The world’s eyes will be on Rio de Janeiro this August, and TID’s figures show there has been 95% increase in policy purchasing for Brazil compared to last year.
However, with 76% worried about their physical safety, including kidnapping and muggings, 73% concerned about theft, and 64% wondering if they are exposing themselves to illness and disease, such as the Zika virus, what extra precautions can travelling Aussies take?
Phil Sylvester, Travel Safety Expert at TID says “Rio de Janeiro – and Brazil – is front and centre at the moment, and the country will see a surge in tourism that will last long after the main event has finished. Brazil is an incredible country that appears on many people’s travel wish lists, but culturally it is very different from Australia.
“The fact of the matter is that Brazil is a poor country and crime, robbery and assault is rife. However, if you take proper precautions, get your vaccinations and ensure you have the correct travel insurance it can be the destination of a lifetime”.
For Aussies/Kiwis heading to Brazil, here are TID’s top tips to staying safe:
- Leave all jewellery at home – anything gold, shiny or sparkly can attract pickpockets, whether it has any value or not.
- Blend in – that means no ostentatious designer clothes or anything that is overtly ‘touristy’, bum bags and cargo pants included.
- Keep your expensive camera in a plain looking bag, and keep it out for as little time as possible.
- If you do carry a bag then don’t put anything of value in it, including large amounts of cash, bank cards, passports or your mobile. You want to be able to let it go without a fight.
- Get a travel credit or debit card and keep a low balance on it, to be topped up online when you need to. That way if your card does get stolen or skimmed then you aren’t risking your life savings.
- Don’t walk alone, especially at night, and keep to busy and well-lit thoroughfares.
- Buses are fine to use during the day, but at night it’s best to take taxis. Call a registered radio cab company.
- Ensure you have had your vaccinations; there are a number of viruses in Brazil that Australians will be susceptible to. Due to an outbreak of the Zika virus, pregnant women should not travel to Brazil under any circumstances
- Ensure you have the appropriate emergency numbers and your travel insurance policy details on hand, either written down or with Tripwise, TID’s free app for iPhone and Android. Always report any incidents or issues as soon as they arise.
It isn’t all doom and gloom for Brazil and South America though, the recent research also shows that a huge 93% of Australians would like to visit the continent at some point in their lives, with Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Chile topping the list of bucket-list travel spots.