Travelling somewhere new for the first time can be an exciting experience; however, if care is not taken, the experience can quickly go sour. Nigerians, in particular, are fond of showcasing themselves wherever they go so that they can be noticed, but this attention usually can have consequences. This summer, a lot of Nigerians are going to be migrating temporarily to different countries for the holidays- It is important to know a few key tips that will help you to look more like a local and less like an easy mark for local hoodlums and petty thieves.
Keep your travelling documents safely hidden or don’t bring them out at all. Losing your travel documents, or getting them stolen can be a really big issue, so the best thing to do is to leave them somewhere safe unless you absolutely need them.
Don’t carry out large amounts of cash or valuables, and be sure to keep a hidden stash on your person. Carrying out large amounts of money can make you susceptible to attacks from petty thieves. Keeping a few notes hidden in your shoes or a hidden compartment can come in handy if there is an issue.
Don’t wear extremely flashy clothes. Dressing like the locals do can help you to look less like a tourist and more at home with the people of the locale.
Learn a few crucial phrases of the local language. If you can carry out basic conversation with locals in any area, they see you as a harmless and friendly person, and you tend to blend in faster.
If you are carrying valuables, don’t draw too much attention to your person. Clutching your bag, purse or your pocket where you have your phone or cash can make you an easy mark for thieves.
Read up on customs and traditions to avoid stepping on any toes. Don’t be quick to show disgust or anger at local customs. Be sure to understand that the way you view their customs as strange is the same way they would view yours if the roles were reversed.
Don’t draw attention to yourself with loud conversation. One sure way to know tourists is by the way they carry on conversations in loud tones, especially if they are in a group. This makes one an easy target for thieves; as well as a nuisance to your host community.
Finally, if you think you are lost, don’t just turn back abruptly, or stand and look confused. Try to locate a store or a shop and ask for directions; it helps you look like a confident person that just, unfortunately, missed a turn.