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Travel Health advice for Male Travellers

Personal Safety

When travelling, particularly alone, leave an itinerary of your trip with a responsible person contacting them at pre-arranged times and dates. Ostentatious displays of money, watches, luggage and dress can encourage the wrong type of attention. When travelling be aware of where your luggage at all times especially in bus and rail stations. Do not leave luggage unattended or hanging on the back of chairs in restaurants.

Transport

In many countries tired foreigners are seen as easy prey for muggers. When in doubt always use airport or hotel buses rather than taxies. An alternative, which is often suggested by local friends or business, is to be met by pre-arranged transport or colleagues.

When travelling alone

  • Insist on inspecting your accommodation before agreeing to stay. If unhappy with the room request a change or where possible move to different accommodation.
  • Avoid being tempted to follow the invitations of unknown hotel staff of taxi drivers, whether this be for 'exciting night's out' or ' to meet beautiful girls'.
  • How you dress is important since expectations of foreigners are often based on first impressions. Dress codes differ greatly from country to country and to get them wrong would put you at an immediate disadvantage. A culture's standard of dress has a lot to do with what parts of the body are considered to be sensuous or provocative.
  • As a general rule tight and skimpy clothes are inappropriate for most countries outside of Europe and North America. Clothing should be conservative and presentable, loose fitting and comfortable. Arms and legs should be covered, especially when visiting places of worship and national monuments.
  • Remember many see eye contact as an invitation to enter conversation or that sexual favours are being sought. The use of dark sunglasses will limit this problem.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about yourself particularly if single and travelling alone. 

Choose your accommodation carefully

  • Try and pick accommodation which is in a safe area i.e. not in the middle of the local red light district
  • Request a room near the lift or stair well not on the ground floor
  • Inspect the door locks and window fasteners
  • Never open the door to your room until you have identified the caller
  • Do not identify yourself on the telephone until the caller has done so
  • Keep your money and valuables close by you at night.

Mugging

  • Be alert, listen to the advice of locals and fellow travellers, develop a street sense, try not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Don't turn a scary situation into a dangerous one if you can help it - hand over what is demanded and avoid felling you have to find out what may happen if the thief is provoked.
  • Don't panic or show fear or let the person confronting you to get the upper hand, try to gain psychological advantage throwing him off his balance i.e. compliance., if you are forced to strike back physically, make sure it is a crippling blow that gives you a chance to escape.
  • Breaking the law, which includes becoming involved in bribery, must be avoided at all costs. Police may turn a blind eye to locals caught in these situations but are frequently under pressure not to apply the same leniency to foreigners since they feel obliged to show to foreigners that they are themselves 'not involved in corruption.
  • If you do find yourself in physical danger try to anticipate the aggressors next move and plan ahead for it. As the innocent party in the confrontation you have the advantage of surprise.

Sexual Risks

While it is commonly supposed that men travelling alone are likely to be looking for sexual excitement this is far from being always the case. Harassment by commercial sex workers can spoil a holiday or make a business trip difficult and unpleasant. Propositioning can be blatant and occur in the street, when arranging taxi's and even be by telephone in your hotel room - presumably sometimes with the connivance (perhaps for a fee) with hotel staff.

Being prepared for this problem in advance can help avoid embarrassing situations especially for the younger traveller who may sometimes be more easily lead into situations that he may later regret. Those intending to become involved in casual sex must always carry condoms to protect both the sex worker and themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and if there is a chance of this happening on the spur of the moment the travellers should also be prepared

     
     
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