It doesn’t matter whether you’re on holiday in New York, Prague or Beijing – there are going to be bad people around who will try to take advantage of the fact that you’re a tourist. Whilst this does mean that you need to keep a weather eye on your belongings, it doesn’t mean that you should spend your entire holiday tense and worried about pick pockets and thieves.
If you understand that the potential for pick pocketing is always present in large cities – no matter how seemingly sophisticated or advanced – it will be much easier to avoid. You wouldn’t wave your spending money around or leave your wallet unattended at home, so why would you do it on holiday? The rules don’t change – they stay the same as they would if you were at home. Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to avoid being pick pocketed on your next trip.
Know Your Enemy – it is highly unusual for pickpockets to be armed in any way. They are opportunists, they see a distracted tourist and they attempt to lift valuable items without being detected. Whilst this does mean that they can be hard to identify, it also means that they are extremely easy to thwart and ward off. If you are targeted by pickpockets, shout as loud as you can and they are almost guaranteed to run away, says About.com journalist Nancy Perode.
Preventative Measures – it might sound like an obvious piece of advice, but you should never wave your valuables around with abandon. You’d be surprised at how many tourists simply forget themselves whilst abroad – they get so distracted by the novelty of being on holiday that they do things they never would at home. Once again, the rules remain the same. You shouldn’t draw attention to your valuables – keep your wallet or purse out of sight until the moment that you need it. If you have an expensive phone, you should only use it in public if you are in a crowded area, says TravelSupermarket.com journalist Gareth Morris.
Separate Valuables – this is an age old trick, but it remains one of the best. If possible, split your valuables between pockets – that way, a successful thief won’t get all of your vital possessions. It is true that losing anything to a pickpocket can be frightening, but losing everything is so much worse. It is a good idea to split your cash in half – carry one half in one secure location and the other in a different location, says Telegraph journalist Natasha Edwards. Visit Direct Asia for more information and advice on how to avoid pickpockets on your next trip.
Be On The Lookout – it might sound harsh, but don’t get drawn into playing the good Samaritan. Whilst there certainly are people in the world who do need help, it is also true that pickpockets and thieves regularly fake emergency situations or crises in order to distract tourists. Don’t be so suspicious that you never talk to anybody on your trip, but do be on the lookout for these scams. If you see somebody that you genuinely think might be in danger or distress, call the emergency services or get some of the locals involved in helping out.
Author Bio: Hannah Malone has been a community safety officer for seven years. She recommends Direct Asia for more information and advice on how to avoid pickpockets. Hannah can usually be found attending safety presentations, or handing out safety leaflets and pamphlets.