Brazil World CupWith the World Cup starting in just a few weeks in beautiful Brazil, the craziness is about to take over. The World Cup means cheering on teams of which you have never heard of a single player, rooting for countries you have never heard of, and celebrating every game like it’s a huge party. The one time every four years that the U.S. tries to act like the insane soccer fans of the rest of the world.

With more than 150,000 Americans expected to make the trip to Brazil for the month long party, it’s safe to say the effort is there. Who isn’t going to want to slam drinks on a Brazilian beach while rooting on your home country to win it all? If you are planning on making the trip to the World Cup, know that it isn’t the U.S. and the culture is a bit different. It isn’t your home turf, so be aware of the dangers of traveling there. To help keep you in check, we have 8 safety tips to ensure you make it home in one piece:

  1. Leave the jewelry at home. Even if it’s costume jewelry, don’t wear expensive looking watches, gold necklaces, bracelets ,(ok we’ll call them chains for men). This is just bound to attract the eyes of thieves, and even if it isn’t worth much, putting yourself in the position to be robbed is not a smart choice.
  2. World Cup CrowdBlend in. Forget the khaki cargo pants and photographer vests. Don’t dress like a tourist. Looking like a tourist will only attract more attention, and can cause people to keep an eye on you and follow you. Similarly don’t wear easily seen designer brand clothing. You don’t want to have the shirt literally stolen off your back. If you’re going to be shirtless, it’s because you’re hammered and have body paint on.
  3. Keep the fancy DSLR camera tucked away in a plain-looking bag instead of a brand-covered camera bag, and only take it out for the shot, then put it away. The less it is seen, the less trouble it will bring you. The last thing you need is someone stealing it and using the camera to take selfie after selfie.
  4. Ditch the Fanny PackDitch the backpack and fanny pack. They scream “I’m a tourist, rob me!” Not only this, but you’re not exactly going to be turning anyone on. Let’s be honest, part of the reason you came to Brazil is for the infamous Brazilian Booty. Well, wear a fanny pack and kiss those big tan cheeks goodbye.
  5. If you do carry a bag, don’t put anything valuable in it – no cards, cash, passports or expensive music players. If a thief tries to snatch it you’ll know there’s nothing of value in there and it’s easy to let it go.
  6. Get a travel credit or debit card and keep a low balance in it (replenish it online from another account if you need to). If you lose the card, or it gets skimmed, or you are subject to an express kidnap, the thieves won’t get your entire life savings. Even though your life savings may not be much, after a month of hard partying you are going to want to be able to make it home with enough money.
  7. Safety TipsDon’t walk alone, especially at night. Don’t walk down quiet, deserted back streets. Keep to the busy and well lit streets. This is common sense but it is astounding how many stories come up of crimes happening because someone was walking alone at night down an empty street. Even when you’re stumbling drunk, have a plan.
  8. Buses are okay to use during the day, but take a taxi at night. Call a registered cab company. Some sketchy people take the buses at night, and all it takes is for you to get off at a dark stop for someone to hop out after you. Don’t chance it.