With the school year coming to a close and summer approaching, many people will be traveling for a vacation. Some will travel out of the country during that time. This often results in people taking public forms of transportation, such as a taxi cab. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using a taxi anywhere, especially in a foreign country. Only use taxis from an official taxi stand. Airports, train stations and hotels generally have designated taxis set up for their customers to use. Ask at the transportation desk for them to direct you to the actual taxi stand. Don’t simply get into any cab. You never know who they are or if they are an actual, reputable service.
Prior to getting into any cab, check to make sure there are door handles on the inside. If there are none, don’t get in. Taking the handles off makes you unable to exit the cab when you want to get out. This is a common way to keep you in the taxi and set you up to be robbed or abducted. There should also be a photo I.D. of the driver posted.
Never share a cab with a stranger. They may be a criminal intending to harm you and may also be working with the cab driver. If someone suggests you share a cab with them, tell them no and move on to a different one. Again, you never know if they are working with the driver, so don’t simply say no and get into the same cab.
Don’t allow the driver to change the location of your intended destination. By giving the driver control, you never know where they are actually taking you. They could be setting you up for a variety of bad situations. At the very least, they may be getting a kickback from the restaurant or bar they are suggesting taking you to. Research where you are going ahead of time. Make sure you know your intended destination before you get into any taxi cab.
Hotel Travel Tips
- Choose a room between the 3rd and 6th floors.
- Criminals target rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors because they are easy to access.
- Many fire department ladder trucks can’t reach beyond the 6th floor to rescue you.
- Don’t chose a room directly adjacent to a stairwell. Criminals use them as quick getaways when targeting guests.
- Never store your valuables in the hotel’s safe. Almost everyone has a maintenance code to get into it.
- Keep your valuables on your person or store them in something with a hidden compartment.
- Damsel in Defense sells a hair spray can with a hidden compartment in the bottom. It’s great for hiding valuables left in your room or that you take with you to the beach.
- Know where the elevator and stairwell is nearest your room. Count how many steps/doors away they are. You may not be able to see in the event of a fire.
- Always lay out cloths and shoes you can quickly slip into if a fire or other emergency occurs in the middle of the night. You won’t have time to look around for what to wear.
- Keep your room/car key in the pocket of the clothes laid out as well as your wallet.
- If you think you’re being followed to your room, don’t go to it. Walk by and proceed to the lobby. Entering your room only lets a possible attacker know which room you are staying in. They may come back.
Nightlife Travel Tips
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- This includes going to the bathroom or turning your back on it. This makes you an easy target for someone to slip something in it and drug you. It does happen.
- If your drink is left unattended, order another one.
- Don’t accept an invitation to a party from someone you don’t know well.
- It can be a trap to lure you somewhere to take advantage, rob or abduct you.
Topic: Urban Escape & Evasion
Date: June 28th, 2017
Location: Valparaiso Police Department
Interested in attending? Register online here