Being subject to a robbery or theft of your passport can ruin your trip, but there are ways to avoid being pickpocketed on vacation. When you’re out seeing the sights, lolling on the beach or walking between the hotel and a great restaurant, it’s so easy to be relaxed and less vigilant. Without having to be on your guard every single second, there are ways to avoid being pickpocketed on vacation. Here we go …
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If you do a little research you’ll see some cities force you to find ways to avoid being pickpocketed on vacation because they are tourist theft hot spots. Pickpockets throng there because they’re filled with tourists. There are some simple rules of practical behavior – particularly in big cities:
• always be aware of your belongings & surroundings;
• don’t go to public piazzas that empty at night;
• avoid parking garages (underground);
• don’t use out-of-the-way alleys;
• don’t accept the offer of a stranger to take you anywhere (no matter how helpful);
• and make use of reliable, popular, regularly updated apps to find your way around new destinations.
Don’t Travel with Valuables/Keep Them Safe
Sure, you want to show off your jewelry or your Chanel purse or one-of-a-kind vintage Hermes scarf. Beautiful items get noticed but thieves want them because they‘re valuable. A professional pickpocketer’s fingers are lighter than feathers, and before you know it, those items you’re so proud of will disappear into thin air. One of the ways to protect your valuables is leave them at home. Unnecessary credit and debit cards and personal and travel documents that make it easy to steal your identity should be left safe at your hotel.
Cocktails Signal Easy Pickings
You enjoy having a few drinks – after all, you’re on vacation – but did you know this is when you become the target of pickpockets? They know just one or two cocktails make you careless. If you don’t cultivate habits to safeguard your belongings (like staying alert and aware of your purse and wallet), then it’s as easy as taking candy from a baby.
Everybody’s Gotta Eat
A great way to rub shoulders with locals when on holiday is dining out. Never forget there’s always somebody waiting to steal from you even by pretending to be a server. There are ways to avoid being pickpocketed and scammed. Their aim is to get hold of your credit card or cash before the real server is on the scene. If the restaurant doesn’t have updated technology it’s easy, so always go to the cash register with the server so they can’t clone your card.
Don’t Be Sidetracked
Pickpockets are professional criminals and they also operate in groups. One of the means to watch over your valuables is never to be sidetracked. Pickpockets want to distract you. They work together by creating a noisy and disturbing scene and may even include kids and the elderly to get your sympathy. These are some of their scams:
• asking you for directions;
• starting an argument;
• pretending they need help;
• squirting liquid (ink, paint, ketchup) on your clothing;
• and bumping into you.
Purses, Bags & Zips
You must have a purse or bag with a sturdy zip that closes properly and securely, and even if you have to choose between security and style, choose security. It’s much harder to open a zip than lift a flap or loosen a tie and if the zip makes a noise, even better. Many seasoned travelers use a cross the body bag. The best ways to protect your valuables when you’re not wearing the bag is to wrap the strap around your wrist and rest the bag on your lap. Don’t ever put a purse or bag on the floor, next to you or on the back of your chair where it can be taken in a flash.
There are many sensible ways to avoid being pickpocketed and scammed, but the most important is to remember it can happen anywhere at any time. Whether you are in a hotel, shopping mall or a more secluded spot, your valuables can be taken from you. Without you knowing it your purse, phone, mp3 player, designer sunglasses or camera can be snatched by a thief on a bicycle. Keep your valuables out of sight and secure, try not to look like a tourist and certainly don’t advertise your wealth.
Even if you have insurance that can recompense for the loss of your valuables, having your credit cards or passport stolen is nothing less than a major hassle. You’re on vacation – you don’t want hassle! Have you ever suffered at the hands of thieves on vacation?
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