Missing one point: take a couple of business cards from the hotel with you. Whenever you need to get back, it most often makes it easier for people (cab drivers) to get you there without too much discussion and misunderstandings.
- To be sure you have some clean water in your room, bring a few small water bottles.
- Avoid the in house WiFi
- Do not order room service
- Have a family photo / familiar item on your bed stand, so that if you wake up in a panic, you know you are awake and in "your own room"
- Don't invite people into your room
- Personally I like to unpack, even it is for a short stay, since it make me feel more comfortable and less "on the run"
- Give the cleaning people a decent tip (if they are allowed to accept it) on the first possible occasion and make it clear who you are and what your room number is, and what you expect from them (clean / leave alone etc.)
- Use the in hotel services like shoe polishing, tip them well. These people know everything going on
- Order cabs via the lobby
- If possible, let the lobby pay your taxi when inbound
I do not miss traveling professionally.
I like the stuff about personal photo next to the bed as well as using the in-house services and tipping. That's smart man!
Happens to many people who travel a lot.
In my opinion, room services is horribly overpriced. There have been incidents where the delivery person assaults the guest.
When I used to travel on business, I would put a notepad next to the phone (the one by the bed) and write on it what city I am in and what day ("Wednesday"). This helped cut down on confusion.
It did not help when I went to the wrong Springfield though. The area code for Springfield, MO (417) is a single digit different than the area codes for Springfield, IL (217 & 447). Waking up in the wrong state is not the kindest way to discover that your territory now includes Illinois. Oops.
Choosing your hotel room based on maneuverability in the event of an attack is not only completely pointless if you don't know how to maneuver in the event of an attack, but more importantly, for the average person, running those sorts of scenarios in your head sounds like it will take away more from your mental health than whatever benefits you may get in terms of 10-to-the-minus-x percentage points gains in survival probability.
Don't use hotel safe or under the mattress - yup, good advice, seen that before, and definitely need to think about valuables & passport storage at all times anyway.
Book in advance and hand them copies of addresses, docs, passport over the counter - yup, great advice, also means you have a 2nd copy on you, which can be a lifesaver if your phone or primary docs get lost/stolen.
Checking maps and orienting yourself to the surroundings is something I do anyway just to know where I am, and actually allows me to enjoy the sights better since I'm no longer primarily occupied with wondering where TF I'm going.
Having actually walked the exit routes would be incredibly useful in a wide variety of emergencies. Both being able to exit from memory if something happens, and also knowing that one exit is actually blocked. It'd really suck to die because you went out an exit and found it blocked, but could no longer access the other one... I also find that, although I haven't done it explicitly (I will in the future), it's often just handy to know other routes to get to/from the outside - they often wind up being more convenient, especially when carrying stuff.
Asking for 2nd/3rd floor room sounds like excellent advice, especially in unknown foreign areas, off the (vulnerable) ground floor but multiple escape routes in fire or attack. Self-rescue by jumping or down-climbing a bedsheet rope is still very possible in ways that it isn't on floors 4 and up...
Etc... I really don't understand not only rejecting such good advice from a clearly knowledgeable expert, but also taking the trouble to write a post advocating that other people also ignore it. Seems you're insecure in your willful ignorance, and want others to join you; please stop doing that.
This 'minimize risk at all cost' mindset is very similar to the helicopter parenting lifestyle where it's considered almost a crime to let your kids roam just outside the direct line of sight of their parents.
PS: also interesting to note that both critical comments ended with ad hominem attacks.
Perhaps, but the article is focused on potential disasters irrelevant to operatives and just that randomly occur to any traveler - fire/natural disaster, theft, ordinary random mugging, terrorist activity often focused on hotels used by foreigners, etc. I saw nothing that was not generally applicable.
>>This 'minimize risk at all cost' mindset is very similar to the helicopter parenting lifestyle
I'm as much against 'helicopter parenting' as anyone, yet this is just the opposite — it gives everyone a starting set of simple steps to take that increases their ability to operate independently, i.e., not being dependent on parents, etc. for your security, but taking care of oneself.
>>I was saying "don't be afraid to check a map when you're on the street".
Umm, depends on the situation, and on how befuddled you are going to look. Midtown Manhattan, London, etc., on a weekday noontime? Ya, just don't do it in the middle of the sidewalk and obstruct traffic. Any other city or tourist destination? I'd certainly step off the street first. Might as well put a sticker on my back in the local language saying "rob me".
>> critical comments ended with ad hominem attacks.
IDK about other comments, but I was not speaking ad hominem, simply trying to suss out why it is so important for someone to actively spend time to denigrate good security measures (which also help one enjoy the surroundings more, e.g., learning the terrain up front). Why is it important to you that other people don't do things like learn the terrain in advance? Why not just read the article and say "meh?" and move on?
What's your threat scenario ? If you fear for your life when going in a random hotel as a random civilian I'd highly recommend updating your vacation destinations
It is not just "fear for your life", it is simply being a bit prepared for the kinds of thefts and emergencies that are not uncommon. It is not like petty thieves preying on tourists only frequent the favelas of Rio; they're in just about any tourist town. The threat and response model is merely don't make it obvious that you're a target, and take a few steps so that if you do get targeted, it isn't a disaster - you lose some currency and a wallet, but not your passport, credit cards, etc., and especially not your only copy of that key info. And you know where to go find help if you need it, or to escape in a disaster.
This is no different than wearing a seat belt in an automobile, a helmet on a motorcycle. You aren't planning to crash, you are just taking minor precautions in case you do. I've been driving for decades, always worn a seatbelt, thankfully never yet needed it to keep me lashed down in a crash, but one did help save me from crashing keeping me located in the seat in one energetic emergency evasion maneuver. Yet I only wear my helmet on the racetrack. I do not feel the need to re-evaluate my threat model of either driving or toursiting, but I did add a few of those suggestions to my travel checklist.
Or, you are simply oblivious to the fact that when you travel you stick out like a clueless sore thumb.
They say "ignorance is bliss", and you are providing some nice evidence of that.
And no, it is not the slightest bit dreadful to have a bit of self-awareness and situational awareness and take a few trivial measures that take a lot less time than it takes to discuss it.
Enjoy your wilful obliviousness, and good luck with that.
You sound like the kind of person who doesn't prepare because "oh you know it's so unlikely". In other words, the kind of person who accidents happen to.
You're not only making it harder for bad guys to enter your room, but also for good guys, and for yourself to exit, in case any emergencies happen within your room.
It's not even clear that the benefits of blocking are net positive in all situations (depending on your individual characteristics and the environment, eg if you have a chronic illness and are in a relatively safe location), but the more general point of the post was that you should do a cost-benefit analysis (ie is the risk reduction worth the effort?), not look only at the benefits in terms of risk reduction.
No effort from me.
Like everything physical, it takes up space.
That said, I believe whole heartedly in this:
“Walk out of the front door with the confidence that you know where you are going.”
If you’re overseas and don’t speak the language, the experience can be disorienting. I had my travel wallet picked out of my pocket in a tourist office.
Places like banks, ATMs and hotels are places where pickpockets and robbers congregate. Take 5-10 minutes and watch these areas in large foreign cities and you may notice suspicious patterns.
I live outside NYC and do the same when I’m in an unfamiliar neighborhood. I avoid being out in these places after 9 pm as well. Just look at the police blotter, and you see most robberies occur late night and early morning.
I don’t take precautions because I’m fearful of going out. I do it because I know better.
Except maybe the tip not to use the hotel safe or leave money under the mattress, those are good.
But do normal people really need to write their name down on pieces of paper and pass them across the desk with a wink to avoid their name being said out loud?
I think not.
"I don't have to worry about $PARTICULAR_DISASTER_SCENARIO because I'm generally organized and well-situated above a certain threshold: If you picked a random disaster scenario $x out of a hat, chances are pretty good that I'd already be equipped to handle it."
P.S. Not trying to "counter-argue", just sharing a different perspective.
As they say, you should always check you can restore your backups.
Once you've actually successfully navigated any particular disaster scenario, you will try to avoid situations that look like they could contribute to a repeat. My wife once had a laptop stolen out of the trunk of a car; she is now hyperaware of where and how she parks and what is visible through the windows.
On the topic of flash floods esp. when traveling; I make a conscious effort to not park/stay anywhere liable to flash-flood, and that requires some situational awareness in the sense of at least knowing your surroundings and the area's geography/climate/seasonal weather patterns. We recently narrowly avoided getting caught in , and that was with us making a conscious effort to not spend too much time in any of the low-lying areas, not even for a day hike - we'd always park somewhere relatively high and simply avoided hiking any of the low regions. That storm happened just one day after we were there passing through that exact spot. The tourists staying at that popular hotel probably didn't think about how they're staying on the floor of an enormous desert valley in a monsoon-y time of year. By failing to prepare you're preparing to fail...
I don't go to a hotel to be in my room. If I am traveling there is a reason to do so.
All in all I think this paranoid fear of hotels and travel is something specific to US. I've never had issues with security in a hotel or even given it a a thought. In normal world you don't need to worry about this kind of stuff.
My biggest worry in hotel rooms these days is how to rig the A/C to stay on while I'm out.
Heated blanket on the thermostat? Or do they have timed-shutoffs or door-key based systems that cuts off the electricity when you leave? What do you do then?
Also AC is much more efficient if it keeps the room at a stable temperature rather than letting it heat up and then cooling it down again. I never set it that low myself but some hotels don't have a temp setting, that's true
If it were really overall more efficient it would be cheaper for the hotel owner to just keep it on all the time, but clearly it's not.
1. Know your egress routes
2. Be aware of your surroundings
3. Be ready to move
4. Have a communication plan
5. Know places to go in emergency (e.g. Consulate or group rally points)
6. If it doesn't feel right, leave.
I don't really need to know the odds of each specific reason I might need to get outside to determine it's worth a short walk to the end of the hall to confirm I know which door leads to the stairs and where I end up outside once I go down them.
TL;DR: he got hired as a security officer for Morgan Stanley's WTC offices, and he made the employees regularly practice evacuations.
> Rescorla wanted the company out of the building because he continued to feel, as did Hill, that the World Trade Center was still a target for terrorists and that the next attack could involve a plane crashing into one of the towers. He recommended to his superiors at Morgan Stanley that the company leave Manhattan office space, mentioning that labor costs were lower in New Jersey and that the firm's employees and equipment would be safer in a proposed four-story building. However, this recommendation was not followed because the company's lease at the World Trade Center would not terminate until 2006. At Rescorla's insistence, all employees (including senior executives) then practiced emergency evacuations every three months.
> After Dean Witter merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997, the company eventually occupied 22 floors in the South Tower and several floors in a building nearby. Rescorla's office was on the South Tower’s 44th floor. Feeling that the authorities lost legitimacy after they failed to respond to his 1990 warnings, he concluded that employees of Morgan Stanley, which was the largest tenant in the World Trade Center, could not rely on first responders in an emergency and needed to empower themselves through surprise fire drills, in which he trained employees to meet in the hallway between stairwells and go down the stairs two by two to the 44th floor. Rescorla's strict approach to these drills put him into conflict with some high-powered executives, who resented the interruption to their daily activities, but he nonetheless insisted that these rehearsals were necessary to train the employees in the event of an emergency. He timed employees with a stopwatch when they moved too slowly and lectured them on fire emergency basics.
Also, if you park a vehicle at the hotel try to avoid spots that would likely be blocked by fire engines.
Even something as simple as having a bag that locks and putting your valuables in it and locking it would probably deal with 90% of issues.
If you're an average person travelling the risk you face is from the hotel house keeping staff and there's really two types of theft there. First is opportunistic where the staff can look inside your luggage and find small potentially valuable things they can steal but which won't be immediately obvious and you might think you've just misplaced in your luggage somewhere. These people don't want the police called in, they want to keep their jobs, so they'll generally steal in a manner that makes it difficult for you to know if it was really stolen or if it was just misplaced.
The second is, a member of staff is finishing or planning on leaving and they'll go to greater lengths to more obviously steal any available stuff before leaving for good. This is a bit more common in countries that use a lot of seasonal migrant labour and the staff are going home on holiday and want a final payday by hitting multiple rooms before they go.
But the second scenario is much rarer than the first. Honestly most theft from hotel rooms is just opportunistic and a simple locked bag that's tethered to something immovable will solve it. I use a pacsafe for peace of mind, there's really nothing beyond it you can reasonably do that increases the security of valuables in a room.
When it comes to passports, it's probably best to keep them on you. I have a pouch that goes around my neck (and I put it under my shirt), probably the safest place to keep it hidden and on your person.
I generally have a nice hard case wheeled suitcase for my luggage, I bike cable that to something immovable and inside I tether the pacsafe to one of the rails where the suitcase handle runs.
It's enough peace of mind for me. 99% of casual theft isn't going to try and open the bag, if they do then they have to deal with the pacsafe.
If someone is absolutely determined then they'll get through all that of course, but as you say, you will know it's happened and the police are going to get involved. The number of thieves realistically willing to do that ain't going to be that high because the payoff of what might be in there is unknown.
I travelled continuously for a year at one point and this strat served me well enough.
Most wheeled luggage has a set of hollow metal bars inside where the retractable towing handle on the top retracts into. They're pretty sturdy, so you loop the pacsafe wire around one or both before locking it and then lock the bag.
Only way to get it out is probably to destroy the luggage or break into the pacsafe itself.
The idea behind it is that the pacsafe itself might be worth preparing for if it's just out in the open tied to something secure. If a thief has no clue it's there and thinks they just have to break the padlock on the luggage itself then it's another layer of defence they're not expecting.
But importantly, it's not really a lot of work from my pov. Again it won't deter a premeditated determined thief with the right tools, but very little will.
Simple: you keep those things on your person whenever you're away from your hotel room. Use a "traveler's wallet" which hides under your clothes. You should never be without your passport in a foreign country; it's generally illegal and it's the only way to properly identify you.
But what if you have 2 passports? Carrying both is a SPoF. Where do you hide the additional?
Definitely not in the room safe, that's the first thing they'll look through.
Maybe the hotel has their own safe? But that involves trusting the staff.
I think all bets are off if someone with intent breaks into your room and does a full upheaval, but hiding it in your suitcase or e.g. sticking it with some tape under a cabinet or drawer might be adequate.
Our preferred strategy was to have my teammate pin down the other two so I could search the room uninhibited.
Made for great entertainment for anyone watching.
Such thieves want only money and perhaps devices. Anything else they don't care about.
If you keep it under your clothes in a travel wallet, this won't happen.
>you want to go to the beach and swim or snorkel or any sport
You can get waterproof pouches for this.
For example, you might hide your cash or documents in between a framed print and its backboard. You might open the room safe and reset it to the default state with your passport in a black envelope taped snug against the back ceiling of the enclosure.
A committed intruder might find hiding places like these eventually, but it could take an unacceptable amount of time for them to consider it.
While police might be annoyed by this, you may be unlikely to encounter a situation in which it's necessary at all, and it probably won't endanger you unless you're in a place where police habitually try to extort foreigners, in which case it could provide a new pretext for extortion.
The best advice probably varies by country, depending on local crime patterns and also on the attitudes of local authorities to visitors (or to visitors like you).
The biggest issue I had when I got my passport stolen in Costa Rica was not getting my British temporary passport reissued, that was relatively straightforward. It was waiting in line to get an ESTA to transit the US on the return flight. Felt sorry for all the local guys in line to get their document processed. It was annoying because I didn't want to leave the airport in Florida or wherever I was transiting.
I remember in Nepal kayaking and basically taking all of our valuables on my body while on the river as we weren't sure we'd ever see our bus/driver again. This suspicion was actually proved valid when our bus was subjected to a minor terrorist attack!
Every time I check into a hotel, I have my ID and credit card ready to hand to the clerk. They are going to ask for it anyway. I don’t bother with them asking for my name and spelling it wrong when looking up the reservation.
It makes check in much faster. Especially if you are jet lagged, it's much faster and easier to tell the clerk "here is my reservation confirmation", plus it's faster for them to type it in.
Second, if you don't have internet access it's nice having a hard copy. For example, your phone may be dead after traveling, or your current sim may not work in the country you traveled to. You might want to check into the hotel before going to buy a local sim so you don't have to carry your bags with you. Plus, having a hard copy also means you have the address of the hotel for a taxi driver.
This doesn't at all need to be a 'wink wink' type situation, this is how I normally check in and I've never done it for opsec reasons, it's just easier. Plus, I had a situation where I had forgotten my phone charge cable and had trouble remembering my reservation details due to a long flight.
>I think not.
Yes. that makes no sense, if someone is targeting you specifically, they will already know your looks, and a hotel room thief won't care about your name.
There is still the George Kaplan case, but I believe it is a rare one:
Maybe you don't travel that much?
You may not have been paying attention. I think people don't think about these things because they don't think it's important. It's hard to remember something that you don't care about.
I'm not super-fanatical about having printed maps etc. in a familiar city but I try to have backup of everything especially traveling internationally.
For example, a few years back, I somehow managed to lose my drivers license between the limo and the terminal door. It was a short trip and I hadn't bothered to bring my backup travel portfolio. Shockingly, TSA (at least at the time) let me get on the flight after some enhanced screening. But I had a heck of a time getting the hotel--which wasn't one of my usual chains--to let me get a room.
FYI, I believe it's Hannibal Buress
I went with a group to an event in Greece and somebody had forgotten hid ID at home and only noticed at the airport. No problem the german airline agent checked him in, and he went through security screening without an id. (Boarding pass was enough)
But when he wanted to fly back, the airline agent on the greek side insisted that he needed an ID to check in. So he had to prolong his stay, to get documents from the embassy and book another flight a few days later.
Yeah, actually try this sometime. I do this regularly and it's amazing how often floors are locked from the stairwell, and more than once I have found floors skipped--you take the 4rth floor stairwell down and end up in a basement kitchen or something.
Also he neglects to mention in the "Book online" section that it's always safer to book directly from the hotel website. Fewer middlement. These days their prices are competitive or better than the aggregation sites, and with better terms. Some aggregation sites have little compunction about booking the wrong room, then don't refund things the hotel would if you dealt with them directly.
I travel extensively for work, and this is simply not true. Literally last week, I saved $40 by booking through hoteltonight in Chicago. Once you get close to the date of the stay, prices become squirrely and weird. This is definitely true if you're booking more than two weeks in advance, though.
Regardless of my "genious discount level 9000" or "save up 10 nights and get 1 free" and all the other "discounts" that you actually paid for indirectly on aggregators.
The only place where this didn't hold true for me so far was a hotel in Indonesia, where the price quoted at the hotel desk in person was higher than a certain aggregator. The people at the front desk suggested I'd book online and I did :)
Besides not wanting another random website having my data, the chance of misbookings is high. Hotwire/Priceline models might actually give cheaper bookings or when you can have a less flexible booking/prepaying for example.
The discount models hotels use are fixed, there's no magic in a random website giving you a discount.
This is a common balance to ensure you can still evacuate to another stairwell if your chosen one becomes blocked for whatever reason, and providing additional security.
Sometimes called « crossover floors ». I guess you could ask at a hotel to NOT be placed on one, but I kinda doubt front desk will be familiar with which to avoid.
> I open my laptop bag as if I am searching for something
Don't make anyone think you have anything of value on you!
Also don't carry a light, easy to steal bag. The laptop goes into your suitcase.
As part of my routine when arriving at a hotel I study the fire exit map, maybe use the local vending machine, paying with coins from my pocket - gives me time to have the elevator all to myself.
I used to carry an emergency high-value banknote in my back pocket so that in case the worst happened I would at least have some money on me. The thieves that robbed me in the past never wasted time on full checkups.
Every single electronic that wasn't in carry on luggage was stolen.
My dad personally lost thousands of dollars in camera equipment. I never put anything I'm not willing to lose in my checked baggage.
> high-value banknote in my back pocket [... to] have some money on me
Nah, pickpockets usually attack the back pockets first, they are mostly unprotected. Best place to hide some cab money is inside your shoes/socks. Have a reasonable amount of money in a wallet and carry it in your front pocket.
Pickpockets would have a harder time and if robbed the mugger would be happy with the amount inside the wallet and won't check you further.
A friend does that; she refers to it as her "Don't Kill Me" money.
I do care about my privacy (and safety), thanks
Edit: I could be misremembering if Naomi Wu used it or something similar, but I think I'm right. If you know correctly, let me know.
I would still use a door stop - a rubber one doesn't weight much. But I would just carry one - with my luck the other door would be a slide door or open outside.
Globes are better for keeping intelligent cars/dogs/children where you want them though.
IMHO a smart thing if there's an emergency and you're staying someplace unfamiliar...
The "know your area before you step out and don't look like a confused person standing in the middle of the street when you exit the hotel" part is also really good for not being immediately marked as a tourist.
Here are a few tips for regular people:
Check-in early (by phone or via web, if you need to) because the best rooms are allocated on first come basis.
Always insist on a top floor room otherwise you'll be constantly disturbed by a heard of elephants walking across the under-engineered floor above you.
Avoid the ground floor, for the reason above, and, also it tends to be where they put the most likely trouble makers, groups and smokers (who'll noisily leave and enter their room throughout the night for regular nicotine fixes).
Make an official complaint for the slightest of disturbance, budget hotels are built on the cheap with a contingency for refunds factored in - you'll be surprised how easy it is to get a full refund and/or a complimentary breakfast.
If you hear a fire alarm do not hesitate to vacate the building and stop for nothing, construction standards meet the minimum fire safety regulations and no more. This means the building can lawfully burn to the ground in less than an hour, and a few have done exactly this.
Top tip, have a short nap as soon as you arrive. It helps alleviate that 'first night in a strange bed and can't sleep' problem.
Taking a stroll around the neighborhood, hotel and your floor is always a good idea. It's also really helpful to pick up some fundamentals of the local language.
With far less attention to security, I do this to e.g. charge up devices while I go get a bite to eat before heading out again in the evening.
The floor thing is twofold; one, a lot of hotel ground floors are quite busy with passers-by, higher floors should only have guests and occasional staff. But the author also mentions that fire ladders can still reach the 2nd or 3rd floor; if you're higher up, you have to be able to go down first. You're cornered if you're on the top floor.
Personal I like the top floor cuz you can't hear people banging around on the floor above you and it's normally a bit quieter... But now I'm going to rethink it. :) :P xx ;p
[1,000 lumen flashlight] ...they are incredibly effective at temporarily blinding a would-be attacker, giving you a chance to escape.
Mind you, if you do get robbed, it's probably best to give up the goods anyway instead of try and fight. Make sure your passport is safe (keep it somewhere else than your wallet / phone / valuables) and you should be all right.
They typically have low, high, and strobe modes for disorienting targets.
Of course, many business travelers don't have the luxury of driving where they need to go, but for tourists, it's worth considering. You usually don't even need to make a reservation, you just find a spot around the time you are ready to stop driving for the day.
Almost every motel I've stayed at had a live-in manager, their quarters were located behind the front office/checkin desk.
Maybe a couple of times, I've had the misfortune to spend the night in a room adjacent/above to one where, as mentioned elsewhere, there are noisy people in the middle of the night (arguing couples, smokers going in and out), but never experienced for example police presence.
I used to work for a three letter agency. We had employees that would travel to various developing countries. Due to concerns with competing nation states they'd be issued new laptops that were completely blank save a word processor and web browser (no useful information/ trade secrets on them).
The laptops would be weighed prior to departure and upon return. There were cases were laptops came back heavy. They were heavy because someone got access to the hotel room and soldered equipment directly onto the board.
When traveling, keep your devices with you. You'd be surprised what might interest a foreign government. You don't even have to be directly involved, you could simply be an affiliate of the actual person of interest.
* Don't check into (cheap) hotels at 2am, criminals prowl at night looking for easy targets.
* If you do, be on extra alert for idling or lurking cars with headlights on at hotels in early morning hours, it is indeed a greater threat indicator than in daylight hours
* Minimize your movement outside your room when it's dark. It's not necessarily a boost in your security profile to go back out to your car to bring in your forgotten laptop from the trunk back into your room
* If someone does have you at gunpoint and wants your money, do what your mother said and just give it to them, you can always make more money later. No regrets.
* When a criminal takes your wallet, appeal to a shared fear of cops by asking for your driver's license back, you may still lose your cash but get your ID and credit cards back if they don't have a clear plan/motive to fence them... huge hassle savings (hat tip to the divine inspiration that brought this to my lips in that moment, it worked)
* If you do lose all your credit/debit cards (+cell phone), one benefit of reporting your situation to the cops immediately is that when they come and take your statement and open a case (however unlikely it will be solved), they may give you a card documenting and showing your case #. That card can come in as handy evidence backing up your "sob story" in conversations the next day with strangers you meet if you now find yourself in a strange city with no resources and no friends looking to get a free meal or other assistance (while promising to pay the stranger back of course). Conversely, a stranger telling you a sob story of them being robbed can be asked to produce such evidence.
* Trauma is a real thing. Your body can react to deadly threats afterwards in ways you cannot control. The next day after being held up, I literally could not enter a new room without my head moving/turning to scan entrances/exits for threats. I tried to stop my head moving repeatedly and could not! I literally could not control my body.
After a little while of experiencing this, I found myself asking myself "Well, do I need to embrace this new behavior as a needed lifestyle adjustment? Or do I work to go back to my old ways?".
I chose to work to go back to my old ways as this was a bit of a one-off situation (and in hindsight it was), but it took about a week of continual effort to regain control of my mind+body behaviors. I can easily see someone in different circumstances facing different tradeoffs remaining traumatized.
It’s always a good idea to ask for the incident number whenever you go to police for something or for any BS interaction with them. Make sure there’s a paper trail when you’ll need it.
I use this novel device called a "smartphone" to snap a picture
Good idea to take the pic, for sure, but perhaps not as the only copy - best to walk it hand have some memory
That's absolutely noncompliant with EU regulation, and seeing such an attitude from a security publication is a real shame.
It's why the "do not disturb" and putting on the TV thing also works, it makes on-edge burglars doubt whether someone's there. And doubt is enough to discourage opportunists.
Plenty of people travel to dangerous places regularly, and I don't think they're necessarily miserable. Some I've met, like physicians who do charity work overseas, find a lot of personal satisfaction from helping people in places most wouldn't think of going even on a bet.
for users outside US, since this site illegaly denies access after rejecting cookies
Either the site must be completely inaccessible to EU citizens (no matter whether user will consent to cookies or not) or it must be accessible even after rejecting consent, there is nothing in between.
Accessible site only after giving consent is just plain blackmailing.
Though I had to assist a relative in EU that couldn’t click the “unsubscribe” button on a marketing email because that too led to a 451!
As are Oakley sunglasses and people with a badass complex for that matter, lmao.
Some dude tried to mug me in Dijon in 2018, but I must have been imagining things... or obviously a very uncommon situation! I should have travelled to someplace safe like Saint-Denis, or maybe stay safe in America and go to Chicago.
Might as well just die.
Ironic for an article about how to be a security paranoiac.
Edit: Especially as it recommends an online booking and doing so without regard to cookies and other trackers is probably leaking far more personal information to people who actually could use that information than saying your name out loud.