I can proudly say that I have never been pickpocketed. I’m almost 26, have been to over 11 countries and 4 World Wonders. I’ve lived abroad more than once and have traveled the world with iPhones and various camera gear worth thousand of dollars and I’ve always brought it all home with me.
Watch, this post is going to jinx me.
But, my tips and tricks for not getting pickpocketed or having my belongs stolen from while traveling are too good not to share. So, read on to learn my tips!
Keep your valuables in the hotel room. No brainer, duh, but seriously. Before you leave your room each morning, ask yourself: do I really need my iPhone 7 today? Do I really THIS much cash? Do I need my passport on my person today? If you aren’t going to make calls that day or use your phone for GPS (hey, maps are a thing), leave our pricy phone behind. Don’t carry too much cash at once. Make a copy of your passport that in you can carry in you r wallet daily while keeping your real passport in the hotel safe.
Don’t dress like a tourist, dress like a local.
Dress to blend in. If you are visiting Paris, dress up. Visiting Nicaragua? Dress easy. If you are American, leave your sports t-shirt at home. The biggest clue to a potential thief that you are a tourist is your clothes. When traveling, I alway like to pack outfits that match my location. When I lived in Italy, I brought nice jackets and dresses. When I went to China I brought light and simple pieces that weren’t too flashy. Nothing ever has large English words or big American brands on them. Wearing outfits that shout “HEY I DON’T LIVE HERE” is asking to be stolen from. Don’t dress like a tourist, dress like a local.
Buy an anti-theft purse to take that extra step against thieves. My favorite company is Arden Cove (the purse pictured) because it’s a beautiful bag. So many Anti-theft purses look like…well, anti-theft purses. To extend on tip #2, you want to blend in. Locals in any city aren’t carrying around bulky, ugly anti-theft bags all day, which means that if you travel with one, thieves will know you are a tourist and may have nice stuff in your bag. Instead, reach for a purse from Arden Cove. They look like a normal purse (score for blending in!) but are equipped with every anti-theft feature you can imagine. Each bag has full body anti-slash lining, a cut-proof strap, locking zippers, RFID protection to prevent digital theft, and fully waterproof exterior & zippers for an added touch. If this isn’t the holy grail of travel bags, I don’t know what is.
They look like a normal purse (score for blending in!) but are equipped with every anti-theft feature you can imagine.
Always hold your zippers. While you should be traveling with an awesome Arden Cove bag that allows you to lock your zippers – aka, make it really really hard for a thief to unzip them, you may find yourself in times without the perfect bag. In those cases, I always look for a bag that has zippers so wandering hands can’t reach into my purse without me knowing. And then, I always sling that bag over my body and keep my right hand firmly grasping the zipper. That way, it’s harder for thieves to unzip my purse. Don’t ever let go of it in crowded areas and you should be able to defer many pickpockets.
Read up on the last pickpocket tricks so you know what to look out for. Anything from asking for directions and having a pal steel your wallet to elaborate snatches involving ketchup, pickpockets will go through all sorts of lengths to steal. Spend some time googling the latest reports of pickpockets or famous ones that have worked well in the past and know what to look to for. And, when in doubt, be on the defense when anyone you don’t know while traveling approaches you. That sad looking kid selling candy may be cute, but his little brother may be standing behind you ready to swipe your camera.
When in doubt, look confident. Locals know how to navigate their city without checking their maps or phones every two seconds with a big confused look on their face. If you are navigating via a map, don’t be flashy when reading it. Faking it until you make it totally applies to travel. Appearing lost, flashing a tourist map or walking back and forth on the same street many times is a sign to pickpockets that you may be a tourist. When I’m using a map to get around, I always fold it up neatly so I can quickly pull it out to glance at my path discreetly. I also try to memorize my path in chunks so I don’t have to check the map every 2 steps.
I hope these tips help you stay safe on your next trip! I’d love to hear if you found these tips helpful – leave a comment below!
Buy my exact Aredn Cove Bag HERE for $129 (worth every penny!)
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