In addition to Being a Chameleon Abroad here are a few tips to help you avoid being a victim of theft on holiday (and at home):
- If you must take expensive items out with you, try to make them appear broken or damaged. Stick some tape around parts of your gadgets, (e.g. parcel tape on your iPad).
- If you are in very unfamiliar territory, where gadgets are not the norm, just stick with your phone.
- Only use cash points (ATM’s) inside banks.
- Don’t keep all your cash (notes) in one place, spread it between different pockets or zips or whatever so you don’t look too ‘rich’ when counting money out to pay for things.
- Leave valuable jewellery at home.
- In hotels, hang your clothes in clothes carriers to avoid prying housekeeping eyes.
- Don’t draw attention to where you’ve hidden valuable items by being overly protective (gripping tightly or constantly checking and rechecking to see if they are there), anyone looking will be convinced you have something of high value if you keep on behaving like this.
- Don’t go off and leave valuables in the boot of a car.
- Clothing with hidden pockets – very helpful.
- Visible bum bags – not so helpful as they scream out ‘there’s money in here , that’s why I’m carrying this bag’
- Only book hotel rooms with a safe in the room. Surprisingly, in this new millennium there are still hotels that offer no safe in your room. Don’t carry all your cash and valuables around with you – use your room safe or find somewhere in your luggage to hide cash.
- Do your research before hand to try and ‘suss out’ what legitimate police officer’s wear etc..as opposed to fake police.
- Try not to appear vulnerable (anxious/confused) even if you are, a confident walk and manner will less likely attract thieves.
- Dress down when checking into a hotel, you are less likely to be targeted for an inside job if you don’t appear to exude wealth.
- Check whether your hotel room safe opens with the default 00000 or 1234 after you have already set your own code.
- Ring the alarm
- Carry a dummy purse/wallet with just a small amount of cash – whilst stashing the rest somewhere a little more discreet. If you have to hand over your ‘dummy’ you won’t loose much.
I know you probably know lots of other useful tips, so do feel free to share them as you can never be too savvy these days!