Have you ever happened to fall prey to a thief or a pickpocket? Theft and fraud happen every day. I got robbed once in Barcelona. What shall we do to protect ourselves especially when we travel alone and our wallet is our most precious thing? I’ve gathered a few useful tips for you that I try to apply myself regardless of my travel destination. I hope you’ll find them useful. I’ll be willing to know your ways for robbers and not only.
Theft: how to protect yourself in the hotel?
⇒ Never keep all your money and credit cards together. Divide your cash, let’s say into three parts, and hide each part wrapped in a toilet paper in a different place, e.g. in a vanity bag, a medicine box, socks or in a bra in the place of a push-up pillow.
⇒ Hide your credit cards in similar places. It’s good to have a box with blisters of tablets as your credit cards would be practically invisible there.
⇒ Some hotels offer safes. Otherwise leave your documents in a hotel deposit.
⇒ Make a copy of your passport and put it in your document file with the sign “passport”. There’s a chance that a thief will mistakenly take it while being in a hurry.
⇒ Don’t leave any personal data or phone numbers in visible places. Don’t throw any pieces of paper with phone numbers to a dust bin in your room.
⇒ Before you leave your room make sure all the windows are closed and bolted, and the curtains drawn.
Theft: how to protect yourself in the hostel?
⇒ In hostels we are especially exposed to thefts especially in a multi-person room. Some hostels offer lockers or a possibility of storing your documents at the reception desk. However, if we decide on a hostel that doesn’t render that service, then we can take the same actions as in the case of a hotel.
⇒ You can eventually collect your money, credit cards and a passport into a small sack and then wrap all that into some piece of clothing – a scarf, panties, t-shirt and hide at the bottom of a pillow case while sleeping. A thief won’t be willing to wake you up.
⇒ Sometimes you can hide some money bills inside socks that you put on to sleep or to a bra. Outside you can leave the so called a dummy wallet with some small change and expired cards inside to make it look valuable.
Theft: how to protect yourself means of transport and during sightseeing?
⇒ You can invest into a fanny pack for your documents that you can hide under your clothes. In the case of ladies it’s good to attach it to your bra. While men should wear a thicker t-shirt so that nothing can be seen through.
⇒ You can also buy a special belt with some hidden divisions – for your cash or credit cards.
⇒ You can also attach little pockets on the inner side of your sweatshirt, trousers or even panties to hide cash or credit cards.
⇒ To misdirect, ladies can carry a bag with a wallet containing only a small change while men can carry a backpack. It’s very effective when someone tries to rob us by snatching our bag.
⇒ Don’t carry your cameras on top of your clothes, hide them under your clothes or carry in a hand wrapped around it with a string.
.⇒ Wear your backpack in front of you when you are in crowd. Do the same thing with your bag additionally putting your hand on it.
⇒ Place the least valuable things or some clothes at the bottom and the top of your backpack. In the middle, however, place the ones that are of some bigger value. Some thieves operate by cutting bags and backpacks.
⇒ If you want to feel safe, you can equip yourself with a pepper spray. As an alternative, you can carry a little spray deodorant.
⇒ Don’t use your credit cards if you don’t have to, try to pay with cash. Scanning a card number is a very popular procedure. Mastercard & Visa constantly monitor it and usually are able to trace these actions but this usually means blocking your card. Unfortunately it happens regardless the place as a thief usually makes do with a little scanning device. It happened to me in Starbucks in the very centre of London so it doesn’t really matter where you are.
⇒ Don’t use your credit cards in internet cafes especially if your card isn’t secured with PIN.