Leave valuables at home! Not in your purse or car. In some areas, don't even leave it in the hotel room.
Use a money belt. These are small, zippered pouches that either attaches around your waist or onto your pants' belt loop. It sits inside your pants and is not to be pulled out for every purchase. Place into it important documents - passports, cash, plane tickets, ID, etc. Prevent body moisture from messing up your papers by putting them in a little plastic baggy.
Carry only a daily amount of spending cash in your front pockets.
If you're carrying a purse, use one that zips completely closed and straps diagonally across your chest. If you don't have one for across your chest, have a very short strap where the purse will rest under your arm as you carry it.
Europe is renowned for the petty thievery which can quickly destroy your trip. Read and learn from some popular tourist scams (from fellow travellers) on the internet. Or, ask us at the Corliss Group for some stories.
Tips from the Government
Register so the State Department can better assist you in an emergency: Register your travel plans with the State Department through a free online service. This will help us contact you if there is a family emergency in the US, or if there is a crisis where you are traveling. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts will not be released to others without your express authorization.
Sign passport, and fill in the emergency information: Make sure you have a signed, valid passport (and a visa if required). Fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
Leave copies of itinerary and passport data page: Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page, and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
Check your overseas medical insurance coverage: Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.
Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws: While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. The State Department website has useful safety and other information about the countries you will visit.
Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime: To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.
To contact the State Department in an emergency: Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies, and Consulates abroad and in the US, are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to US citizens. Contact information for US Embassies and Consulates appears at the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Also, the Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs may be reached for assistance with emergencies at 1-888-407-4747, if calling from the US or Canada, or 202-501-4444, if calling from overseas.