How to Avoid Being Pickpocketed in Europe

Europe is one amazing continent. Full of vibrant cultures and spectacular sights, it’s a traveler’s dream. But this doesn’t mean it’s free from pickpockets. Don’t fret though – there are precautionary measures you can take to avoid being a victim.

Use Lockable Luggage

There’s a range of luggage available designed to be as secure as possible, made from durable materials and with the ability to securely lock. You’ll have more peace of mind if you use luggage made from materials that can’t be easily broken, cut or torn, with clasps or zips that take some effort to undo. Many also come with secret compartments that no one will think to look for! Check out some trusted brands from retailers like Luggage Direct .

Keep Important Possessions Attached to You

To make it difficult for potential pickpockets to get at your belongings, keep valuables as close to your body as possible. If carrying a handbag/purse, wear the flap against you, not facing outwards, and keep your hand on it. Avoid bags that are open on top – they should at least have a zip.

Don’t Store Important Items in Outside Pockets

Make sure items of lesser value/importance are kept in the outer pockets of your luggage, handbag or jacket. Use the inner pockets to hold valuables and important documents. Packing your most important items within layers of clothing is smart.

Never Put Your Handbag on the Ground or Behind You

One of the joys of holidaying in Europe is alfresco dining but this can open yourself up to thieves (it’s easier for a thief to snatch and run if you’re outside). It’s best to put your bag on your lap or hang it off your knee if your bag has a strap. It may be uncomfortable, but it’s less uncomfortable than having your bag stolen!

Use a Money Belt

The best thing to do is keep a day’s cash and a credit card in your wallet or bag for easy access. A money belt can then be used to store extra cash, cards and passport, while keeping them out of sight.

Store Valuables in Hotel

Many hotels have safes in each room. Make the most of it and use yours to secure your possessions. If your room doesn’t have a safe, chances are the hotel may have another area used to keep guests’ valuable belongings. If you’re in a less ‘civilised’ country however, keeping valuables at your accommodation may not be such a good idea.

Be Alert

Looking confused or referring to maps make you an easy target. Check directions before leaving your hotel, cab, or restaurant, taking a few key notes. Walk with a purpose and be unpredictable. If you suspect you’re being targeted, duck into the nearest store or suddenly change direction.

It’s important to make sure your belongings are secure and to try and reduce your risk of becoming a target. What are your top travel tips for avoiding having your pocket picked abroad?