on April 10, 2004
Each chapter of this book, standing alone, would be worth the price of the book. The photographs, alone, would be worth the price of the book. Where else could you find so many photographs of pickpockets and street scam artists in action?
Do not let the word "Travel" in the title fool you. This is a must-read for anyone who goes out in crowds, even in their own home town. Pickpockets work at sporting events, concerts, shopping centers or anywhere they can blend in anonymously with the crowd. Help put pickpockets, hotel thieves and street scam artists out of business. Buy this book.
on June 8, 2014
I was pickpocketed in Rome, Venice, and Vienna. In each case I was concentrating on the activity, usually photography. Several times my wife was only several feet behind me. My wallet attaches to my belt with a chain. I guess that just identified where the loot was, so the wallet was deftly removed, no tug on the chain, and emptied. These people, as Bob and Bambi point out are really artists of thievery. Please read this book. I hope I will be smarter now. Thanks Bob and Bambi.
on August 9, 2004
Most of the time, especially when traveling, paranoia is good!
I have traveled extensively internationally for the last 15 years and consider myself travel savvy. Recently, in Peru, I have been robbed of my passport, camera, credit card and ultimately, my peace of mind. This robbery happened in broad daylight, 100 yards from a policeman (in Peru the police are known for their collaboration with criminals and their corruption). If I would have read "Travel Advisory" before this trip, I am sure I would have been more vigilant, yes, more paranoid. Thus, I would have correctly thought, in a paranoid way: I am "fresh meat" among unseen predators.
Bob and Bambi masterfully lay out the world of professional cons, rip-off artists, and the pejorative and prolific street thief. In incident after incident they show the mind of you, the unsuspecting victim and more importantly, the mind of the thief. Read "Travel Advisory" and you will soon understand the techniques of thieves, their M.O. and why you, looking like a tourist, acting like a tourist, are like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming Peterbuilt.
Bob and Bambi tell you plainly, the criminals are out there in force, they are professional, very savvy and the police are at best inconsequential. After 9/11 the focus of the police has clearly changed. Very, very low on the police "to do" list is catching a purse-snatcher. Caveat: You are the only defense that you have.
Though the book is very good, it could be helpfully improved. There are no statistics. There are no lists, maps or charts that delineate the most dangerous tourist destinations. There is no appendix to help you with additional reading and/or web resources. There is no critical critique of 3rd world police (corruption, collaboration, complacency). Sadly, there is no mention of the punishment given to those thieves that Bob and Bambi tells us were apprehended. After being robbed, I want the satisfaction of hearing jail doors slamming.
There is not a traveler who could glean some beneficial tips from reading "Travel Advisory!"
It does us all well, prior to every trip, to remember the words of Stephen Still's song "For What It's Worth" (Buffalo Springfield 1966) "Paranoia Strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid, you step out of line the [thief] man comes and takes you away." "Travel Advisory" excels at making you look over your shoulder, more than once. Read it. Strongly recommended. 4.5 stars.
on February 28, 2004
As an RPCV who has lived for 2 years in a third world country, I thought I'd seen it all until I read this book. The information the authors share can make any American's vacation abroad safer and more interesting.
The last chapter on IDENTITY THEFT (it's not money you should worry about losing--it's your credit cards!) alone is worth the price of this book. Identity theft is growing at an alarming rate in America. Even if you never plan to travel abroad, we all need this information to protect ourselves at home.
on January 1, 2013
As an international traveler, I found the practical, experience-based advice in this book to be very valuable. It has changed several of my habits, and generally made me much more aware of my surroundings when I travel. It also helps destroy the "It'll never happen to me" attitude that most novice travelers have. Rather than believing you'll never be a victim, this book shows why it is much better to simply be prepared to recover when you *are* a victim.
The book is organized topically, which makes it easy to read only the sections which are relevant to you. I still chose to read the entire book, and am glad I did. The last section, on credit card scams, is even applicable (and perhaps especially so) to the non-traveler.
Each chapter contains personal stories and anecdotes which explain the dangers, how travelers are exploited, and how to avoid these problems. Then the last page or two of each chapter is a summary of the chapter's suggestions, in easy list-form. These lists would make for a handy travel companion, if you don't want to carry the whole book with you (and if you raen't reading the book on a Kindle).
If you will be traveling anywhere, but especially to a foreign country/culture, be sure to read this book--or at least the sections relevant to the type of traveling you'll be doing.
on December 14, 2003
This book is worth your entire vacation expense. It can save you thousands of dollars both in grief and lost time when faced with someone taking all your money, ID, credit and phone cards. It certainly pays to be aware and safe in unknown places. I felt much safer knowing that with the tips in this book, I not only had protected my valubles, but was aware of my surroundings and it helped me avoid all the pitfalls that novice tourists make. Five star
on December 7, 2014
I have travelled far and wide and been aware of some of the challenges described in this book. However, this concise book raises my consciousness about tricks and scams I was not aware of. It is on my Kindle so will read this again when I next set off on my travels.
on January 9, 2004
I have been following the investigative efforts of Bob Arno and Bambi Vincent for several years and have anticipated the release of this book for months. Having worked in law enforcement for thirty years, I highly recommend this book to everyone in the law enforcement community. It goes far beyond the criminal act by revealing the mind of the criminal who preys upon the unwary on a daily basis. The book is both informative and entertaining to anyone who is interested in prevention of everday personal thefts and scams while traveling at home or abroad. The interviews and personal narratives of the various crinminals encountered by Bob and Bambi are fascinating. Once you begin to read the book, it is hard to put it down until finished.
on February 14, 2004
Not since my high-school days and the reading of Charles Dickens have I thought about pickpockets and how they work. Travel Advisory opened my eyes and made me much more aware that this goes on today. When I was younger, I had lost a wallet in London, but felt it was my own clumsiness; however, now I not so sure.
The first three chapters alone should be a must read for the vacation traveler.
Travel Advisory is a neat book, covers a lot different scams that can befall the unadvised traveler and is worth a full read. I strongly recommend it.
on August 22, 2014
Despite being somewhat disjointed and repetitious, this book is written in a friendly, lively tone that makes it a breeze to absorb. While the seasoned traveller may not discover anything fundamentally new in this volume — whose key take-away is, unsurprisingly, that crooks are both ubiquitous and extremely creative —, it is nevertheless packed full of invaluable examples. It is an excellent way to fine-tune both one's attitude and one's tool-belt before embarking on long journeys, by condensing salient thoughts and observations that no single traveller could ever hope to formulate over his own career. It is a very specialised book, and by no means a full guide to traveling effectively, but it is nevertheless a unique, useful resource. Don't read it first if this is your first time on the road, but do read it in good time.