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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: last minute holiday

The Ultimate Guide To Prevent Pickpocketing

Josh okungbaiye

Travel is a beautiful thing and exploring other countries is a wonderful way to open our eyes and learn about the World in a fun and exciting way. In addition to enjoying the sights and immersing yourself in culture it is really important to make sure your stuff stays safe from pickpockets. Pickpocketing is a major petty crime that affects people across the world, particularly tourists. Pickpockets ruin people’s holidays so to help out we put together an Ultimate Guide on how to protect yourself from pickpockets. All the tips are below. Happy Travelling. Enjoy!

safety from pickpockets.jpg

(1) Stay vigilant in crowds and stay away from commotions

Whenever there is any type of commotion or a sudden surge of crowds, BE ALERT as it is the perfect situation for pickpockets to create a distraction for their target. It can happen very quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on your belongings.

(2) Spread your valuables instead of keeping them in once place

Put your money, valuables and important documents in different compartments and pockets. This is so it decreases the chance of all your valuables being taken away at once.

(3) Watch your bags and luggage on trains

Keep a close eye and hold onto your bags and luggage on the train/bus. Also check they are not accessible through open windows or train/bus doors because thieves will reach through and grab items as quickly as they can.

(4) Avoid rummaging through your wallet or counting money in public

This is important, so you don’t make yourself more visible to be targeted by pickpockets. If you feel you need to count your money and sort out stuff in your wallet or bag, make sure to do it in the safety of your hotel room.

(5) Keep purses/backpacks strapped tightly to your body

Tighten the straps of your bag to your shoulders or arms, this will ensure extra safety with your possessions as it will be easier to detect any tampering and it will be harder for thieves to snatch your bag away.

(6) Secure your bag to an immovable object 

When you are at a restaurant or cafe, loop your bag’s strap around the leg of your chair, the leg of your table or your leg. This ensures that thieves can’t come by and quickly snatch your bag. 

(7) Keep your phone off the table

Smartphones and tablets are very popular for pickpockets to steal. Many people leave their devices on the table while they’re socialising and eating, which makes it easy for a thief to snatch it and run away.

(8) Limit what you carry

When sightseeing you do not have to carry a lot of stuff. It is advised to not carry a lot of cash or valuables on you at any given time during your vacation. It will be much safer leaving it in your hotel room.

(9) If you have a heavy coat you are at more risk

BE AWARE because it will be a lot easier for a thief to insert his or her hand in your pocket without you feeling anything. In order to increase protection of your stuff, make sure you put your things inside hidden pockets and compartments. This is very useful for tourists that will be travelling to colder destinations.

(10) Put both hands in your pockets when in highly crowded areas

Keep your hands covering critical pockets such as your front pockets when in crowds to prevent external access to your contents such as wallets, cash or ID.

(11) Don't carry your wallet or smartphone in your back pocket

By putting your wallet or smartphone in your back pocket, it leaves you open to be an easy target for pickpockets. Keep these high valued items concealed and out of sight completely.

(12) Be wary of any strangers approaching you

Ignore beggars and random individuals that approach you. It is more than likely they know you are a tourist and their approach will create a smokescreen leaving you vulnerable to being a victim. Please be aware that pickpockets can sometimes work in twos or threes against a target. So if you are approached, please ignore them and keep going.

(13) Leave your passport at the hotel

Your passport is the single most important document you will carry on your vacation, so if you don’t need to carry it everywhere with you, just leave it in your hotel room.

Just for extra pre-caution, you can create photocopies of your passport and keep them in various bags and pockets.

(14) Keep your hands in your pockets when walking through large crowds.

Putting your hands in your pockets when you are walking through large crowds creates a blockage to prevent any pickpockets from slipping their hands into your pockets to take your small valuable items.

(15) Do not speak with anyone while using the ATM/Cash machine

While withdrawing cash do not accept anyone's help in making a withdrawal. Whilst typing in your PIN number cover the keypad with your free hand so the PIN cannot be viewed. Also, watch out for an extra card reader at the front of the machine or where you swipe your card. These card readers are called skimmers and can capture the information from your credit card if you swipe or insert it. In order to ensure safety, go to a bank and withdraw cash from the check-in section or get assistance from the bank employee.

 

(16) Carry your theft-proof bag

Pickpockets like to target people that clearly look and dress like tourists. One of the telltale signs that make a tourist a target is when they wear their backpack on their front. That lets pickpockets know that you are a tourist and you are unfamiliar with your current environment. In order to avoid this, you should get a theft-proof bag that has hidden anti-theft zips that enables you to wear your backpack on your back without worrying about being a victim of pickpocketing. The bags are also made of strong sturdy material that prevents slashing. Here is the link http://www.highspiritbags.com/shop

(17) Final Tip

Most people assume pickpockets are dodgy looking men, but a large number of pickpockets are actually young girls and boys — usually around 10-18 years old. Most tourists don’t suspect that a young child would steal from them, so they’re less defensive around them. Sometimes, pickpockets are well dressed and you’d never expect them to be thieves. So as you are enjoying your holiday, just try to stay vigilant and aware and you will be totally fine.

Into Seoul and Beyond: See, Do and Experience it Beyond the Touristy Stuff 

Josh okungbaiye

 

The vibrant city of Seoul in South Korea is a metropolis that’s brimming with action. There is so much to do and see there that you’ll never be able to see it all. Unless you pack up and move there, which isn’t a bad idea either.

seoul

You’ll definitely want to visit popular tourist destinations like Insadong, where you can check out art galleries, eat temple food while watching a traditional performance, and scoop up amazing souvenirs to take back home with you. You’ll also want to take the subway to Lotte World for a Korean version of Disney World. Plus, there are museums that will help round out your experience. And the palaces! You can’t miss those either. The most famous of them all, Gyeongbokgung Palace, has two museums on-site too.

The DMZ tour is also another popular thing for tourists, and honestly if you’ve got the time to do it, you shouldn’t skip the chance to visit. You’ll need to take a long bus ride for it, but most hotels can set you up for a tour if you ask the concierge.

While these touristy things are incredible and you should make time for them, if you stick to just those things, you’ll miss out on a whole other side of Seoul that you’ve simply got to see. Here are some other things you should make time to do and see while you’re in Seoul.

travel solo in south korea

1. Go for norebang

Korean karaoke rooms, called norebang, are amazingly fun. You get your own private and comfortably outfitted room with a state-of-the-art sound system. This singing room allows you and your crew to sing songs, order plenty of Hite or Cass (Korea’s domestic beers), and have an absolute blast. They have them everywhere so just pick a place that looks good and go. 

karaoke in seoul

2. Take line 2 for a view

The line 2 subway will give you the most impressive view of the Han River. You can also get out at Dangsan and walk out exit 3 to walk across the walkway and take selfies to your heart’s content.

train in seoul

3. Seoul Children’s Park

Most people that visit Seoul for a trip don’t know about this awesome place. You could spend the entire day here and still not do it all. It’s free to get in too. You’ll find a zoo and a stunning botanical garden. There’s also an amusement park. You only have to pay for rides or any food purchases that you make, making this a fantastic way to stay entertained even if you’re low on funds.

south korea architecture

4. Food, drinks, and nightlife

Go out like the Koreans do. Start at one place, like a Korean barbecue where you can grill your meats right in the center of your own table. Make sure you wash it down with plenty of soju, an alcoholic beverage akin to vodka. Then, amble on to the next place. Often, fried chicken joints are an inevitable stop where you and your friends will get spicy crispy fried chicken and a pitcher of beer. Want to dance or do the bar scene? Itaewon practically caters to foreigners, while Hongdae gives you more of that college set. Either place is great for a fun night out with plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs to fill your night!

nightlife in seoul korea

5. Go shopping

Seoul is one of the fashion capitals of the world. Look at the way the women here style themselves and in a few months, you’ll see the trend take hold in the states. It’s an excellent place to shop. You’ll see plenty of malls filled with sparkly stores that will tempt you to spend. But one place you have to look is underground. Take the subway to the Gangnam Terminal where you’ll find the Goto Mall. Or head to Yeungdeungpo or Jamsil for more underground shopping madness. There are gobs of trendy clothes, shoes, jewelry and more, and the prices are outstanding. Hopefully, you’ve brought an expandable suitcase to take all your goodies home with you. If not, you can find one in one of these underground malls for super cheap.

If you do these things and get in some time at the many other touristy stops you can make, you’ll get the best taste of Seoul. It’s impossible to do it all so plan wisely and you’re experience in this majestic city will be truly unforgettable.

Top 3 places to visit in October

Josh okungbaiye

Turkey - Antalya

Turkey is increasingly becoming one of the hotspots for early autumn. Antalya specifically is enjoying being known as a popular destination. If you are not quite ready to accept the cold oncoming autumn weather you can delay it by visiting Antalya and enjoying its average temperature of 21 degrees. It is recommended that you check out Perge, which is the closest Roman ruin to Antalya. You can also get lost in history by also visiting Aspendos, Termessos and Side.

Near the resort of Side is Manavgat waterfalls. This is an amazing place to spend the day relaxing and capturing some epic selfies. There are plenty of garden cafes that provide refreshments and there are gift shops that are open all the time. If you want to see more of nature’s wonderful waterfalls, head to the bigger Duden waterfalls within the city of Antalya. It is truly a wonderful resort city that has more than enough to offer so you can enjoy your trip.

Italy - Rome

Rome has never failed to deliver; we think it will always remain a tourist hotspot no matter what time of the year it is. During the October months the weather in Rome is very mild, and the average sea temperature is about 22 degrees, which is warm enough to have a lovely dip in the ocean during your holiday.

When in Rome, do what the Romans do. Get lost in enjoying the food, culture and art. Check out the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj for amazing artwork. Check out the Colosseum and the other tourist attractions such as The Sistine Chapel, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and many more all within the city. During this time of the year it will not be crowded, so you will be able to gain easy access to the popular tourist attractions with minimal waiting time and fuss.

USA - New Orleans

New Orleans is the place to be in October. The city is awash with cultural offerings and of course plenty of festivals. Also, the weather during this time is at 26 degrees. So it will still feel like you are right in the middle of summer.

From the 1st - 2nd October the Treme Fall Festival takes place. All weekend you can enjoy the local music and food of the celebrated New Orleans neighbourhood. The festival is a donation-based event, created to raise money for the local community. 

Hell Yes Fest takes place on 6th - 16th October. It is a huge comedy event in New Orleans, featuring well known comics such as Sarah Silverman, Nick Swardson, Alice Wetterlund and many more. 

The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience happens on the 28th - 30th October. It is the last huge music festival of the year. The Weeknd, G-Eazy, Lost Kings and many more will be performing. It is set to be another epic one!

There is also the New Orleans Film Festival, which takes place from the 12th - 20th October. They will also be celebrating their 27th Year Anniversary so it set to be a huge one. Be sure to catch a flight and head out to New Orleans.