“Never leave your bag unattended"It's timely advice,This is not just limited to airport security. And what sounds like direct advice is actually the root cause of most travel problems! When, for example, do you think twice before leaving your bag at the beach? Or at your feet during lunch overlooking the Seine?
In fact, beach bags are becoming an extremely attractive target for theft, with a typical beach bag now worth thousands of dollars. Sounds crazy? Not when you consider that this could include a couple of cell phones, a Kindle or two, a handful of credit cards, and an iPad.
Enjoying an informal lunch with a bag at your feet? If it's loose, it's a target for theft.secure your bagby wrapping the strap around an arm, leg or chair leg.
if you aresleeping in a public place, on the train or at the airport, do the same. Put your hand through one of the bag straps while sleeping. Clip the bag to your seat, trunk or yourself. I will always have at least one body part plugged into my bag if I enjoy taking a nap in public.
Remember that even a small obstacle or inconvenience can effectively deter thieves. It's not necessarily about making your bag impenetrable, but about making it less attractive than others!
But as someone whose bag was vandalized by unaccompanied monkeys in the Serengeti National Park, not only am I giving this advice with criminals in mind, you are also being targeted by wildlife!
You don't know who's coming to rummage!
This is especially true for those who go hiking and leave food in bags unattended. You may be on the most remote island in the world with a 0% chance of stealing, but that won't stop hungry or curious creatures from sniffing around!
The main point is hereBe careful of your surroundingsat any moment. Remember that the most common bag snatching technique is distraction. Most of the time, criminals work in groups, with one person distracting and the other taking the bag.
It may seem like overkill to insist on this advice, but you won't believe how many suitcases are left unattended abroad!
O Megan Claire
Megan is an Australian journalist who has been traveling and blogging around the world for 7 years to inspire others to start their own global adventure! Her husband, Mike, is an American travel photographer and together they have made the world their home.
JoJanuary 1, 2014
Very timely and good advice, Megan. I would like to add that you should pay special attention to their advice when traveling by public transport, in a large crowd or in popular tourist places. Also, beware of sudden riots in these types of places, as they can often be a ruse to distract tourists, resulting in bag snatching or pickpocketing.
And ClaireJanuary 1, 2014
Yes, definitely fine with special attention when traveling by public transport and in a large crowd. Fortunately, I haven't had any problems yet or experienced theft on my travels. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it stays that way!
filter forwardJanuary 1, 2014
Good job Megan! When I travel, I use a foldable bag hanger that attaches to the side of the table and hang my purse or shopping bags on it. This has saved me from being a victim of theft, especially when traveling in Europe.
And ClaireJanuary 1, 2014
That's a great idea, never heard of such an idea before! I'm already looking, thanks!
Keith had toJanuary 2, 2014
A "reformed" pickpocket once told me that a good place to hang out is near a sign that says "Beware of Pickpockets." Seeing this, many people almost subconsciously check their wallet or whatever where it should be…thus telling sinners where it is!
And ClaireJanuary 2, 2014
Interesting!! It makes sense, but at the same time I never thought of it! It's scary how clever thieves are! Lol, now I'm going to be scrupulously watching people and looking for those who hang around these signs :D
Cyra @ Gastronomic NomadJanuary 3, 2014
Very true and good advice from Megan! I used to live in East London so you know what they say, you can take a girl out of London but you can't take London out of a girl. I am very aware of my bag/stuff and keep an eye on it all the time.
But I also learned the hard way: I was robbed in London two years ago, and my bag was stolen in India a few years ago. Never too much caution! And yes, with the arrival of almost everyone with various tech items, it only gets worse.
And ClaireJanuary 3, 2014
I am sorry to hear it! Fortunately, I haven't been targeted by pickpockets yet. But I've heard of motorcycles ripping bags off people's backs in Europe. Not sure if it's true or not lol but like you said; never too much caution!
Mishele by ThewildsmithberrysJanuary 3, 2014
Good advice! Pickpockets can happen very quickly. My dad was on a crowded bus in Central America. His wallet was in his front pocket and his hand was in his pocket. Someone pushed him, and he reached out to grab the bar for balance. Within seconds, his wallet was gone.
This was one of my biggest fears while traveling AFTER losing my kids. This was by far the scariest fear when they were little.
And ClaireJanuary 4, 2014
It's crazy how fast and skillful they steal! Which may be gone before you realize someone was in your pocket! Some travelers I have met carry fake wallets in case they are robbed or assaulted; thieves see fake credit cards in wallet and enjoy it.
I wish you and your family a happy new year :)
KarolinaJanuary 5, 2014
Great advice Megan. You can never be too careful with your belongings when traveling. Thieves and pickpockets are getting more cunning and there always seems to be some new ruse to distract the unsuspecting traveller. Also heard about pickpockets mentioned by Keith, scary!
And ClaireJanuary 5, 2014
It seems there's always a new trick! And you know it's obviously worth it if people are into this, pickpocketing, as a profession. I think the worst trap we can fall into is the "this will never happen to me" mentality, just always be careful and considerate when traveling :)
Amanda StrawJanuary 6, 2014
I would never leave my bag unattended, especially after watching Broke Down Palace and many, many episodes of LockedUp Abroad.
And ClaireJanuary 6, 2014
Broke Down Palace was an incredibly sobering film, quite a real test if I ever saw it! We have a show called "Banged Up Abroad" which I assume is the same as LockedUp Abroad - scary stuff!
Kerry AscioneJanuary 25, 2014
Last summer my husband and I visited the Pont du Gard in Provence. If anyone is unfamiliar, this is a beautiful and impressive Roman aqueduct. The river also flows under the aqueduct. In summer, many people sit next to the aqueduct and swim in the wonderfully refreshing river. We wanted to do it too; But what to do with all the valuables? Well, the best I could do was stack them up and cover them with a shiny towel, then I watched them every minute while I was in the water. I was ready to run out of the river and chase anyone who tried to pick up my stuff. Not a grand plan, but a plan! Luckily no one touched them!
And ClaireJanuary 25, 2014
Like you said, at least that was the plan! Sounds like an amazing vacation spot.
We've learned to think ahead and try to pack as little as possible when we go to the pool. It makes it easier now that our camera is waterproof: we can take it with us in the water!See AlsoGebruik van "onafhankelijk" in een zin | Voorbeeldzinnen met `onvergezeld`(PDF) Accent Handbook - DOCUMENT.TIPSOwner's Manual E-Class Saloon - Mercedes-Benz · PDF File Owner's Manual E-Class Saloon E 320 E 320 4MATIC E 500 E 500 4MATIC E55AMG. Our company and employees congratulate - [PDF document]
Chad ThomsonFebruary 12, 2014
I once left my bad unattended in a hostel room. When I came back, I found that I was no longer in my bed. I scammed dtrip from the hostel staff by shouting about loose security etc.
Then I found out I was back in the wrong room and my bag was where I left it the whole time.
And ClaireFebruary 12, 2014
Lol, now that's a bit awkward! I've been the recipient of this before as a hotel staff, except when I was working at the front desk in a pretty decent hotel where everyone has their own rooms. The lady accused the cleaning service of stealing her bag.
She called back 4 days later to apologize for finding it at the bottom of her bag. Lol and then made another booking after swearing never to stay with us again. People make me laugh sometimes!!
DanaAugust 8, 2014
LOVE the bird and bag photo! Nice catch!
And ClaireSeptember 24, 2014
Thanks Dana! Luckily we caught him before he decided to get in the bag :D!
alice-joySeptember 23, 2014
Excellent advice. We usually only think about criminals when we think about our suitcases. It's very smart to think about wildlife.
Good advice! Thank you.
And ClaireSeptember 24, 2014
Thank you Alicja, I'm glad it was useful! You'd be really surprised how many things have been almost stolen by wildlife!
A monkey almost took our GoPro a few months ago when we were in South America. Hahaha, luckily we keep an eye on our stuff!
Lydia GregorySeptember 25, 2014
Great tips: Sometimes you also have to be wary of the kindness of strangers. I would rather negotiate a cramped bathroom with my heavy backpack than ask someone I spoke to to guard my suitcase. Unfortunately, you never know these days! :(
And ClaireSeptember 26, 2014
Unfortunately, I agree with you. Hahaha, although for some reason I used to be overconfident when I was in Africa and left my laptop with some travelers so they could use the internet while I went for a massage.
Fortunately, everything went well and now one of those strangers is my husband!
Wesleyan R. MullenaOctober 6, 2014
I learned my lesson the hard way a month ago. I landed in Barcelona and thirty minutes later my suitcase was stolen in Plaça de Catalunya. So fast and all I have left are the clothes I was wearing, my passport and my iPhone. I still struggle with trauma and self-blame.
And ClaireOctober 6, 2014
Wesley, I'm so sorry for your misfortune, it's really terrible and I'm so sorry for what happened to you.
I've heard very similar stories about Spain, many of my friends have been victims of pickpockets in similar regions, which really strikes me as to how careful we have to be with our belongings.
I hope there is nothing too valuable in your bag and you can continue your journey despite this bad experience.
Thank you for sharing your story.
HeatherDecember 17, 2014
I took out my wallet to pay for a bus ticket in Florence and was distracted by the guy with the ticket who told me I must have left it there. I lost 80 euros in cash but luckily all my credit cards were hidden in the bag. You definitely can't be too careful!
And ClaireDecember 17, 2014
Oh no!! I'm very sorry to hear that. Fortunately, however, it was only some cash and, as you said, not a full supply of credit cards; It's definitely a good idea to split everything up into different places when traveling for exactly this reason.
You can never be too careful - let's hope you find a great wallet in Italy to replace it with :) Have a great and safe journey!
AlabamaDecember 18, 2014
Have you tried something like a Pacsafe backpack/bag protector?http://www.mec.ca/product/4011-299/pacsafe-backpack-and-bag-protector/?q=pac%2Bsafe
I was thinking of getting one. The reviews seem good. I'd like to hear more comments.
No protection is perfect, but it seems to help protect against opportunistic thieves.
And ClaireDecember 21, 2014
I haven't really done it, but it seems like a great way to give yourself extra protection.
Or you might consider investing in one. Thanks for the advice!
LauraJanuary 11, 2015
Very useful information! In fact, I would never have thought that wildlife would get into my bag! I will definitely keep that in mind on my next trip.
And ClaireJanuary 11, 2015
Thanks, Laura! We travel to places full of wildlife all the time, so we are known to lose a lot of food to curious creatures! I've learned never to leave my backpack on the ground: the monkeys even manage to open the zipper!
Linda BibbFebruary 27, 2016
We take inexpensive carabiners with us on trips. They are very helpful. We use them to attach bag handles to stationery. They seem to be a good deterrent to grab and run quickly.
you gerardFebruary 29, 2016
Fantastic idea Linda - I could go out and buy one myself, great way to keep your bags safe! Thanks for the advice :)