Safety?

Oct 1st, 2016, 07:17 PM
  #1  
dHo
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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Safety?

I'm traveling to Buenos Aires next week. Accompanying my husband who is there for business. I will be on my own during the day. I've read so many scary forums about the crime in the city that I'm actually terrified to go now. So many stories of pickpockets and muggings. Our hotel is in the more central area near his office rather than the Palermo area. Can anyone tell me how safe it will be for me to explore a little on my own? I know there are areas to avoid completely, but now these stories have me too afraid to leave my hotel room. I don't want to let fear ruin my one visit to this beautiful city.
dHo is offline  
Oct 1st, 2016, 10:18 PM
  #2  
 
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Just spent a week there and found it perfectly safe. In 2008 we spent a month there and again, experienced no problems. Both times we stayed in Palermo but wandered all over the central areas of the city -Centro, Recoleta, San Telmo, La Boca and all the Palermos etc... We walked, took taxis,bus and Subte. Perhaps we were lucky but I found it no worse than any other large city and a lot better than some. Just take the usual sensible precautions that you would in any large city.
crellston is offline  
Oct 1st, 2016, 11:36 PM
  #3  
 
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I wouldn't be quite as sanguine as crellston. I got hit with the "black water" scam (although it was yellow goo) in the metro, and friends had the same problem around the same time on one of the main streets. I also ran into a lady who had her bag and neck wallet stolen outside the Ricoleta cemetery.

That said, taking precautions will keep you safe (haven't heard of any muggings). If you are carrying your passport, credit cards etc., do so in a money belt worn UNDER your clothes, and don't access it in public. Don't have anything of value in your pockets (the scammers weree out of luck with me). Have one day's supply of cash in a wallet in a zipped bag and keep hold of it. If it's any kind of back pack, carry it in front on public transport. You might want a "fake" wallet as a decoy, although I have never bothered.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2016, 05:35 AM
  #4  
 
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First of all, recounting third hand stories, when you do not know how ditzy or not the person is, or what the exact circumstances were, is not useful to snyone. Some people might as well have a "mug me" sign on their back. Perhaps the obvious string of the neck wallet or a dangling purse gave someone an opportunity.

Most tourist crime is opportunistic. The key is to plan. Not to give the opportunity. And to be aware of your surroundings.
That should take care of most potential problems, and you should, as crellston says, have nothing happen.

Wear a cross body bag with a sturdy, unslashable strap. There are some quite fashionable ones these days. Keep your hand on it or have it firmly tucked under your arm.
Carry just enough cash for the day, with enough for taxi fare or the bus in a more accessible pocket of the bag, so as not to expose everything when you need just change.
Leave the passport in the hotel safe and carry a good color Xerox copy.
I find a small pocket with Velcro closure pinned or sewn into the front of my waistband to be more practical and comfortable than one of those commercial money belt things for credit cards and larger bills. Very easy to just turn away to access when/if needed.

Be aware enough of the mustard scheme to know that you should just move away quickly, not linger to let anyone "help" you.
Throw-away wallets are for those who know what to do with them, when, and have the presence of mind to do so during an armed robbery, so ptobably not something you would think of doing.

Enjoy your trip.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2016, 06:23 AM
  #5  
dHo
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Thank you all for your replies. I'm trying not to be afraid and I certainly don't want to "look" afraid while I'm out in the city. I do have a crossbody unslashable bag and since the weather is still cool I can wear a light cardigan over the bag so it's not even visible. I plan on putting passport and credit cards on hotel safe and not wearing any jewelry. And I hope to take a couple of tours recommended by the hotel. Again, thank you. This does put my mind at ease a bit.
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Oct 2nd, 2016, 07:20 AM
  #6  
 
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My DH and I spend 3 months in BA (with a jaunt to other parts of Arg. or UY) every year. I walk a lot by myself and follow the good advice by dHo above...just as I would in NYC or Paris or....well, you know. While pickpocket snatches do occur, more serious crime is very rare...

I have never been victim...lucky, and also, I believe, as I follow those guidelines. In your case, I would take a taxi the first day or two, especially at dusk or night...then, I think you will begin to realize that this is a very walkable city with lovely people. Do not hole up in your hotel.

Enjoy your visit to this interesting and charming city.
MarnieWDC is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2016, 07:24 AM
  #7  
 
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Consider these two free tours, dHO: http://www.bafreetour.com/english-home#_=_

Most likely they are better than the ones the hotel recommends. And free. Well, you are supposed to tip the guide, if you enjoyed the tour.

In a nutshell, my safety advice is the following: If ANYTHING strange happens near you, assume it is intended as a distraction, hold firmly on to your belongings and walk away. If you have to, yell "Policía!!!" But you'll be just fine.

Have a great time in my town, while hubby works. LOL!!!
avrooster is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2016, 11:10 AM
  #8  
dHo
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Thank you so much!!
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Oct 2nd, 2016, 12:10 PM
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We rarely take tours, but by chance happened upon a free tour of Recoleta cemetery in English. Apparently it starts at 11.00am everyday but you should be able to find out about it online. An excellent tour which takes a round 90 mins.
crellston is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2016, 05:17 PM
  #10  
dHo
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Thank you crellston, I want to see that.
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Oct 2nd, 2016, 05:31 PM
  #11  
 
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Since I was a solo female traceler in BA, you may find my blog posts helpful. Start here:

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...-buenos-aires/

Besides the standard "hit the main sights" tour booked through my hotel, I spent one morning with a volunteer greeter, and one afternoon on a very worthwhile tour of BA's street art:

http://graffitimundo.com
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2016, 06:25 AM
  #12  
 
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Lots of dog poop and broken sidewalks are your biggest threat..watch where you step. We didn't have any safety issues. Only "robbery" being taxi overcharges. They are supposed to run the meter but may take you on long routes to run up the fares...still cheap. No probkem hailing taxis. If it is hot walking can be exhausting. I like to tuck extra cash in my shoe.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2016, 07:08 AM
  #13  
dHo
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I appreciate all of your replies!
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Oct 3rd, 2016, 08:46 AM
  #14  
 
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Oops, I meant to reference SambaChula (and now AV Rooster, as well) above.
MarnieWDC is offline  
Oct 5th, 2016, 11:55 AM
  #15  
 
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As others have said, just do your best to not make yourself a target. Wearing a money belt under your clothes is a good idea, with your credit cards, cash, passport copy, etc. in there. Doesn't mean nothing will happen but it makes it much less likely. I'm 50/50 on the idea of wearing a cross body bag. On one hand, it makes it more difficult to snatch, but on the other hand, if someone did go for it, you have the risk of being dragged down the sidewalk or getting a nasty injury to your neck. I used to live in Pickpocket Paradise in an Italian city and the police specifically warned people not to use cross body bags. I usually use a normal handbag, zipped right under my arm and keep my elbow firmly down on it. I loop it over my knee in restaurants etc. so nobody can grab it.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Oct 6th, 2016, 06:28 AM
  #16  
 
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Wearing a money belt under your clothes is hot and uncomfortable, and inconvenient. I much prefer the waistband pocket sewn or pinned in, just large enough for a passport, but usually used fro cc or larger bank notes.

If I weren't using a cross-body bag, I wouldn't use a normal bag either. Much harder to control at all times and too much risk of a snatch IMO. A small waist pack is preferable, one worn in front, that you can put your hand on when necessary. But some women can't give up all their junk, hence the larger cross-body bag.

At any rate, don't take anything you can't afford, financially or emotionally, to give up without a thought.
SambaChula is offline  
Oct 6th, 2016, 11:39 AM
  #17  
 
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I have read all the good advice since I will be in BA - alone - in December. Regarding the money waist belt, I find them hot and uncomfortable. However, what works for me is to use a neck wallet, but NOT around my neck. I shortened the strap and wear on my left shoulder, like a holster, hanging against my side. under my clothes. I found it much more comfortable than anything else I tried.

I would like to leave my passport in the hotel safe. Bad idea? good idea?
MyBaggage is offline  
Oct 6th, 2016, 01:32 PM
  #18  
 
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It depends very much on the person. I don't even notice my money waist belt when I'm wearing it. It's very soft, almost like cotton. I wouldn't wear it every day, but if I feel particularly worried about being robbed, it's good to know that there's really no way anyone could take anything from there on a crowded bus or on the street. With any sort of visible bag, whether cross body, handbag or waist pack, you always have that risk of someone just taking it.

Re passports, you are supposed to carry your passport on you at all times. I generally don't, but I always have a copy on me.
ClementineLdn is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 08:25 AM
  #19  
 
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I never carry my passport. just a copy

I also dislike cross body bags and neck pouches..ripe for snatching.

Would rather use the shoe or one of these than the waist pack

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...4Z5TDHCR3CWM4H
mlgb is offline  
Oct 7th, 2016, 04:02 PM
  #20  
 
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Sorry, I wasn't clear about the passport. I never carry mine either, just a copy. But can I be comfortable with the hotel safe? My small hotel is in Palermo.
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