Thursday, December 26, 2013

Brazil: Security Tips for Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Major Cities

As promised today (December 26),  and as a follow-up to my posting of December 24, please find below a list of security tips for all major cities in Brazil:

1. Don't have high expectations from your embassy and/or consulate. High expectations are rarely realized;

2. Regardless of whether you are planning to attend FIFA in 2014 or the Summer Olympics in 2016, please BOOK NOW, as projections often fail to meet projections, for a variety of reasons;

3. Do keep in mind that both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, for the LAST 25 years, have been rated as Also, do keep in mind that crime in Rio de Janeiro has been rated as "Critical" threat by the US Department of State on the Department's four-level threat-level of: Critical (the highest rating); High; Medium; and Low;

4.  Register your itinerary and where you're staying with your foreign affairs agency, if they provide such a service;

5. Enroll in international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before you leave home in the event you are injured or become ill. To shop for coverage, go to:

Such coverage normally runs $8-11 per day, but is priceless if you need medical attention, particularly if you need medical evacuation which can easily to $100,000 or more.

Finally, many medical providers in developing countries deny treatment to foreigners unless they can guarantee payment, so this coverage is essential;

7. If you are taking a laptop, tablet, digital camera, MP3, 4 player; DVD player or other expensive electronics abroad, considering purchasing international insurance coverage through;

8. Take no jewelry over $100 in value;

9. Book your accommodations at a four-or-five-star hotel if at all possible, as such hotels take very good care of their guests from a security standpoint;

10. Stay only in hotels that have a lobby-based, two-key safe deposit box system for your passport (carry only a photocopy of your passport on your person), unneeded credit cards, cash, etc.;

11. NEVER use in-room combination safes, as they always have a "back-door" for staff members; 

12. Always take a business card from your hotel so that you can give it to a driver so he can get you safely back to your hotel; 

13. If you are not able to book reservations at a hotel in #2 above, please read my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD. To order, go to: For the next 60 days, we're offering this invaluable book @ 50% off, which means US$11.00!;

14. Wear an athletic sports watch ONLY, as no one will hold you up for it;

15.  Never carry more than $100 in cash and DO carry an ATM or debit card so you can withdraw cash in small amounts:

16. NEVER use an ATM installed on the street. Use only ATMs situated INSIDE of a financial institution;

17. NEVER walk at night; ask your concierge for the name of a reputable taxi service;

18. Be observant of those around you as vulnerable-looking foreigners are often targeted by criminals in Rio; and

19. Always carry a mobile phone with you 24/7 and type in the the after-hours number of your embassy/consulate, the nearest hospital and the police emergency number, although if you are robbed or victimized, call your embassy/consulate FIRST;

20. If you have any questions about traveling in Brazil, send me an email @: