10 Tips to Keep Your Wallet Safe While Traveling and From Pickpockets
It is very discouraging to find during your travel that someone stole – or you lost – your wallet with all important cash and documents. Useless to say your vacation is over. Start making phone calls to your bank, the police, and perhaps to your family or friends to find a way to send you some money.
Avoiding this scenario is not always possible, but some tips could help you keep your wallet safe while traveling and from pickpockets.
1. Analyze And Prepare Your Trip
The first step is to analyze your trip carefully before embarking on the actual journey. This is important to ensure that you understand the risks involved especially when it comes to pickpockets.
Often popular destinations and routes tend to have more thieves and pickpockets, by analyzing your trip before traveling you can find out such destination and routes so that you can avoid them by choosing to use the alternatives in your itinerary.
For example, if using public transport in a given city will put you in direct contact with many pickpockets you may opt to use a cab or some other mode of transport that is safe. You should also book a hotel in a safe place away from neighborhoods known for theft and pickpocketing. This will help you keep your wallet and all the documents in it safe.
2. Remain Alert And Aware Of Your Surroundings
One way to keep your wallet safe while traveling is to remain alert and aware of your surroundings. A lot of people especially when traveling to a distant destination lose their guard and my take a nap or just get lost in the moment.
All these are recipes for disaster. If you are in a crowded place make sure that you keep your hands close to your pockets where your wallet is. This will help avoid cases where someone will sneak their hands into your pockets, grab your wallet and disappear into thin air without your knowledge.
Alternatively, avoid crowded places so as to keep your wallet safe Pickpockets love crowded places because people easily get destructed thus offering them an opportunity to steal. By avoiding the temptation to join crowds you will save your wallet.
3. Watch For Signs
There are those signs that you may look at someone and tell if they are of good intention. Those signs help a lot since you can judge very fast and keep a distance from the kind of person if you doubt their intentions.
In many occasions, you will find pickpockets behave and act differently than other travelers.
This should warn you of individuals who don’t seem excited of the sceneries or carried away by the moment.
If you notice some individuals near not concerned with the goings-on around them chances are they are thieves. If you are in a crowded place and notice someone trying to distract you, chances are they are working with someone behind you to pickpocket you. Be on the lookout for such cases.
4. Use Inner Pockets
Inner pockets are safe and they are easy to tell when someone makes an attempt on snatching the wallets. It is easy for you to learn when someone is doing the pickpocket since you are on the close look.
It is also safe to place wallets in the inner pockets since they also find it hard getting it from there and therefore you are safe to travel with it in there.
One better alternative to inner pockets is to put on cloth with concealed pockets. There are lots of jackets, shirts and even T-shirts with concealed pockets that you can buy and wear when you travel to places where there is a history of pickpockets. This way the pickpockets won’t know where your wallet is and thus won’t be able to steal it.
5. Have a Dummy Wallet
If you are traveling to a place with security challenges it is not just pickpockets you should worry about. Sometimes you may encounter cases of violent robbery and criminality. These are instances you cannot avoid although they are quite rear.
If this happens to you, having a dummy wallet cannot only protect your real wallet from theft but can also save your life.
If you are traveling to a place you are not sure of the security situation, it is advisable that you have a dummy wallet. You can, for instance, put a few dollars in the dummy wallet plus some expired credit cards and gifts cards that you don’t need.
This way even if someone was to threaten you with a weapon you will just give them the dummy wallet and they will walk away thinking that they have actually robbed you.
In some cases, if you are wearing a garment with a concealed pocket it is a bad idea to try and buy something by getting money from your wallet because pickpockets will now see where you have kept your wallet. However, with a dummy wallet, you can buy anything you want knowing that your real wallet with most of your money and cards is safe in a concealed pocket.
6. Learn The Tricks Of The Thieves
Pickpockets and thieves use different tricks to identify, track down and steal from their victims. Knowing a few tricks used by them will help protect your wallet from theft.
Most people believe that they don’t need to learn the tricks of the thieves because they are neither thieves nor law enforcement officers. The fact is you cannot stop a thief if you don’t know his or her tactics. Learning a few tactics can actually save you a lot.
For example, pickpockets love to hang around restaurants, train stations or any other places frequented by people. Knowing this will help you avoid showing off your valuables while at such places or behaving in a manner that shows you are an easy target.
Instead, you want to conceal your valuables and blend in with everyone else even when you are new to the place.
Sometimes pickpockets pretend to be friendly. The rule of the thumb when it comes to protecting your wallet from theft is to avoid friendly strangers.
Don’t get into deep conversation with strangers and even don’t stand to answer questions from strangers. Chances are such friendliness or even questions may be used to distract you from the actual theft taking place.
7. Don’t React At Warnings
Pickpockets hang around places with signs warning visitors of pickpockets. This is because most people when reading such signs instantly take their hands to their pockets to check if they still have their wallets.
This is like showing the pickpockets where your wallet is and thus making it easy for them to steal it. In fact, it is believed that some of the signs are put up by pickpockets themselves to get the reaction of the future victim so that can find an easy prey.
To save your wallet from theft, make sure that you don’t react when you see such warning signs while traveling. This way you won’t be showing the thieves where your wallet is. In some other places, pickpockets may even shout “be where of pickpockets”. By reacting to the shouts you could be directing a pickpocket within the crowd to where your wallet is.
8. Keep Your Wallet In Your Front Pocket
A lot of people who lose their wallet to pickpockets keep their wallet in their back pockets. The truth is back pockets are the easiest to pick.
By keeping your wallet in the front pockets you reduce the chances of losing it. It is difficult for anyone to steal something from your front pockets because your hands are always in front of you.
Furthermore, if you put your wallet in the inner pockets of your jacket and then zip up it will be quite impossible for someone to steal the wallet even when you are in a crowded place. This doesn’t mean thieves will not attempt or even successfully steal from your front pockets.
The truth is thieves can steal your wallet from almost anywhere. However, front pockets have an advantage over back pockets when it comes to the security of your wallet.
9. Dress Modestly
When you put on your best while traveling you attract thieves. Wearing expensive jewelry, trousers and jackets tell thieves that indeed you have something that they can steal. The thieves now target your wallet believing that you are loaded with money.
And this can put you in a very difficult situation because you may have more than one group of pickpockets trailing you and it can be problematic to control them.
Being modest in your dressing and in the way you present yourself will throw the thieves off guard. The idea is you don’t want thieves to easily guess if you have the money or not. This does not, however, mean that you should dress like a beggar to protect your wallet. Ù
Instead, wear decently but not expensive. In this way, you will blend in with others and no one will be able to tell if you have the money or not. In the end, you will not be a direct target of anyone.
10. Employ Tactics
There is no standard method to keep your wallet safe while traveling. Different tactics apply to different situations. This is mainly due to the fact that thieves tend to be very smart and they keep learning about their victims and how they can outwit them every time.
This means pickpockets also learn about some of the tactics people use to avoid losing items. For this reasons they also devised new methods to identify, track and outwit their victims.
By applying your own tactics you can easily outwit pickpockets because they most probably are not aware of your own tactics. For example, you could use a rubber band to create some form of friction between your pocket and the wallet. This way if a pickpocket tries to yank it out you will feel or hear it.
When you travel you should always have a close look at some factors that may make your journey hard. Learn the tips in this article if you want to find out how to keep your wallet safe at all times.