You will find here some advises on :
Clarify your nationality ASAP. American people are usually treated correctly but it is a fact that other nationalities are more appreciated.
Do not walk in beach attire outside of the beach : this would give the police a reason to bother you and you usually do not wish to deal too much with the police...
Carry your passport or a photocopy at all time : Police control do take place, in particular at night in the discos, and without the right document, you are likely to spend some time at the police station.
Avoid displaying any kind of expensive stuff : In a few districts of Panama City, walking with a single bag, even during day time, is asking for trouble.
Ask for the police tourist to accompany you : Those guys are lovely and it is their job to show the tourists around, in total safety.
Learn a bit of Spanish : A lot of local speak English but Spanish is certainly the best language to share a good friendly discussion.
Spend a little bit more for a better room : There is sometimes only a few dollars difference between a basic room and a comfortable one with shower & TV attached.
Avoid 'restaurants' with ready to serve meals : They may be damn cheap but they are tasteless. For a few cents more, you can usually find a local restaurant where your dish will be prepared in the kitchen and the plate brought to your table.
How to save money ?
Use internet where it is free : A couple of guesthouses in Panama City offer free connection for their guests.
Avoid showing at the airport at night : This will allow you to take the public bus from/to the city, for $0.3 only. A taxi at night can be as high as US$20 !
Take the public transports instead of a taxi in Panama City : It will cost you $0.15 instead of $1.5 and certainly be more colorful. Avoid however at night or if you carry a lot of bags.
Use your student card : Discounts are offered in most of the museums.
But remember that enjoying a trip is sometimes or from time to time worth a little bit more... Backpacking is more about the bag than the money !
Travel Experiences Banner Exchange