We love traveling and have never had any issues with violent crime on the road. But petty crime happens almost any place you travel and it’s very important to be aware of your surroundings to keep your items secure.
Wherever you find tourists, you also find unsavory people who would love to pick your pocket or steal your bag. The good news is that if you are prepared, most petty crime is avoidable.
Here are our top ten tips for avoiding theft while traveling:
- Carry a secure anti-theft travel purse or bag. At a minimum, it should have a reinforced strap and slice proof bottom.
- Secure your bag and camera to your body or chair.
- Use ATMs inside banks. If you must use a street ATM, check the card reader for signs of tampering or unusual plastic objects. Wiggle the card reader, and if you’re unsure, keep looking for another ATM.
- Hold your phone tightly in crowds and be aware of your surroundings (don’t walk and text).
- Never leave your cell phone on a restaurant table or in an unsecured pocket.
- If someone approaches you, be aware of your valuables and take a defensive stance. Pickpockets often work in pairs and will approach you to ask you to sign a petition, ask for directions or even ask if you dropped a ring.
- Pickpockets are very good at what they do so don’t assume you will feel them reach into your pocket. Make sure valuables are only stored in secure pockets or are tightly gripped in your hand.
- Wearing expensive jewelry, clothing or watches can make you a target. Blending in can keep you safer.
- Separate your valuables, cash and credit cards. Don’t put all your money in one bag or purse.
- Keep a photocopy of your passport and other important documents in a hotel safe.
If the worst happens and you are a victim of petty theft, act quickly. Alert your cell phone provider and credit companies right away. Hopefully, with a little preparation and caution, you can relax and enjoy your travels.