Steemfest Safe Travel Guide

in steemfest •  2 years ago 

^ Lisbon, Portugal

Traveling to foreign locations and urban survival aren't all that different. You want to prevent bad shit from interfering with your activities and general quality of existence in both situations.

Last night I got the idea for this post while on the topic of Steemfest. So this morning I went ahead and gave a buddy who has considerable expertise in travel safety a call to get a few extra pointers and go over ideas.

Diversify your currency

^ Bitcoin atm in Lisbon

Don't just carry one type of currency or payment method with you. The thing about credit cards is they're easy to compromise and are not accepted in smaller stores. When it becomes compromised it'll typically lock or you'll have to manually lock it, preventing future use.

Debit cards have similar problems and are typically used to extract local currency, often at ATMs of questionable status and with considerable efforts going towards locating your local branch if you're banking with a major institution.

Bitcoin debit cards fall in the same category and it's generally tougher to find locations to have them accepted or reliable and functional ATMs. They're also regarded with suspicion amongst cops and border staff everywhere as no one knows anything about bitcoin other than its something new and like most things new, frightening.

The electronic options all rely on power availability. Power outages happen everywhere and brownouts are not uncommon in many countries. Internet connections also vary.

Cash is great to carry and should be kept in multiple denominations since taking out a twenty to pay for something minor is stupid on many counts. First, it may result in the vendor telling you to fuck right off since you'll wipe his float. Second, it flashes your money needlessly. Third, keeping only large bills, particularly if you keep them in the same place, will just cause you to loose everything if your wallet/main stash is stolen.

Never keep all your assets in one place

You don't want to have all your important stuff such as passport, documents, cash, tickets, wallet, phone, etc in the same bag, safe, etc. You want to have copies of the documents in several places should everything go to shit and you either get robbed or something prevents you from returning to the hotel on time, for example. Earthquakes, other weather irregularities, terrorist attacks, etc all happen and you're not so special because you're there for Steemfest that you're automatically immune. Street crime is common in all urban areas in every country in the world pretty much. Tourists make excellent targets.

Wearing layered clothes with pockets is always great and convenient. Keeping important documents in closed pockets on cargo pants, for example, keeps them on you and makes them difficult to attain for pickpockets. Keeping a version, either the originals or the duplicate, in your hotel safe or hidden in your luggage also works. You never want to carry important assets with you in a bag, back pocket or anything simple to discern as valuable and steal.

^ This is a pickpocketing operation in Lisbon, caught on camera

Never sleep in public places

Don't sleep on the train or on the bus. Get a Starbucks (they have them everywhere) if you need to stay awake. Pickpockets love sleeping tourists with their cameras, gadgets and a generally-excellent yield. If you have to sleep on a night train, keep your bags attached to you and your valuables underneath you or stored in a way that they're not readily accessible. We all know someone who lost their camera or phone on a train or bus.

Never let anyone into your hotel room

Don't let anyone inside the hotel room or allow anyone to see what you have inside. This is probably the first things the locals taught me when abroad (when I was in the Mediterranean region). There are all sorts of tricks thieves use to get a glimpse at your goodies -- kids, services, anything. No one needs to know what you've got.

Don't brag either. Bragging makes you a dick and a self-proclaimed target. We all know what you're worth by looking at your Steemit wallet.

Fast food is safer than slow food

^ Time Out Mercado Da Ribeira in Lisbon

I found this one out the hard way. Food from locations where there's a constant demand for it tends to be fresher and of higher quality. If you think of time you've gotten food poisoning from outside food it's typically from restaurants and places where ingredients just sit and stew in their own bacteria due to insufficient demand.

The best way to eat healthy and save money is to of course go to the market or the store and purchase your own groceries. If you have dietary restrictions or simply want to know what you're putting into your body it's the best option. You end up eating better, not wasting time waiting for food, and saving money. Since a lot of food comes in individual servings and doesn't require cooking you don't need storage or a stove to eat well.


When it comes to chain hotels and more expensive hotels in general, its best to book rooms on the 2nd floor and higher. You don't want to have ground level rooms to prevent burglaries and just random pieces of shit getting in should you forget to close a window or door. Many hotels also have special floors for lone female travelers with extra security on them.

^ Airbnb Lisbon shown in CAD

These days one of the better options when traveling is to stay at an Airbnb location. There's a ton of them in the Lisbon area at various price points. For those types it's pretty safe to judge them by their rating. Airbnb are often people's livelihoods, they're not going to mess around with a client because that positive feedback is worth more to them than anything else.

Renting from an individual also connects you with a local who, if there, can give you ideas on what to do and see as well as tips on what to avoid.

Recreational activities and the like

Remember that drug use is treated different in different countries. You don't have "the right" to do whatever you're permitted to do in your native country if the local law states so. You don't want to deal with the local cops or visit the local jail. It won't be a great way to spend Steemfest. And if you risk it, never share what you've got (counts as dealing) and never accept anything from anyone you wouldn't trust with your life. Lacing is not uncommon and no one wants to wake up on the street the next day with everything stolen or worse.

Transporting medication across borders requires preparation depending on your country of origin and what it is you're carrying.

When it comes to clubs and the rippers, it's going to cost you. If you're on a budget that's not the place for you. You will be charged for everything and you better pay up fast and with your mouth closed.

Risks in general

Petty shitrat criminals are everywhere. Some work in groups, some send kids to pickpocket, some will send women to get friendly with the target. Keeping an eye out, not trusting everyone you meet, not taking out your wallet to support the local beggars, not accepting drinks bought for you by a new "friend", getting the fuck out of dodge when you hear something that sounds like "fireworks" -- all these will help you safely enjoy Steemfest and your vacation in general.

Phone numbers and digital keys

Keeping a list of important phone numbers is important. You need to have your embassy and any personal contacts on it in case you're up the creek without a paddle and need someone to call.

For passkeys and other digital keys you have to encode them when you write them down. Don't have them logged in or saved in digital form. Figure out a code and stick with it.

For a Steemit private posting key for example: (original) 5Y3ag224l5kEsrlj363Vkl2qjl4lDfjjcndj43iajsljg19jtyS, (coded in a way only you understand) 6Y3ag224l6kEsrlj353Vkl2qjl4lDfjjcndj43iajsljg19jtyS What did I do? Just swapped the 5s and 6s. IPs can be made to resemble phone numbers, same with simple pass codes.

Never use a public Wi-Fi including your hotel's connection. You don't know who's monitoring it to part you from your funds, accounts and digital property in general.

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Great advice, thanks for sharing

very good tips!

Congratz, your post has been read, approved and resteemed by a human!

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Great advice, thanks for sharing @guiltyparties

Thanks for the advises.

Do you have any advise on staying away from tourist traps in Lisbon?

Hi @guiltyparties, I just stopped back to let you know your post was one of my favourite reads and I included it in my Steemit Ramble. You can read what I wrote about your post here.

If you’d like to nominate someone’s post just visit the Steemit Ramble Discord