1. Keep Cash Concealed – When you pull out a large number of bills to pay for something, you become an instant target for anyone who is interested in taking your money from you. Keep your cash stashed in a hidden money belt or a deep inside pocket, and only pull out what you need to make a purchase. Another way to minimize the impact of a theft is to divide up your cash into several different pockets. That way a thief might get all the money from one pocket, but there’s a good chance they won’t be able to grab the money out of all of your pockets.
2. Be Aware of the People Around You – While you are walking through tourist sites, notice the people in the crowd around you. Sometimes simply making eye contact with a stranger will make you a poor target for pickpocketing. The last thing a thief wants is for someone to be able to recognize them. Also, making sure you don’t carry cash is a good measure to prevent this – use safer alternatives like cheques, or even getting credit cards, which are easy to acquire.
3. Carry Bags Across the Body – If you carry bags with long straps, place the strap across your body while you are walking. A bag that is hung from a single shoulder is easy to snatch and run away with. If the bag is positioned across your body from one shoulder to the other hip, it is nearly impossible to grab it quickly and get away.
4. Do as the Locals do – When you’re in an unfamiliar area, pay attention to the way the local residents behave. Cross the street with someone who is local, especially if you’re in a city that has poor traffic signals. If most of the residents ride bicycles or mopeds, consider choosing something two-wheeled rather than a rental car. The locals live and work safely in this environment every day and they are your best guide when you’re not sure what to do next.
5. Don’t Leave Valuables in the Hotel – Hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft, even when they are locked up tight. If you must carry something valuable, take it with you when you leave your room. When you absolutely must leave something important or expensive in the room, don’t leave it out in plain sight. Tuck it into a drawer underneath your clothing or stash it in a locked suitcase in the closet. Hiding your valuables doesn’t guarantee they won’t be stolen, but it does make thieves work harder to carry them off.