#WorldCup: How to Stay Safe when Visiting Brazil
You can reduce your risk of crime in Brazil if you avoid dodgy areas. (Photo: AP Images)
The news coming out of Brazil ahead of the World Cup is giving me whiplash. I hear that Brazilians are friendly, warm and gracious … but then come warnings about kidnappings, purse snatchings and carjackings. As I prepare for my own World Cup trip, I’m learning that both stories are completely true.
Many foreign countries’ crime rates are lower than those in the U.S., but Brazil is not one of them. According to the U.S. State Department’s website, “Brazil’s murder rate is more than four times higher than that of the United States, and rates for other crimes are similarly high.” Yikes.
The short truth: Tourists in Brazil are sometimes crime victims. But chances are higher if you’re not prepared. Here’s how to reduce your risk of becoming a statistic.
(Photo: AP Images)
This is not the time for seat-of-the-pants travel. Make plans and contingency plans, and educate everyone in your group about where you’ll be, how you’ll get there and what you’ll do there. “Don’t just wing it. That’s when you get in trouble,” Clay Adler, a Division Chief in the Office of American Citizens Services at the U.S. State Department, told Yahoo Travel.
Long before they get on a plane to Brazil, Americans should read the State Department’s information page for World Cup travelers, which paints a fairly complete picture. The department even produced an app for U.S. travelers, available on iTunes and Google Play.
Logistics are likely to be Americans’ biggest headache in Brazil, especially when it comes to transportation. “Find out how to get to the stadiums and the fan fest areas in advance,” Adler said. With cities overwhelmed and many planned public-transit projects unfinished, everyone will need big travel-time cushions.
If you use a taxi car service, make sure it’s a licensed one (Photo: Corbis Images)