Prevent Pickpockets and Travel Worry-Free with These 10 Easy Tips

10 easy tips for new travellers

New to travelling? Travelling alone for the first time? Travelling long-distance? Here are 10 tips to help tide you through the pre-travel anxiety!

1. Limit the number of luggage to bring.

There are always roads too rocky and stairs too long when you are carrying so much load. Don’t take lifts and escalators for granted, because not every city has them. The last thing you want is to forget about your second luggage or put up with angry commuters at the metro when you block the passageway.

2. Worried about not having a cabin-sized luggage to carry on your smaller travels?

There are 2 options:

  • Buy a smaller luggage when you’ve settled down. A cabin-sized luggage costs approximately 25£ in London or 30€ at supermarkets.
  • Carry a backpack when you leave your home country, on top of your main luggage. Your backpack can then serve as a cabin baggage when making shorter travels.

3. All the worries about pick pocketing, THEY ARE TRUE, no matter where you go.

To guard against them, carry a small pouch bag with you to store important documents like your passport, boarding pass, wallet and phone. Keep it in your sight, in front of you, and ZIPPED. When you are carrying a big backpack and lugging a bulky luggage, all you want is somewhere easily reachable when you need to pull out your phone swiftly to check for directions. Don’t risk putting your belongings in a bag behind you.

Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia, Turkey

4. Save all your documents in Dropbox, synced to your phone, and AVAILABLE OFFLINE.

In the event of emergencies, you can retrieve it easily. Trust me, you don’t want to be detained at the airport when you fail to produce your visa.

5. NEVER keep your room keys in in your check-in luggage.

At the rare chance that my boyfriend decided to check in his backpack on our trip from Milos to Athens, the crew had to forget to load all the passengers’ baggage in the plane when they took off. We almost missed our connecting flight from Athens as a result of our missing baggage, and came close to being homeless that night. There, there. Lesson learned.

6. Do not keep your wallet/ phones in your pockets, not even in the front pocket.

Pants pockets are the prime spots for pickpockets. Those pickpockets can be really skilful.

New York City
New York City

7. Pickpockets work best in crowded places.

I’ve got touched at my butt in a crowded metro in Prague once. They get their act done when everyone is within close proximity with each other. Their hot spots are at metro/ bus stations, in metros/ buses and crowded shopping squares (think La Rambla in Barcelona).

8. While kindness in strangers exist, like in the case when I was Couchsurfing in Europe,  don’t take dubious acts of kindness for granted.

If someone offers you a drink (even if it’s tea), or offer to bring you around, they may be in it for your money. Once, a local boy from Cambodia put a snake around my neck and offered to take photo of me. He then conveniently stretched his hand out to ask for a fee. Local boy-1, Isabel-0.

9. Portable chargers are a must, especially when you use your phone for naviagtion.

For some of the travel apps I use, check this post out. Bring a spare phone if you have. It will save you lots of hassle should you misplace your phone.

Mount Titlis, Engelberg

10. My last piece of advice: BE BOLD.

Go with an open mind. Learn a new language. Get out of your comfort zone. Be around people of the wrong crowd. Don’t stick to the same people. Take pictures. Wander aimlessly. GO WITHOUT INTERNET. Sit at park benches. Do nothing. Enjoy your surroundings. Witness the different phases of the moon. Commit precious moments to memory. Smell the flowers of spring. Do something you never would have done back in your home country. Say hello to a stranger, hold the hand of someone you don’t know and dance like no one’s watching.

Original post at Sea Salt Secrets.

Looking for more tips? Read Practical Wanderlust’s How to Protect Yourself and Prevent Theft while Traveling.


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20 Comment

  1. Sabine says: Reply

    These are some great tips for new travellers, it will be very helpful. I love the photo of yourself in New York City 🙂

    1. mademoisellebel says: Reply

      Thank you Sabine! That’s really sweet of you to say that! 🙂

  2. augh! for #8, when I was in New York, this Mickey Mouse character said let’s take a picture and I said no and he was so persistent I finally gave in. I was about to leave when he said I had to pay but he was the one to approach me to have a photo taken with me!! I didnt ask him to have our photo taken!

    1. That’s just riduculous! I hate poachers like these! They always target the gullible innocent travellers. Don’t fall for them next time!

  3. candy says: Reply

    Great traveling tips.

    1. Thanks Candy! 🙂

  4. Great tips for newbie travelers!! I liked your last one the best – yup, go boldly and with an open mind!!

  5. Fabulous tips! Pinned!

  6. Great tips. I do a lot of traveling within the US but I’m venturing internationally for the first time in awhile so I will use these suggestions. I’ve heard so much about pickpockets and it has me worried.

  7. Willow says: Reply

    I love all of these! When I went to Milan I had an arm band with a zip pocket, socks with a zip pocket, and a hidden belt. I know it was a bit much, but I loved feeling safe and secure with my money and passport.

  8. Kari says: Reply

    I have a great cross body bag that I always travel with so that I can keep it in front of me and always keep it zipped up!

  9. Love Love Love #10. Isn’t that so true about life in general. Traveling new places gives me such anxiety. Traveling by myself to new places … no way! Though, I really want to put myself out of my comfort zone and do it some day. There is too much of the world to see to be scared by it!

  10. These are really good tips! I’m hoping to implement them very soon 😉

    Have a beautiful day!

  11. I’m about to start traveling a lot and all of these tips are so helpful! I can especially relate to bringing as few bags as possible. No matter how long the trip, my rule is to never check a bag.

  12. Great tips! I can’t wait to travel one day soon.

  13. Great tips, especially for luggage! I’m all about packing small 🙂

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  15. Joe says: Reply

    Great advice here. Agree that it’s all about being vigilant without being paranoid, and being organised is key. But most of all, immerse yourself and have fun! 🙂

  16. […] New traveller? Equip your knowledge with Prevent Pickpockets and Travel Worry-Free with These 10 Easy Tips. […]

  17. These are all great tips!! I need to put all my documents in the DropBox next time!!

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