Day 24 of Bootsnall’s “Plan your RTW trip in 30 days” is an essential lesson, How to stay safe on the road. For the most part, you can stay safe by just using common sense. Check out the travel advisories for the countries you’re visiting. If you feel uncomfortable, leave the situation, even if you feel silly about it. Keep valuables on you while in transit and as inconspicuously as possible. As a woman traveling alone, I’ve found it helpful to sit next to other women or children or old people while I’m on a bus. It generally limits unwanted attention. When you’re walking alone, walk with a purpose and keep alert. Don’t go to beaches or anywhere remote by yourself after dusk. Carry your money and passport in a hidden money belt. Take your camera out only when you’re taking a picture, otherwise keep it hidden. Don’t wear flashy jewelry or watches. Keep your eyes on your bag at all times if possible. Sometimes it’s not, sometimes your bag goes on the top of the bus or underneath it, but ask if you can keep it with you. Lock your stuff up at night. If that isn’t an option I usually try to pick a top bunk and haul my bag up there with me. If a cab driver tells you that the hotel/attraction/tour office you are trying to get to is closed/burnt down/whatever but he knows of another one and would be glad to take you to it, it’s probably a scam. Be on the lookout for ATM skimmers (here’s a link describing what they are and how to avoid them) http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/10-04/atm-skimmers-how-to-protect-yourself.html
This is not meant to scare you away from traveling, only to remind you to use your head. Safe travels!