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Airport>Hostel Trans

several options: price vs speed vs comfort vs safety

Knowledgeably coping with your months of prep excitement & anxiety, culminating in The Chute, long flight(s), Custom’s slow interminable wait & then a brisk jaunt to Baggage Claim & Declarations process UNTIL, finally, into the public Main Terminal. ……..Free again.        

But please, wait a moment; not so fast. Let’s first, get to the ‘true’ safety of our hotel room & and a refreshing shower.

If lucky, your hostel’s van or your friends are waiting for you with a big sign to whisk you safely to your lodgings.

If so, you’ve dodged the airport’s pickpockets; bag stealers & rogue taxis, and The Fake Greeter scam

(Jesse Warner, author: “How to Avoid Common Airport Scams”:

    Ahhh, the safety & comfort of your lodgings. 



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"Rome wasn't built in a day, it just looks that way." ~ Scott Eaton

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldnemmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmbloibihiuhi iuhoiuhpu. piughoiughoi ss has geniu

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic within it.” — Goethe

If not being met by hostel or friends, you are … on your own to navigate to your hostel; your ‘home plate’, … your ultimate travel ‘safe place.’. 

Your pre-trip research could have easily disclosed the many transportation options available to you. Equally, your research would have exposed the pickpockets, distraction artists, and taxi scams you may face in the airport’s fertile hunting grounds. 

Here, is a brief heads-up on those safety issues for each mode of airport to downtown transportation. IMPORTANT: this is also a great primer for ALL your travel transportation modes

I. Pre-transport “option” criteria: 

Generally, safety risks will vary depending on where in the world you land, but will always be present to some degree. Prejudicial as it may sound, developing nations with a high percentage of very poor people are also, IMO, particularly prone to soft crimes of pickpocketing, luggage stealing & taxi fraud & police collusion.

A much deeper dive into the broad transportation topic at [pplk: sub-post: Transportation (to come)]   includes these 2 important, fundamental pre-transportation “selection” considerations:

A. Transportation selection criteria:

There are at least four basic criteria used to select the ideal transportation mode in any context. Please spend a few moments reading my following sub-post: [pplk: sub-post: Transportation's selection criteria (to come)]

        1. costs of ...
        2. Luggage:... risk of being stolen/lost,
        3. Time: speed to destination
        4. comfort. acceptable to pliush

Each criteria may have serious or mild consequences. 

B. Mix of Airport Transportation modes 

Having grappled with cost, luggage, speed & comfort [sub-pil lk. ]., remember that you often can & must mix different kinds of ground transportation to finally get to your lodging, e.g., an airport’s light train to a downtown transportation hub, a local bus to a suburban village, tuk tuk to an even smaller village and, finally, a walk for last several blocks.

Available airport transport often depends on size of airport & city, but m:ay include any or all of the following

        1. Regulated or UNregulated taxis,
        2. Uber & Uber-like,
        3. Light rail/train,
        4. Airport Shuttle bus,
        5. Car/van/limo rental &
        6. Tuk tuk (small airports).

                      [pplk: sub-post: Transportation (???) (to come)] 

Generally, all but the unregulated taxis, are inherently ‘person’ safe,  if you protect your luggage & pockets.

II. Info Sources for Airport > City travel?

Today, the quagmire of different forms of transportation and their complex schedules are to this old traveler amazingly accessible through online, high-tech resources.

Ironically, modern online info is so voluminous and accessible that your biggest problem is parsing through it all for the precise info you need.  

My basic tools you are already intimately aware of…..

        1. Google: world’s search engine including directions to each country of region’s transportation timetable schedules & bookings. 

        2. Google Maps / Apple’s Maps: can lead you by the hand almost anywhere.


You may NOT have heard of it, but it is my foreign /domestic GO-TO for all transportation options including 1) multiple mixed transportation mode options, 2) costs, 3) schedules, and 4) a bunch of other detailed worthwhile information. 

What was once done by an entire travel industry’s agencies is now better done by Rome to Rio.

NOTE: Rome to Rio is so important in my opinion that I've written a separate sub-pillar tutorial.’   [pplk: sub-post: Rome2rio tutorial (to come)] including detailed use examples to make you quickly aware of its capabilities & skilled in its use

OK let's look at each Airport > Lodging transportation option.

Nowadays, you can arrange almost all of your airport-to-town transportation online in advance. However, if you choose not to do that,  … once inside the airport you will find many transportation kiosk options.

Of course, some lodgings and many exclusive tours or cruises may provide airport pick-up transportation to your first night's lodging.  I'll leave that inquiry to you.

Historically, in developed nations taxis, light Rail & airport shuttles are tourist’s prime modes of transportation although once acclimated to a city, local buses & commuter trains are good options.

III. Car Rental: 

A. Disclaimer: 

I never rented a vehicle for airport > city transportation. I did rent a Ku Ku Camper mini-rv for a solo 2+ week ‘Ring Road’ loop around Iceland [ytlk: Iceland Youtube Playlist (to come) ] & several Laos motorcycle OVN solo (overnight) trips. [ytlk: Laos Youtube Playlist (to come)]

B. Access:

Usually pre-booked online or at Airport Terminal Car Rental counter. 

C. Luggage & Stuff Risks:

Safe because rental car is totally in your control.

D. PERSONAL risks: 

Safe if you are 1) a competent driver, 2) can read host country’s road signs & know their rules, 3) obey laws, & 4) are fully insured,

E. Potential Scams/Risks:

Many of these risks are discussed in greater detail in my sub-post:                                   [pplk: sub post: Transportation ??? (to come)]
       1. Senior Age barrier or surcharge
       2. Add-on fees
       3. Damage Claims/Scams
       4. Insurance/emergency support re-interpretation scams
       5. Toll road fees, parking
       6. Fake car rentals w/ “Too good to be true” low rates offer.
       7. Asking you to pre-pay with a gift card or prepaid debit card.
       8. Vehicle substitution: not agreed vehicle
       9. gas: “full-empty option,” 


ANECDOTE: Iceland’s 'Ring Road' in Ku Ku's tiny RV

… a compressed geographical collection of –– remote highways, waterfalls, near impenetrable landscapes, a huge mix of water and mountain vistas, and a thin, but intriguing history, & an intimate travel in a small efficient RV station wagon

         [ytlk: Iceland Youtube Playlist (to come)]

I pre-booked a small bare-bones Ku Ku Campers station wagon RV for a two-week Iceland’s Ring Road trip with several long diversions.

Ku Ku Campers: excellent, cost-efficient company











ANECDOTE: Car rental damage

         A scam you can anticipate & frustrate

An Iceland branch of a large international rental company's Reviews alleged a pattern of charging phony car damages & high repair costs to customers when cars were returned. (find on internet)

Known risks are: insurance scams, false damage claims, nit-picking terms: full tank or return, and cleaning fees. 



1) Research rental car companies online including company name in combination with the keywords “scam,” “complaint,” or “review” and read GoogleReviews.CAUTION: DO NOT rely solely on Google because, apparently, scammers can buy priority-positioned sponsored ads in Google search results

2) Verify ‘deals’ & ‘iffy’ termswith company's customer service/support directly (phone, text, email) or on company’s website.

3)Use Credit Cards:Google research suggests credit cards are best option because include several layers of protections & benefits not available with other payment methods, 

BUT, never pay with gift card or prepaid debit card---once you fork over the number and PIN, the money is gone.



IV. Uber vs Taxis:

Uber & Uber-like options & traditional taxis are prevalent. The future, of course, will include self-driving robotaxis with safety & conveniences unimagined today.

WADR to honest taxi drivers and ‘full disclosure, I presume that most taxi drivers all over the world are rapacious & dishonest particularly when dealing with tourists so, I have avoided them whenever possible. 

While perhaps a paranoid generalization, my experiences make that generalization work for me.

Nevertheless, in this writing, I will compare traditional taxis and Uber/Uber-like services so you are knowledgeable on both.

A. Taxis:

IMO, local country folks tend to be more honest than the more cynical big-city taxi drivers. London’s taxis are strictly regulated; their drivers epitomize ‘professional.” Perhaps true of some other cities.

Generally, many traditional 40-60-year-old taxi drivers’ decades of local driving experience often make them experts on safe/unsafe neighborhoods & ‘best’ routes.

TIP: bargaining custom:

Remember also, in countries that traditionally bargain for everything a tuk-tuk or taxi driver may quote a high price to a foreigner hoping you will accept without question, but, he will be culturally & emotionally prepared to bargain with you.

If you fail to determine the correct price in advance & bargain skillfully, then ‘buyer beware.” I don't consider an ‘initial high price’ a scam. It is a normal part of ‘bargaining’, but so also are your acquired bargaining skills. Bargaining-Game

But which taxi driver, tuk-tuk driver is ‘safe’?   

If doubts, ask hostel staff, but often there may be no one you know to ask.  TIP: If hostel recommends a taxi/private driver, …  know recommended driver maybe someone’s friend which is usually fine — just networking.

ANECDOTE: Cairo taxi

Some airports are notorious for phony, even criminal taxi drivers. Yet, at Cairo Airport pre-trip research suggested the private taxis just outside the main taxi area were OK & less expensive, so I took one.            

Foolish or not???      Today? beyond foolish, IMO

   Safe Practices:

Use airport-controlled taxi-stand taxis or other airport transportation: shuttle, train



NOTE: While my Taxi discussion in this post is intentionally limited solely to ‘safety’, in my transportation blog [pplk: sub-post: Transportation], I dive deeper into traditional taxis SOLELY to ensure that you understand the profound difference in risks between Uber & Uber-like services and traditional taxis which you may still encounter.

1. Taxi ACCESS:

Book thru ypur lodging, Phone, or hail from street.

2. Taxi Luggage risks:  

Safe from others unless in collusion with your driver, your bags are stolen when you are distracted. You & your luggage could be held hostage by your driver particularly when placed in the trunk.

NOTE: I never had or met anyone who suffered from this scam.

ANECDOTE: Siem Reap taxi driver

... some taxi driver's are real gems!!!

In Siem Reap, Cambodia airport taxi driver took me to several hostels until I found one I liked (driver gets commission from hostel. Only fair.) 

Trusting my instincts, I left my luggage in taxi each time I examined a hostel that he had suggested to me.     Foolish, in retrospect.    ???

    Safe Practice:

Don’t abandon bags in taxi without obviously taking a cell photo of driver, license & vehicle.


3. Taxi Personal risks:

a. Historic TAXI Risks: kidnap for ransom & CC balances

   [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]

Historically, taxis posed hard crime & soft crime dangers ranging from “Rogue Taxi” driver’s kidnapping for ransom or credit card/extortion to soft crimes’ annoying scams.


Please remember that before Uber and Uber-like options, taxis lacked most of Uber’s safeguards suggesting to me that an Uber passenger is inherently much safer than a regular taxi passenger.

But, don’t let these scams be the ‘…. tail that wags the dog.’(you)

b. Harsh Taxi Crime:

NOTE: I have NEVER experienced or met anyone who has.

1) Rogue Taxis:

Rogue taxis are independent unregulated taxis, often in collusion with others, that can be found anywhere anytime perpetrating the entire gamut of harsh to soft criminal acts & scams.   PIK

Ironically, because they are capable of the entire range of harsh crimes and soft scams it is hard to avoid them in one form or another.  But keep reading, I’ll teach you how.  

True pariahs of society & tourists.

Rogue taxis are particularly found lurking in or immediately outside airports, train & bus terminals, or popular tourist sites. They seek to attract unwary, ignorant, or overly cost-conscious taxi customers.

Airport passengers are particularly vulnerable because they are often exhausted after a long flight, unfamiliar with currency & taxi fares, inattentive, and anxious to get to hotel.

2) Kidnapping for ransom or DC/CC balance:

Kidnapping for ransom is often initiated by criminal Rogue Taxis & their accomplices, they will hold you indefinitely while demanding money usually from parents, etc. Very similar to phone ‘ransom’ scams except those ‘virtual’ criminals have not actually captured you.

Kidnapping for credit card/debit card balances may be less dangerous because criminals only want card balances you actually
have access to. Normally, I believe. you are quickly released when card balances or limits are exhausted. 

NOTE: I have NEVER experienced or met anyone who has experienced taxi-related harsh crime. I met several soft-crime taxi drivers which is why I have such low regard.

However, I will not unrealistically elevate your fears by citing the media’s exploitation of these rare occurrences. OTOH, if you like being proactively frightened by Stephen King, then Google Search. 😇



ANECDOTE: Shkodra, Albania's taxi driver's $ theft

After a taxi ride with others from Tirana to Shkoder, Albania, I handed the driver a bill much larger than my fare. He simply refused to give me my change back.  Smirking at me … challenging me to do something about it because he knew I had no viable options.     

I didn't see it coming.  Now, I should know better.    

Safe Practices:

1) Try to pay with exact change.

2) Carry various denominations so you can give the exact amount.

c. Soft Taxi Crime:

     ... normally, little poses any real physical danger

Taxi Potential RISKS:

    a) Overly long route increasing fare. 
    b) UNasked for side-trip to a business hustle: 
         Anecdote: side trip to a business hustle

In Hanoi, I let a taxi take me to a tailor shop at a discounted fare because I wanted the experience. I bought nothing because tailored clothes on me is like dressing a pig.😅 
    c) Price gouging (over pricing/changing price), (I experienced)
    d) Driver or vehicle switch ending with forced hotel & next day boat's lake tour & exorbitant prices.
         Anecdote: [pplk: Soft Cr: N Vietnam: bus scam]

    e) Bad-info scams (your hostel is out of business, but their better choice 

Nomadic Matt: 14 Scams etc:

    f) Low-level collusion with a criminal partner.
        Anecdote: EX: Watch your bag go in the trunk & closed 

   g) Luggage theft or hostage (if in the trunk) Never leave luggage in taxi while you visit a hostel???, (although I have. Go figure.)
   h) Outright $ theft (in Albania)”
        Anecdote: Shkodra (Shkodër), taxi driver's outright theft                           [jlk: Shkodra - above]

Taxi Safe Practices:     [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]
    1) Research your route & approximate fare (pplk: sub-post: Rome2rio]
    2) Pre-trip online research, booking & verification
    3) Book at Airport Terminal Taxi Kiosk or Airport’s Taxi stand in front of the Terminal
    4) Show the driver Google Maps route so he knows you know & are following his route.
    5) If slightest suspicion, a) take a different taxi OR b) keep bags inside with you
    6) Avoid suspicious or rogue taxis by doing 2) & 3) above


Today travelers at home & across the world are approaching the cusp of a “ground transportation for hire’ revolution. Even as we quickly transition thru Uber-like transportation, Elon Musk, and others envision the autonomous robotaxis that will eliminate most traditional safety issues while improving the environment. 

B. UBER services:

1. Uber ACCESS: 

Download Uber app to your smartphone [Uber blog: How to use Uber:

When I quit traveling five or six years ago taxis were dominant and Uber/Lift-like services were emerging across the globe. First, in India & then in United States, I began to use Uber with considerable success. 

Now, as I write, more and more taxi companies & individual taxi owners are migrating to Uber/lift-like services. 



ANECDOTE: Uber rises in Tucson

Several years ago when I left Tucson for a foreign trip, my Uber driver advised that taxi driver groups had ‘influenced’ Tucson to prohibit Uber passenger arrival pick-up at Tucson airport.

When I returned 2 1/2 months later Uber vehicles were allowed to pick up arriving passengers. 

Now (6/14/22), Uber instructions: “From baggage claim, stay inside and follow signs to app rides.”  Presumably, there is a nearby, on-site Uber parking area for quick app pickup response.


2. Uber Luggage risks:  

same as taxis, but much less so.

3. Uber Safe Person benefits:  PIK K9

Many Uber features suggest you are inherently safer than with traditional taxis because Uber app allows:

    a. Reviews: passengers, drivers & online company can review and rate each other, ultimately “paying forward” for future passengers.
   b. Pre-book specific route & price
   c. Cashless pre-trip payment in Uber app with credit card [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]
   d. Stay in a safe location until Uber arrives on street & in Uber app. 
   e. Real-time ride-tracking of Uber’s progress & arrival using your cell phone’s GPS-enabled Uber mobile app from a secure ‘wait’ location. 
   f. Driver & vehicle ID Confirmation before Uber entry.
   g. Emergency Uber Hotline phone contact: 800-285-6172
   h. Driver Background checks
   i. Vehicle Inspections:

4. Uber Potential Scams:

                                [pplk: sub-post: Transportation] 

Unfortunately, my current Uber research indicates an emergence of different scams & deceptions perpetrated in many countries by dishonest drivers & sometimes criminal enterprises (Mexico).

    (NOT my personal experience). Probably not physically dangerous, just very annoying. [sub-pil lk. ] Transportation


Again, please remember that before Uber and Uber-like options, taxis lacked most of Uber’s safeguards suggesting to me that an Uber passenger is inherently much safer than a regular taxi passenger.

Don’t let these scams be the ‘…. tail that wags the dog.(you)’ 

   1. Driver demands you pay cash claiming that:
       a. you selected ‘cash’ online, or. PIk K9 cc & driver
       b. there is a glitch w /Uber’s online app

   2. Phony Uber vehicle/driver offers lower cost so you will cancel & then charges you a cancellation fee
   3. You pay tolls
   4. Bait & switch:   [Jump LK. to Transportation post] 
   5. Fake trip extension: After you exit, driver ‘fakes’ your request to extend trip, billing extra fees.[pplk: sub-post: Transportation]
   6. Fake cleaning fee: Yes, possible, if & but … [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]]
   7. Unrequested vehicle upgrade: [jlk: sub-post: Transportation]
   8. Phony “re-request:   [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]

B. GENERAL Uber Safe Practices: [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]

    1. Verify car & driver BEFORE entering vehicle or releasing luggage. PIK Kp young woman
2. On Uber app seek drivers & vehicles with a previous, positive history.
    3. Use apersonal location tracking’ phone app (Find360, Glympse, etc) to share your ride (or trip) with close family or friends. They can notify police if you have not shown up at the destination.
4. Ride with others, rather than alone with driver
5. If a female traveler, ask for option to choose a female driver.
6. Contact driver in advance to intuitively assess how comfortable you will be with driver, but, you may not speak their language. 
    7. Give a reliable contact your driver’s name, email/phone info & destination 

NOTE: Some of these Safe Practices may be TOO impractical, cumbersome or undesirable, ..... SO … Your call!

C. ‘Solo rider’ Safe Practices: Uber: 

                                   [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]

The TorHoerman Law article “TAXI CABS VS UBER & LYFT: WHICH IS SAFER?” A good insight into the taxi vs Uber / Lyft comparison, BUT, it is US-focused & IMO, overly paranoid.

D. ’Ride share’ Safe Practices: Uber: 

                                  [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]

DISCLAIMER: I have never done an Uber or taxi ride-share with people I did not already know, so, these comments are my research only, NOT my actual experience.

Riding with strangers can’t guarantee absolute driver or vehicle safety, but some precautionary steps:

E. Ride Share websites:   PIK K9

1) BlaBlaCar BlaBlaCar (long distance travel in Europe), Motar & others — connect you to drivers with itineraries similar to yours, letting you save money & enhance security carpooling with a group of other travelers. Uber & Lyft provide carpooling options for shorter distances. 

2) “9 of the Best Ridesharing Apps for Travelers” (Too Many Adapters) 

Too Many Adapters: “9 of the Best Ridesharing Apps for Travelers”

C. Future: 

In the future, you will ‘think’ via your Neuralink implant & book a Robotaxi which meets you wherever you stand outside Airport’s Terminal Building.  PIK K9 robot

A Tesla Optimus Robot will have already autonomously retrieved & stored your luggage in the robotaxi’s ‘frunk’ AND, perhaps, it will have your choice of beverage & snacks inside waiting for you.

Finally, en route, it will advise your hostel of your arrival time & complete all sign-in formalities. Of course, your hostel’s robot will whisk your belongings from Robotaxi to your room putting them away if you wish.

Seamless & safe EXCEPT for some nerdy hacker’s scamming while trying to evade Robo Cop’s arrest. 😃

When Elon’s robotaxi revolution is fully in place it should neutralize my “taxi anxiety” rendering it almost a non-issue, but for the moment, we must assume that all taxi/Uber/Uber-like scams are still in play & protect ourselves until the future arrives.

NOTE1: Robotaxis.   Apparently, the Shenzhen, China-based AutoX Inc company claims 1,000+ autonomous robotic taxicabs; China’s largest, with new operations in San Francisco.

NOTE2: Fortune Mag suggests Motional company’s taxi fleet’s Vegas 2023 launch will expand worldwide. 

NOTE3: Tesla envisions entire fleets of autonomous robotaxis, as does Uber, Lyft & the flock of other worldwide services.

V. Light rail /train:

               [pplk: sub-post:  light rail ???

I have often used airport light rail & shuttle buses at different times of day without any hint of danger, soft or otherwise. I am sure there are nasty incidents occasionally everywhere, but my cursory Google search indicated few chronic passenger issues.  

    PROs: bright, new, usually lots of people 

    CONs: other ground transportation req’d to get to lodging?


Light railway is a USA engineering term describing a rail system operating primarily on exclusive rights-of-way using single or multiple tramcars of lower capacity & PIK. K9 llight rail   speed than long heavy-rail passenger trains or rapid transit systems (metros).   Multiple systems can confuse this definition.


Most modern dedicated Airport light rail/train tickets may be pre-booked online or purchased at ticket machines, train’s official ticket desk, and perhaps at multiple independent sources.  Search:

Terminal “direction to’ signs are usually obvious. 


1. Large Luggage: 

Airport to city light rail usually has a specifically designed 2-level luggage rack at 1 end of each car on 1st come basis OR perhaps overhead shelves/racks.

However, remember ...

that your greatest Light Rail luggage risk is when you are not vigilant & someone intentionally or unintentionally takes your bag from the bus/train when it makes stops. 
I have never seen it happen.

     Safe Practice:
1. Always, preferably, sit where you can glance directly at your bag.

2. At all stops, if concerned, then, walk up & stand beside luggage rack to monitor your luggage; … good exercise & reduces risk of stolen or inadvertently taken luggage.

2. All Other Belongings: 

Smaller bags & possessions you will usually store in overhead racks above you, hooks on back of seat ahead, under seat ahead, or in your lap.

Theft is more likely an opportunistic soft crime that your confusion offered that the thief-passenger just couldn’t resist. [pplk: Soft crime: __________ post]

    Safe Practice:

1. Limit yourself to 1 large luggage/suitcase & 1 daypack. Extra bags, shoulder purses, cameras are all distractions & theft opportunities.

2. Stay attentive (paranoid)

1) I left my hat in train’s overhead rack and only realized it halfway to terminal & luckily raced back for it before train continued on.

2) I recall someone leaving their expensive camera on the bus seat. Not foolish, just distracted, 

3) Columbia to Ecuador bus camera was stolen off a girl’s shoulder as she slept (said her boyfriend)

Resources: FYI, or not.

Airport Railways of Southeast Asia Map

How European cities are providing surface transport to airports

C. Safe Person Risks: 

Airport Light rail/train systems are usually very bright, safe, and expensive discouraging the average thief from investing a ticket’s cost on a chance opportunity ‘score’.

Cursory Google Search did NOT indicate any focus on airport-to-city light rail security protocols supporting my experience of no issues. 

VI. Airport Shuttle Bus risks

I have often used airport shuttle buses at different times of day without any hint of danger, soft or otherwise.

 I am sure there are nasty incidents occasionally everywhere, but my cursory Google search indicated few chronic passenger issues.  


Most modern Airport Shuttle buses may be pre-booked online or purchased at terminal ticket machines, bus company’s official ticket desk, or company’s street-side kiosk.  Search:

Terminal “direction to’ signs are usually obvious. 

    PROs: Usually new, packed with excited/distracted people & somewhat monitored by driver. 

        1. Often packed offering pickpockets fertile ground, 
        2. May need additional transportation mix to get from bus hub to your hostel.
        3. Occasionally nighttime dark interior … perhaps for driver’s benefit.

B. Luggage Risks:

             [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]

Shuttle bus’s large under-bus luggage storage compartment usually loaded by driver, you with driver’s assistance or you alone. 

Your Prime risks are whenever:

    1. Bus driver is not actively monitoring/securing the luggage storage compartment, so thieves can “snatch & grab” luggage on sidewalk or from bus’s open luggage compartment. 

    2. You are not vigilant … allowing a thief to steal your luggage from sidewalk beside you or from bus’s open luggage compartment. 

I have never seen it happen.        Most drivers are very vigilant.

But what if your main luggage is stolen? [pplk: sub-post: Transportation]




1) Make YOUR luggage easily identifiable, PIKs BUT OTOH, beware of expensive, flashy-looking luggage that might attract thieves. [sub-pil lk. ] luggage

2) Push your bags  ---

    a) far inside storage compartment, 

    b) far to either left or right side and 

    c) upright so ….. less incentive for others to move yours around OR pile stuff on top.AND so well hidden by others’ luggage it is harder to steal.

3) If possible, sit where you can look down on bags being taken out of storage compartment until compartment is closed by driver.

4) or, if assigned seating makes observation difficult, stand up and either look outside or get outside to ‘stretch’ & observe. Remember, ALL your prudent survival resources are in your luggage.

5) Watch, attach & lock carry-on bags in storage area or to overhead racks. PIKs

6) Secure luggage with locked airline cable  PIKs. [sub-pil lk. ]Luggage


ANECDOTE:  China ‘sleeper train’ train.

On China overnight ‘sleeper train’ I attached my rolling bag with a locked airline cable to hallway’s overhead rack which I could see from my sleeping compartment’s bed.






Major Airport Shuttle Buses are, in my experience, very safe: vigilant bus driver controls everything in her ‘fiefdom.”, operates during high traffic Arrival & Departure periods so you are with many other travelers.

However, this may be a mixed issue because in regional & smaller airports, particularly in emerging poor countries, shuttle buses, if they exist at all, may operate with no oversight or regulation BUT with corruption acting as the ‘economic lubricant’ at all levels.

The foreign tourist, particularly, must with considerable paranoia, adhere aggressively to all my Safe Practices. Imagine what ‘goodies’ you have hidden in your main luggage that would sell easily on a local thief’s black market.

Never ‘forget’ that the usual suspects: thieves, pickpockets, etc are always hunting.

NOTE: Perhaps your greatest risk may be ground transportation from city bus terminal, street bus stop, or train station to your lodging by taxi, Uber, city bus, tuk-tuk, or walking. 

NOTE: I have never seen or experienced the problem AND I have walked from bus depot to hostel many times just for the experience.

D. Potential Scam RISKS: 

Not aware of anything other than usual pickpockets & scammers



Table of Contents

quick links to main Travel Safety posts

1) Safety: crimes & health risks

2) Tourist Appearance factors

3) Tourist Behavior factors

4) Trans: airport > Hostel

5) Trans: in-town & country

6) Crime - General

7) Harsh Crime

8) Soft Crime

Safety : Airport> Hostel Trans END

Travel safety knowledge equals confidant, prudent travel anywhere!

So I will try to alert you to areas you must “prepare for” & hope you do ....  so you won't suffer the consequences which you will sometimes suffer anyway -- to some degree therein lies the excitement, challenge & satisfaction of solo international travel.

So, what’s next??? ….

      1st, we’ll discuss your “travel appearance & travel behaviors.”…

      2nd, we’ll get the scary ‘harsh crimes’ stuff out of the way AND 

      3rd, finally, we’ll move quick & deep into more typical 'soft' crimes


Safety Post #2: Tourist Appearance [link] to next TOC item


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