The view of the Millennium Bridge in London, England over the Thames River

Outsmart Pick-Pocketers





Thoughts from Alanna…

Pickpocketing sucks, but it’s a very real reality of traveling. Don’t be a victim! Here’s some tips to keep your holiday safe:

  • If travelling with a backpack, it’s wise to lock the zipper so it can’t be opened without the combination. Just using a small suitcase lock is easy.
A girl with a backpack on looks at a large striped art piece hanging on the wall of a gallery.

Without an extra luggage lock, I used a safety pin to keep the zipper hard to access.

  • Leave photocopies of your important pieces of ID and cards at home with a family member (passport, credit card, etc) If they’re taken, at least you have the information saved to get them back quicker.
  • Always know where your money, phone, camera and ID is and keep it close to you at all time.

When my mum was recently abroad, a woman at a café had her purse stolen. She had placed it hanging off her chair (as we all have done) and someone had come by and swiped it without anyone noticing.

  • Some people swear by using money-bags that you wear under your shirt. I find it more annoying than useful and would rather lock my backpack instead. Up to you!
  • If you’re staying in a hostel, make sure not to leave any valuables laying around and lock your suitcase up at night. You have no idea who you’re sharing a room with.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and travel with a buddy!

In Paris I was taking in the sites, looking around like a tourist, when someone slammed into me trying to get in my front jean pockets. Lucky, I don’t keep money or cards there!

  • Understand that some of the most popular places are pick-pocketing traps, like the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Be more careful in these kinds of areas as well as crowded public transportation.

  • Avoid putting anything in your pockets, specially your back pants pockets that can be taken easily
  • If you haven’t got a good travel purse/backpack yet, you can invest in bags that cannot be cut, slashed or ripped
  • If you’re in a spot that’s really crowded, it’s wise to have your purse or backpack partially on your front for the time being. Better to look like an idiot than get your stuff taken

Don’t let the idea of being pick-pocketing ruin or change your thoughts about travelling. By taking a few precautions, you can avoid a major trip-mishap and survive without being pick-pocketed!