Advise and warnings for travellers in Spain


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Dec 22, 2007
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#1
To those avid photographers who have travelled to Spain with your DSLR and lenses,

I need ur help.

As i'm going to most parts of Spain for 3 weeks (5th Oct onwards) with another friend, i've read a lot of warnings and dangers on line of many things that i should take note of, but none mention about photographers carrying DSLR and their camera bag and tripod: from hostels being broken into and cameras being snatched and the list goes on.

ok, Here are the questions:

1. Do you ever leave your DSLR equipment in the private room hostel when u leave for the bars at night? How do u protect yourself from room breakins or other dangers for staying in hostels?

2. I have a camera bag that holds a tripod. Ok, that poses a danger for me on the streets as i'm signalling to them i'm a tourist. How did u carry your camera and equipment with ur tripod when u are walking on the streets? What precautions can one take? I'm especially bothered about carrying the camera bag on my chest, with the tripod sticking up which can block my front vision.

3. What are your advises on looking for hostels?

4. What other things i should look out for which i might have missed out?

thank you very much for your help.

cheers,
Nicky
 

ed9119

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Mar 11, 2002
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#3
I think you can replace the country Spain with Tokyo/Shanghai/India/France/Italy/Turkey/China etc etc etc..... all the normal travel precautions and suggestions apply

Next to "Buying my first DSLR" threads, this topic should be one of the most discussed in just about any photo forum .

There should be about 8-14 threads here in CS discussing travelling safely o'seas with photo equiptment

best of luck ! Spain is beautiful and so photogenic. :)
 

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Dec 22, 2007
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#4
hey,
thanks for your direction. I will look in there.

Cheers
 

Alpc

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Oct 10, 2002
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#5
Ok... I have been to Spain, but not stayed in hostel since my trip was a tour group type, but i was pretty much very alert as I have also heard a lot like you did. I guess it helps that I was there in Feb, which is not a touristy timing of summer. I did not bring tripod as it was just too much and I did not really need them - except for 1 night, but I think that was overcame with using other methods of holding (or I borrowed someone's tripod as they brought it, can't remember now). I did not place the bag in front, but I had padlockws it. :D I guess the other way is to carry bags like flipside, which is safer and no padlock, and actually you don't need to place on floor (tested and works very well for me) to get stuff from it.

Yes, most of the threads here give quite a fair bit of tips and suggestions - i guess most important thing is to be on the alert and apply some common sense... Then again, common sense seems to uncommon. :p
 

Zichar

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Apr 22, 2008
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#6
Choose a hostel with lockers? Nice roomy lockers of course if your pack is big.
Good to take a look at the amenities before you pay up?
I usually do that, so many youth hostels around, just go in, ask for a short tour before confirming.
At least you chose the private room (can look for pensions in Spain too), I've only done the many per dorm heh find that more fun
Seemed pretty safe, most of the time, my roommates were too stoned to be pilfering stuff from me. That's just the thing to do when you're young, American and fresh out of college :p
 

Jul 12, 2008
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#7
I think travelling in Spain is pretty safe. I have been to Barcelona and Madrid carrying a dSLR with no problems. See alot of tourist doing the same.

But stick to major roads, places with many people and tourist. Do remember that dinner starts at about 11 pm in these cities !! Best not to be flaunting too much camera gear while walking around at night.

As for leaving stuff in your room, my advice is no. Unless they have private lockers in your room, which in most budget places they don't. Alot of the pensions, motels and student accom have very very poor security. I once left my laptop with the motel owner who assured me he would keep it in his safe. Came back at the end of the day and I saw my laptop under a pile of files on his desk with no one at the desk. Another problem is language ... English is not well understood at all. You do not want to be missing valuable items and having to lodge a complaint in English !!
 

Dec 22, 2007
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#8
hey guys,

thanks for ur advises!

ok, i've booked all my accomodation and they are all 1 to 3 stars hotels. Does the safety of leaving my camera equipment in the room still apply as compared to hostels?

sorry for asking...this is my first time there.

thanks to all!

cheers,
nick
 

Jan 23, 2009
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#9
I'd recommend carrying a bag which does not scream "Hey guys I'm a tourist on a photo trip with an expensive camera!" ;)

The Think Tank Urban Disguise comes to mind.

I've used the Urban Disguise 50 on my travels, doesn't attract much attention...or more rather the unwanted sort.
 

billpepsi

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Jan 2, 2005
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#10
Which ever country you travel, security is a issued, especially with all those expensive equipment, it tells two things:

1. You are a tourist
2. Whatever it is in your bag, they are not cheap.

I was in Spain once with a tour group, while having breakfast, one of our travel-mate, while sharing the same table with us, had her handbag together with her passport, stolen right in front of us. At the restaurant, there are two travel groups, a Singaporean group (Us) and a Korean group. So who have stolen her bag? The hotel mgt could help much, so we had to report the matter to Spain Police.

At all times, always keep an eye on your personal belongings.

Spain is a wonderful place to travel, but don't come home in sPain
 

Ally

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Jul 14, 2004
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end of there
#11
hey guys,

thanks for ur advises!

ok, i've booked all my accomodation and they are all 1 to 3 stars hotels. Does the safety of leaving my camera equipment in the room still apply as compared to hostels?

sorry for asking...this is my first time there.

thanks to all!

cheers,
nick
I haven't been to Spain, but just some friendly words - "1 to 3 stars hotels" overseas can sometimes be translated to "0 to 2 stars hotels" here in Sgp.. at least that's the advise we were given when travelling in Turkey..

That said, be careful when stepping out into the public.. My sis' friend got her backpack slashed and emptied when her group stepped out of the airport, and that was the first day of their tour some more..

Have a safe trip!
 

billpepsi

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Jan 2, 2005
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#12
I haven't been to Spain, but just some friendly words - "1 to 3 stars hotels" overseas can sometimes be translated to "0 to 2 stars hotels" here in Sgp.. at least that's the advise we were given when travelling in Turkey..

That said, be careful when stepping out into the public.. My sis' friend got her backpack slashed and emptied when her group stepped out of the airport, and that was the first day of their tour some more..

Have a safe trip!
Amazing skill, your sis' friend was robbed without her knowledge.

Yeap, true about the hotel rating. And also water isn't free, hotel guests must buy their own water. Whenever you are at supermarket or toilet stops, wise to standby a few bottles of water.

The only consolation is WIFI is free for both Turkey and Spain hotel.
 

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