Tips to Stay Safe While Traveling in Brazil

By 16 October, 2020

Most people tend to think of Rio de Janeiro whenever they feel like taking a trip to Brazil, even though it is pretty big and offers a whole range of tourist attractions. That said, whether someone’s going to Rio or São Paulo, there are a few basic safety tips that work everywhere.

That’s because, despite Brazil’s amazing natural beauty, welcoming people, and unique cultures, it does rank very high on crime and poverty. Those factors could lead to some problematic incidents for any travelers who aren’t careful. So to that effect, here are a few safety tips everyone should read before they head over to Brazil.

1. There are Women-Only Carriages on Subways in the Major Cities

Let’s face it, women face a lot more safety problems than men when they’re traveling around. This is why the subways in Brazil have women-only carriages so that women can get to where they’re going without fear of being harassed. Men who try to enter the carriages get heavily fined, and it’s strictly enforced.

The gender limit on these carriages is only applicable between peak times in the morning and night, however. The rest of the time, they can be used by anyone.

2. Always Use Guides When Trekking

The Amazon rainforest is one of the world’s most incredible ecosystems and contains many beautiful flora and fauna. It’s also extremely big and notably dangerous due to various animals and indigenous tribes.

Anyone who plans to take any hikes or treks into the forest needs to hire a certified guide who knows the area. They’ll make sure that the group sticks to safe paths and know which risks to avoid.

3. Stick to the Safe Areas and Tourist Traps

While some travelers yearn for a more “authentic” experience and tend to shy away from the big touristy hotspots, that plan can backfire in Brazil. The country is often labeled as a dangerous hotspot, and according to global trends, tends to be high in violent crimes and murders.

These incidents, however, are fairly limited to bad neighborhoods and the gang on gang-related crimes. Tourists are rarely involved in any severe crimes since they tend to stick to the sightseeing spots and wealthier areas, which are safer. Still, be on guard nonetheless, as tourists are still regularly targeted by “softer” crimes like pickpocketing and theft.

4. Using VPN Is a Must

Travelers don’t just get targeted physically anymore – they have to contend with cybercriminals as well. These scummy individuals often prey on unsuspecting people through public WiFi spots. Whenever someone connects to a hotspot, they instantly steal any data they send over the web (like login details or credit card credentials). Some even infect travelers’ devices with malware so they can steal any valuable information later on. That’s where virtual private networks (VPNs) come in handy.

So what is a VPN, and why is it helpful? A VPN service provides a secure connection through which people can send their data, even if they’re on open WiFi. This is because the VPN acts as a middleman that wraps a protective tunnel around the data so that outsiders can’t access it. Another bonus of using VPNs is that people can change their IP address. This is especially handy if anyone needs to access online services back home that may be blocked in Brazil.

5. Pay With Cards Not Cash

Almost every place in Brazil accepts debit and credit cards, so it’s better to just carry around a card instead of wads of cash. Although keep in mind that the small informal businesses (like souvenirs salespeople) usually only take cash. So instead of walking around with money, draw small amounts only when needed.

6. Leave the Jewelry at Home

Putting any bling on is like painting a big red target on oneself. It may feel nice to don some accessories to match an on-point outfit for a great night out, but the risk simply isn’t worth it. Spend the vacation jewelry-free and relaxed instead of worrying about a criminal potentially seeing a reason to make a move.

7. Don’t Hang Bags on the Back of Chairs

While taking as few belongings as possible when leaving the hotel is the best option, it’s not always possible to leave every valuable item behind. But that means vigilance is key – never make it easy for someone to take something, and grabbing a bag hanging over a chair is pretty easy. Rather wrap the strap around the chair’s leg or keep it on.

Final Thoughts

Brazil can be a magical travel destination, so long as people take the necessary precautions. Sure, vacations are meant for relaxation but don’t get too lax and give the opportunists any reason to take advantage. Be smart, and stay safe!

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