Many of us have our hearts and our minds set on the FIFA 2010 World Cup that will held in South Africa. Traveling abroad to any country can be a confusing time due to language differences, laws, customs, and more. The thoughts of the 2010 World Cup may cloud your senses and even your brain so much that you are not aware of the dangers that can and do occur in South Africa and of course, any and all country you may wish to visit. With your minds on the 2010 World Cup, you should pay close attention to a few things that you should avoid at all costs while visiting South Africa and preparing to enjoy the World Cup.
The list of things to avoid in South Africa include:
• Buying Fake FIFA World Cup tickets Online
• Waiting to purchase tickets at the gate
• Not getting your flight tickets in advance
• Not reserving lodging accommodations in advance
• Not reserving or planning transportation in advance
• Online Scams
• Not acquiring travel insurance
• Protecting yourself against ATM Fraud
• Protecting yourself against Car Jacking
• Not learning the laws of the road if you will be driving
• Not receiving necessary vaccinations and/or medications before departing
• Not updating your passport prior to traveling
Buying Fake FIFA World Cup tickets Online
Today, you may find several different websites offering tickets for the FIFA World Cup. Do not fall prey to those websites that are actually selling fake tickets. Pay close attention that you are purchasing tickets from an authentic vendor. In many cases, if you have not purchased your tickets early, they will be sold out.
Waiting to purchase tickets at the gate
If you arrive in South Africa without tickets to the 2010 World Cup with the hopes of purchasing at the gate, you may be very disappointed. The World Cup is not like your child’s high school game, the tickets sell rather quickly.
Not getting your flight tickets in advance
The World Cup is a huge sporting event and if you wait until the last minute to purchase your airline tickets you may be out of luck in finding a seat. It is in your best interest to buy airline tickets at least a couple of weeks in advance.
Not reserving lodging accommodations in advance
Once again, people from all over the world will be descending on South Africa. All of these individuals visiting South Africa for the World Cup will need a place to stay. If you do not reserve accommodations in time, there will be no lodging facilities available nearby and you will have to travel farther in order to find a hotel or other type of lodging.
Not reserving or planning transportation in advance
Once again, you will need transportation of some type while attending the World Cup. You can of course, use taxis, or other public transportation. Most individuals use a car hire company. If you plan to rent a car, once again, you will need to do this in advance to ensure the company will have a car available when you arrive.
With the 2010 World Cup just around the corner, there are all kinds of scams popping up not only for those wishing to see the event to buy tickets but also to reserve hotel rooms, airline tickets, and car hire companies. You need to pay close attention when looking for these items online so you do not fall prey to these scams. It would be terrible to arrive at the airport to learn you do not have tickets, or you arrive in South Africa to learn the hotel is non-existent, or the car hire company was not real.
• To avoid any online scam there are some basic rules.
• Never do online banking in a public area such as a library or an internet café
• Wireless connections are more vulnerable so it is best not to submit personal information over a wireless connection.
• Install or update your virus protection
• Perform regular maintenance on your computer
• When you have your personal bank page open, do not open other pages
• Pick a username and password that is unique and change often
• Be sure all your computer software programs are up to date
• Look for a padlock in your browser winder in the lower right side. This lets you know it is a secure website
• Click on the padlock to learn the owners of the website
• When finished with banking, log off and x out the browser
• Do not give out your username and password in an email or over the telephone unless to bank officials.
Not acquiring travel insurance
You may believe that you have enough insurance to cover you if you are injured while traveling in South Africa and that if you lose your luggage, the airline will take care of that for you. Well, you would be wrong in both instances.
Travel insurance is the only way to be truly protected. You should talk with an agent and ensure that your travel insurance policy will over medical and health for an injury or illness while you are in South Africa, 24-hour emergency service, personal liability in case you are sued for damaging property or causing an injury to others, lost possessions, stolen possession, cancellation coverage, and other coverage for activities you wish to include while on your trip such as skiing.
Protecting yourself against ATM Fraud and Attacks
Attacks at ATM machines have increased recently from 54 attacks in 2006 to 387 in 2007. These attacks were in the way of bombings. In 208, the number rose to a whopping 500. These attacks were seen in the early morning hours in remote or isolated area with a few being reported at shopping centers and gas stations.
To protect yourself against these types of Attacks
Avoid ATM machines in remote areas
Use ATM machines inside shopping malls, hotels, and banks.
Do not use an ATM with a cord or other foreign object attached to it
Tips to protect against someone stealing your pin number and card are as follows:
• Memorize your pin number – do not write it down and do not give the number to some else
• Have your ATM card in your hand before you approach the machine. Lingering at the machine will allow time for you to be robbed.
• Try to cover the keypad when typing in your pin number. Cover the keypad from the watchful eyes of the camera as well.
• Watch out for those that ask to help you with your ATM card. Do not allow others to help you unless they are officials.
• Never stand in front of the ATM machine after you have received the money. Standing in the front of the machine and counting your money is asking for trouble.
• Before walking away, check again to see if you removed your card.
• Never use ATM machines that are out of the way or poorly lit.
• Always be vigilant of your surroundings and others around you. You should watch for someone watching over your shoulder, following you, or even those that might be taking your picture.
• If your card was eaten by the ATM, do not ask someone to watch the machine. Just call the bank and report the incident immediately.
Protecting yourself against Car Jacking
Car jacking is a serious crime that occurs all over the world and in South Africa. To protect yourself against car jacking there are a few steps you should take. The first thing you should know is the location of most car jacking incidents. These including ATM machines, red lights, hotels, shopping centers, parking lots, drive through restaurants, valet parking, and car washes.
To protect yourself you should:
• Have windows rolled up
• Car doors locked
• When stopping in front of a vehicle, be sure you have enough room to drive off and get away
• Always park in well lit and busy areas
• Never park in remote areas
• If you have car trouble, do not just open up the door to the first person that comes to your aid. You should call for emergency services.
• Remember one thing car jackers have a tendency to lightly hit your car so you will stop and get out of your car. While in South Africa, you will be renting a car. Do not get out of your car, call the police, and write down their license plate number.
• If you do happen to be in a position with a car jacker. Do not fight them, let them have the car
Not learning the laws of the road if you will be driving
If you use a car hire company, ask for information on rules of the road. You do not wish to drive improperly and find yourself in jail.
Not receiving necessary vaccinations and/or medications before departing
Vaccinations recommended before traveling to South Africa include Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, MMR (Measles, mumps, rubella), and tetanus-diphtheria. Other recommendations include Yellow Fever vaccine for travelers visiting from the Americas. Rabies for individuals that will spend quite a bit of time outdoors.
Medications that you should be brought along for your trip to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup includes medication for diarrhea since Travelers’ diarrhea is quite common. All travelers should bring along an antibiotic and an anti-diarrhea drug just in case.
Not updating your passport prior to traveling
Requirements for traveling are always changing. At this time, your passport should be valid for at least thirty days from your return travel date and it must have two blank pages. The laws for entering South Africa states one blank page, but some visitors have been turned away if they did not have two blank pages.
Last Tips for your Safety
South Africa is a high crime society and all visitors should be aware of this and pay attention from the moment they land at the airport. Luggage should be watched closely and held securely. Thieves are around and are in search of an easy prey.
Driving around South Africa if you do not know the area can be dangerous. If you do rent a car, you should also invest in a Garmin Navigator. Car jacking is just as serious and prevalent as stealing. You should be on your guard and always pay attention to your surroundings. Stay in high traffic areas, keep your personal papers safe and secure, never left in the glove box of the car, and know where you are going instead of out sight seeing.
If is important to purchase a local sim card for your phone and add the emergency numbers for the area.
Townships are high crime areas and should be avoided. If you wish to tour a township, do so in a tour group.
Walking or driving around at night is not recommended, this is asking to be mugged.
Day or night if you are out and about and notice a large gathering. It would be in your best interest to steer clear. Protesters and demonstrations that start out peaceful can escalate into violence. The possibility of violence is there which does include threats against American interest. Recently South Africa has seen several attacks for foreigners mainly refugees or immigrants from other African nations. A large portion of the attacks was seen in the province of Gauteng and Johannesburg in low income neighborhoods and informal settlements. On the other hand, mob type violence has occurred throughout South Africa. The sad part is that targeted victims as well as bystanders have died or been injured during the incidents. There have not been any report of non-Africans being targeted, however, it is recommended that all visitors listen to local media and avoid any of these areas if a demonstration begins.