There is danger anywhere you go. When you get out of the bed in the morning, you are in danger. You are in even more danger when you leave your home. Things can happen, which is why we are taught as children to be very aware of our surroundings. Of course, we are also taught very basic safety rules – like don’t talk to strangers, and don’t allow strangers to give you candy, and things of that nature.
Spain also has its dangers, and if you are planning to vacation there, you need to be aware of what the dangers are. The most persistent danger is harassment. This isn’t harassment in terms of someone being mean or threatening to you. It is harassment in the form of not leaving you alone. It is common for men, women, and even children (primarily men, however) to speak to you on the street, and offer to braid your hair, to give you a massage, to wash your car, or to sell you something.
They may also offer to serve as your guide, with no mention of money. However, there intent is to get some money from you, and you need to be aware of this upfront. These hustlers are very insistent, and you have to be just insistent when saying no. They will have an answer for any excuse you give. Thankfully, there are tourist police who patrol around the cities, and if you have a hustler who will not take no for an answer, simply go find one.
Crime does exist in Spain, but as a tourist you most likely won’t travel to the portions of the cities that are crime ridden. Before you set off anywhere, make sure that you know where you are going and how you are getting there and back. Also, ask your hotel concierge about the areas that you plan to visit.
Even in the good areas, keep your purse and wallet protected. Men should carry their wallets in their front pockets – not their rear pockets. Women should put the strap of their purse around their head and hold the bag in front of them, close to the body. Only take a small amount of money with you when you leave your room, and lock the rest, along with other valuables, in your room safe.
People will try to sell you Ganja. Ganja, in English, translates to marijuana. Don’t buy it. It is just as illegal in Spain as it is in the United States, and the Spanish authorities take this offense very seriously. You don’t want to find yourself in jail in a foreign country.
Be especially wary at big street parties. More violent crimes can happen during these, including rape. Also note that the potential for crime picks up after the sun goes down. Use caution when going out at night. Also, look for an H on the license plates of taxis to ensure that they are official taxis.
If you have a rental car, be aware that car theft has risen in Spain. Make sure that you don’t leave anything of value in plain view and that you lock the car up tight. Try to park in busy areas, where there are plenty of people who can see you and your car. Also, when you rent the car, make sure that the insurance that you have covers the theft.