Tips for avoiding theft while travelling


pickpocketHeading overseas? If you are travelling to places that are unfamiliar to you, it’s a good idea to take some precautions to keep your belongings safe.

Be smart with your stuff; pick pockets and thieves are often opportunists and as long as you’re not an easy target you will likely be okay. Here are our top tips for avoiding theft while travelling:

  • Never leave your bags unguarded on the floor, at the beach, or hanging over the back of your chair while seated.
  • Don’t leave expensive items like cameras slung around your neck as they could be snatched.
  • Consider purchasing a money pouch for around your neck or a money belt that can be concealed under your shirt.
  • Keep your passport in a safe place at all times. Scan a copy of it and print it or save onto USB in case you need it in an emergency.
  • Try to avoid carrying large wads of cash around with you. Only have what you need to spend on that day if possible.
  • If you are carrying a backpack, wear it on your front rather than your back when standing around for periods of time such as in train stations or on the metro.
  • Keep valuables out of sight. If you have cash or other important items in your bag, make sure they aren’t in pockets that are easily accessible. Preferably try to have a bag with a strap you can sling over your shoulder that goes diagonally under your opposite arm and keep the bag just in front of your body. Thin straps slung over one shoulder (like handbags) can be cut and the bag taken before you know it.
  • Pick pockets sometimes work in groups with one person distracting you by dropping something or bumping into you while the other steals from you. Be careful of distractions.
  • If you need to read a map, sit down at a cafe or somewhere similar rather than standing in an open area; it will advertise to everyone that you are a tourist.
  • If you are staying at accommodation with a good reputation, they may have safety deposit boxes available at the reception desk where you can leave your passport or other valuables.

Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – David Castillo Dominici

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