Assessing Neighborhood Safety When Traveling

Assessing Neighborhood Safety When Traveling 660 880 Greg Ellifritz

I occasionally am asked how I assess the relative safety of the areas I inhabit when I travel to third world countries.  Different customs and language change societal norms, but these factors remain relatively constant no matter where you are in the world.  Take a look at this article and learn how to assess the baseline.

The Collective Mood and You


It will help you make a good decision.  The techniques are mentioned by the authors of Left of Bang, an excellent book to check out if you want to learn more about baseline behavior profiling.


In addition to the article’s advice, I would also suggest that you might take a look at a couple additional factors.  These guidelines may be pretty basic, but using them will give you a quick assessment of your relative safety in any neighborhood in the world:

  1. Are there lots of armed guards?
  2. Do the properties seem to be run down or not cared for?
  3.  Are people in the area walking in pairs or small groups rather than walking alone?
  4.  Is there a lot of graffiti present on the walls?
  5.  Are there obvious security measures (like broken glass embedded atop walls, electric fences, barbed wire, etc.) present?
  6.  Are there lots of people are aimlessly “hanging out” in the street?

If you answer “yes” to most of these questions, you may not be in the world’s safest place.  It’s time to move on.


For a more detailed explanation of these concepts, read my book Choose Adventure- Safe Travel in Dangerous Places.


How would you assess the safety of this neighborhood?
The world famous “Black Market” in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay