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Travel Tip Tuesday | Yes! Pickpockets

How to Avoid Pickpockets When Traveling

It happens whether you are at home or traveling abroad, sneaky pickpockets watch your every move waiting for the right time to strike!  Here are a few tips on how to avoid becoming a target.

The first thing to realize is that most pickpockets work in groups. Some of the gang will try to distract you, perhaps a little boy stops in front of you to tie his shoe, you stop behind him and this is when a pickpocket can strike. Another ploy is to drop something in front of you so that you might offer to pick it up, this scenario provides the perfect opportunity for a pickpocket to strike.

It is best to be on high alert in busy hubs such as busy train stations, bus stations, and streets. With limited space and all the crowding and jostling it is easy to come in contact with someone else giving them the opportunity to rip you off. It is best to keep your pocketbook in front of your body with your hand on the front of your bag in high traffic areas so you can feel the person trying to get inside. Remember zippers are the first line of defense so make sure your purse is zipped up at all times.
According to a recent Trip Advisor poll, Barcelona was the #1 place in the world for pickpockets followed by Rome, Prague, Madrid and Paris.

Although obvious always be on guard at popular tourist attractions because they are a favorite haunt of pickpockets. Another telltale sign that you are a tourist is to wear a tee shirt or sweatshirt emblazoned with your home town or alma mater on it. Try to blend in to avoid being stolen from.

Don’t keep fussing with your wallet or pocketbook, these actions can alert pickpockets that you are carrying something valuable. Another thing never to do is flash your cash around. It is best to be discreet and try to camouflage your money.  Women should never wear expensive jewelry when traveling, it implies there is something of value in their pocketbooks as well!

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be is aware of your surroundings and your situation. At Tours of Distinction, our professional Tour Directors will help you navigate your surroundings in order  to avoid an unpleasant situation.  The better that you understand your surroundings the easier it is to spot a potential situation or something that is a bit out of place.