1) Although most of us have the notion that pickpockets strike at night, in busy tourist spots or on any form of transport, the reality of it is that they can be found anywhere. One place you must take special care with is when visiting places where money is being retrieved or exchanged such as banks, currency exchange booths. Of course, popular pickpocket zones also include plazas, festivals and places where there are large crowds. In order to avoid pickpocketing, keep your money close to you, avoid keeping it all in one place such as your bag or wallet; and always, always close your bag properly.
2) Avoid conversation. The majority of the time, pickpockets will create distractions to catch tourists off guard. Although you may think all pickpockets are of older age, the reality is that they may be disguised as children. Don’t be fooled into their cuteness; while they are luring you in, one may be slipping their tiny hands into your pocket or bag. If a group of children or adults seem to be approaching you, avoid eye contact and move away as quickly as possible.
3) Whatever you do, do NOT keep your phone or wallet in a vulnerable place such as your back pockets, jacket pockets and especially not in the front pockets of your backpack. If you must keep your wallet or purse in your trouser pockets, keep them in the front as they are harder to access. Another tip is to attach a chain or rubber band to them in order to minimize retrieval.
4) Yes, it’s hard not to show off that new luxury jewellery you just purchased, but in order to avoid it being stolen, store it in a secure place such as a safe provided by the hotel. It’s best not to flash your status in order to avoid calling attention to yourself.
5) Lastly, avoid carrying any unnecessary baggage. By packing only the essentials, you avoid pickpockets attempting to steal form the large quantity of bags you are travelling with.
So overall, be smart, follow this guidance, think practical and have a most of all, have a fantastic time on your holiday!
Nicole Fernandez Medina