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Blog

News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: paris

How to Avoid Pickpockets in France

Josh okungbaiye

Although Paris is generally  known to be a very safe city, pickpocketing remains a problem in the French capital, particularly in crowded areas like the metro and around popular tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.

EIFFEL TOWER


1)     The first tip is to take only the bare essentials while sightseeing. In order to avoid theft, leave most of your valuables including your passport in a safe at the hotel or apartment where you're staying. Take along an alternative form of identification and bring along only a copy of the key pages of your passport. Furthermore, unless you're wearing a money belt, I recommend you take no more than 50 or 60 euros in cash a day.


2)     As ATM machines are considered one of pickpockets favourite spots. Stay extremely vigilant when withdrawing cash and do not offer help to anyone who wishes to "learn to use the machine" or who engages you in conversation while you are entering your pin code. Furthermore, if you can't figure out how to use the machine, never accept "help" or advice on how to use it.


3)     Pickpockets love to see an open bag, especially if it's slung over the back on a crowded Metro. Therefore, by only using bags that zip up and have a lock, pickpockets will find it harder to steal your belongings.


4)     A very smart tip is to be aware on Line 9 of the Metro. Line 9, which runs from Boulogne in the west to Montreuil in the East, and passes through Trocadero and the Champs Elysées, is known for its pickpockets. When travelling  on this line, make sure to keep your belongings close to you.


5)     Lastly, if someone approaches you with a ring or a string bracelet, do not accept either of them as they are common scams which are very difficult to refuse on placed on your wrist and finger. They will pretend they don't want them, and try and sell it to you really cheaply. That ring is not gold and the bracelet is NOT free.

Follow these tips and you will have a theft free trip in Paris!

Nicole Fernandez Medina


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!

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(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.

Global Citizen: Meet Paris

Josh okungbaiye

Hi Awesome People! We love showcasing High Spirit Londoners doing amazing things! It is our pleasure to introduce to you Paris! :-) 

What is your favourite thing about living in London?

That there's always various things to do and all ways people about no matter what time. 

Where in the World would you like to visit?

Thailand because I lived there for about two years when I was younger and have a lot of my happiest memories there.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

I'd have to say Five Guys although that's based on American burgers and it's one of the best things I've ever had. 

      What do you love doing?

I love to paint people in unique ways rather than you're average portrait painting I prefer to do something more abstract of the person to try and bring out their personality through the painting by using the shapes and colours.

3 favourite things everyone should do in London?

1 Visit Knightsbridge in Christmas because it looks beautiful,

2 visit Winter Wonderland during in winter it's so magical

3 Go to the Cereal Killer Cafe in Brick Lane  it's an amazing place where you can buy a range of cereals and apply crazy topping and have different flavoured milk.. Haha

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