Travel Self Defense involves both keeping yourself safe physically and mentally. Be aware of your surroundings at all times to help avoid attacks and being taken advantage of in typical tourist scams.
Even though I didn’t actually do it, I did think about taking some self defense lessons before taking off. These courses not only give a person confidence so as to better ward off chances for attack, but they also give a person the means to fight back if necessary.
Don’t be a stupid tourist! Be aware of your surroundings, and if something feels a bit off, it might be. Never walk alone late at night, and if you’re out drinking, it is probably best to catch a taxi home. Try to blend in whenever possible, and never flash your money and expensive belongings around in public places.
The locals will sometimes try and scam tourists out of money because they don’t know better. Take notes from other travelers as they are generally your best resource. Hostel owners, too, are usually helpful. Before setting off to catch a bus, for example, see how much they say it is so you can compare it to the actual rate offered. Sometimes there is really nothing you can do to avoid this issue, but being informed can help you combat its frequency.