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Tips for Preventing Theft While Traveling

Trevi Fountain, Rome

These questions inevitably arise from most clients… How safe is it to travel to large cities? How safe are the trains?

There is always the risk of theft when visiting large cities. Gypsies, for example, are known to hang around the touristy spots in Europe. They are great at distractions to trap tourists into giving them money or for pickpocketing. They often even have kids doing their dirty work.

So, I cannot promise you will not encounter any issues while traveling but I can offer tips on preventing theft. Mainly, you need to be smart and very aware of your surroundings.

Below are some tips to keep you and your belongings safe while traveling…

Keep bags and purses in front of your body - A small crossbody bag is my go-to travel purse. Keeping the bag in front of your body makes it difficult for anyone to snatch it. In crowded areas keep a backpack in front of your body not on your back. This prevents anyone from using a knife to cut the bottom and sliding out your belongings.

Keep valuables locked in the hotel safe – I do not feel safe carrying my passport around. The first thing I recommend when arriving at a hotel is to lock your valuables (extra money, passport, laptop), in the safe. There really is no need to carry your passport unless you plan on taking a day trip to another country.

Only keep things in your front pockets – Most men carry their wallets and phones in their pant pockets. Make sure you have deep pockets, and it is even better if you are wearing tight pants. This way no one will be able to slip in and take your stuff, especially in a crowded situation where you may not feel it.

Don’t leave bags unattended in a restaurant or bar - In a noisy establishment it is very easy for someone to walk away with your bag even if right next to you. Keep it on your body or in between your legs. Do not hang a bag on the back of a chair or place it on the floor unattended.

Avoid distractions - Thieves often work with distractions. They may drop something right by you or ask for directions. Secure your bags and valuables whenever you sense a distraction.

The bottom line is to always be aware of your surroundings and be smart about how you carry your belongings. There is no sure way to always avoid theft but these tips should help.

Happy and safe travels this year!


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