       7. Keep your personal information secret. No one but you needs to know where you are staying, where you are going, and what and when you are doing something. No matter how trustworthy a person seems, it's not important they know your personal information.

      8. Be polite and non-demanding. If you are quiet and respectful, you are less likely to draw attention to yourself through your behavior. Depending on the local customs, however, do not assume that being extra friendly is beneficial - it may be interpreted as an invitation that you never meant to offer, especially if you are female. Avoid doing anything (having drinks, doing drugs) that make you loud or belligerent in any way. Not only will you draw attention to yourself in a negative way, but you'll also be more vulnerable because you're not completely alert.

9. Carry your documents strategically. Do not place your credit cards, cash, ID cards, and passport all in the same place.
Keep cash and credit cards separate from ID cards. By keeping things separated you eliminate the risk of having them all stolen.
Always have some cash stashed away in a shoe, a hidden pocket, or in yet another shoe, in case you need immediate cash for taxi ride or something fast to eat. Do not carry too much cash, and never flash it all when you pay.
If you have a wallet, wear it in your front pants pocket instead of in the back and your pocketbook close to the body.

      10. Walk facing the traffic. This way no cars can sneak up behind you and commit a crime. It has also been known for thieves on scooters to snatch handbags as they drive past. Keep you handbag/suitcase on the side of your body that is away from the traffic.

11. Be alert when using public transportation. Steer clear of unlicensed taxis. Better still, hire a car, or get a bus or train. Try to get a seat at the front of the bus, as you will be near the driver.

Tips

Be especially careful at night. This is the most dangerous time in any country. Do not go anywhere you don't know, and again, make sure you stick to well lit areas. 

   Never give your passport to a hotel clerk. Some hotels hold the passports of their guests. You can often get a certified copy of your passport information that you can substitute. You might also make a good quality photocopy of the main passport page and suggest the hotel hold that instead.

   If you are on your own, try to befriend some other travellers. There is nothing like a friend when you have a problem.

Unfortunately, not everyone is caring during a dangerous situation. Some people adopt the "every person for him/herself approach". Try to be helpful.

Things You'll Need:Passport, Driver's License                                                                                                         Money

                                                         Basic first aid kit

                                        Needle and thread 

                                          Keep your fingernails clean - this is essential!


And don't forget to remove your sunglasses when you speak to someone, it's a sign of respect.

Also, remember a smile is more charming than deadpan.

 


 Chania, Crete

 

 kalo taxidi!

 

 

 www.grecofilia.co.uk

©2016 - PERMISSION TO COPY. The content of this website is the Copyright of Tony Brown and is protected by international copyright law. You are welcome to copy it for personal or non profit, or educational purposes only and you have my permission to do so, provided it is copied and re-published in it's entirety complete with copyright notice and website address. If you wish to copy it for electronic publication on an intranet, website, blog or Newsletter you may do so provided the article is copied and re-published in it's entirety with all html, copyright information and hyperlinks intact and unaltered in any way with no redirects. If you wish to copy it for any other purpose please contact me for permission first.