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Crime and its effect on choice of travel destination

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I've been deliberating over a trip to Paris or Rome, but the more I read about the level of street crime, scams, pickpockets, etc. in both the more deterred I become. These are cities I've always wanted to see, like so many people, but with age I've grown more skittish. The main issue I guess is that when on vacation I want to relax not constantly be on guard. I had this experience in Barcelona, another city I longed to see. I met some lovely people there and enjoyed the sites, but did experience a pickpocket attempt (an unsuccessful one thankfully). While there I learned of others not as fortunate as I. In the end I'm somewhat glad I went, yet the level of vigilance required certainly put a damper on things and my memories of the place. A very mixed bag.


I don't buy the idea of if you're careful it won't happen to you. Some of the scams used are extremely creative. It is not my intention to scare people, but this IS reality. Reading articles like this along with the comments afterwards, doesn't help matters:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/17/rome-mayor-foreign-office-pickpockets-tourists


My funds are not unlimited (neither is my time), so I need to choose carefully. I'd love to hear others' experiences in Paris, Rome or anywhere for that matter in regards to crime and how it affected your choice to visit or not, and your feelings about the place if you did go. In other words, was the trip worth it.

I'm considering scrapping the whole major city idea, which is tough when you've dreamed of visiting certain ones all your life.

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