Expressions of worry and panic are the types of reactions I got when informing others that I was going to Brazil. Once I went on to explain that I was going alone, the worry began to fade and utter confusion set in, because apparently, it was inconceivable that I could even do such a thing. In their defence, however, the notion of a young woman travelling alone to a notably “dangerous” country could be a bit mind-boggling. Although I’ve never been one to be easily influenced, the combination of the worrisome reactions and warnings from online travel forums began to make me apprehensive.
Concerns for my safety in Brazil were weighing on my mind.
In retrospect, it turned out that I, like so many others, was so incredibly wrong. I regret to admit that my preconceived ideas of danger in Brazil hindered me from unleashing my inhibitions throughout my time in the beautiful country. I wasn’t entirely overreacting, however, as there is a much higher crime rate than the other countries that I’ve been to. Would I go as far to say that it is unsafe to walk down the street?
Just like every place in the world, there are dangerous pockets of the city which are unsafe for tourists, and even locals, to be in. The same principles of safe travelling still apply, and are a bit more stringent given the heightened crime rates in Brazil:
Conceal your valuables: In most areas, locals tend not to expose their mobile phones or expensive jewellery.
- Try not to hold all valuables in one place: Don’t carry your cash, credit cards, cameras, and phone all in one flimsy bag – if that gets snatched, you’re left with nothing! Leave one of your credit cards/some cash in your room’s safe.
- Stay away from the favelas unless you have a local or a guide to take you in
- Going out for a midnight stroll on your own in the middle of Central Rio is not a good idea
- Always lock the doors when getting into a taxi, as carjacking is very common
- If someone actually mugs you – give them what they want, because the likelihood of them carrying a weapon is very high.
These tips are based on common sense, which is essentially what will keep you safe through travelling in Brazil – a gem in South America that shouldn’t be avoided because of it’s alleged danger…
Photo Credit: [Pickpocket Sign]