While it may be hard to believe with so many of us buried under the snow, summer really is just a few short months away, and it stands to reason that spring will EVENTUALLY arrive (it is March, after all). Next month begins shoulder season in Europe and the number of visitors will rapidly grow until it reaches the high season in mid-June. While Americans are typically safe from violent crimes, they are very susceptible to pickpocketing. And is it any surprise, really? Americans arrive in Europe jetlagged, loaded down with valuables, and in many cases clad in Tommy Bahama and white sneakers. (You know it’s true!) If you wore a petty thief in Europe, you would probably target Americans, too!
However, there are things you can do to minimize your risk of falling victim to purse-snatching or pickpocketing.
Be prepared. Don’t bring unnecessary valuables with you, and consider getting theft insurance for expensive electronics. Make sure you back up photos frequently (I would suggest backing them up to Dropbox or another location online) and keep your items in an anti-theft bag from PacSafe. Make photocopies of your passport, tickets and itinerary in case you are robbed.
Stay aware of your surroundings and who is around you, especially at crowded tourist sites, and also avoid putting yourself in risky situations.
Wear a money belt. Keep your cash, credit cards and passport in a money belt under your clothing at all times when you’re out and about. When I was at the final destination of a month-long backpacking trip in Europe, my bags were stolen from the room in my hostel. I literally lost everything…except for my travel documents. As painful as the situation was, it could have been way worse if I hadn’t been prepared for the worst – just in case.
Secure your bag. When we sit down at a restaurant, we often put our bags at our feet…and forget about them for a little while. It would be easy for a thief to discreetly swipe your bag without you ever noticing. Reduce the risk of this happening by using a PacSafe WrapSafe Secure Cable Lock.