In preparation for our 12-day Mediterranean cruise this year, I fretted about pick-pockets. With the global economy constantly on NPR, and thus, on my mind, I wondered what I could do to keep us from falling into the hands of a slippery thief.
Naturally, I researched online. I read about pick-pockets in Europe. I watched YouTube videos. They’re mostly gypsies. Apparently, it’s a way of life, an attitude that you can just steal what you want. The police, have a hard time keeping up with them, and the general consensus is, if you were pick-pocketed, you kind of deserved it. Which, while I understand the sentiment behind this attitude, for me, it’s still not right.
The pick-pocket profile ranged from young children, to teenagers, mothers with babies, and well-dressed men. The smooth operators are masters at the art of distraction. They work in groups, which makes apprehending your stolen property, nigh impossible.
Needless to say, I was on heightened alert.
I knew I wanted something else in addition to the Rick Steve’s money belts.
That’s when I stumbled upon the Pacsafe Metrosafe 200 bag. Pacsafe has an entire line of products that are designed to keep your identity safe, and your belongings secure. For our trip, I wanted a day pack. The Metrosafe 200 can fit an iPad, passports, money, iPhone, point-and-shoot camera, two bottles of water, snacks for the kids, and other incidentals. For us that meant a small first aid kit, and sunscreen. I was able to squeeze in floppy hats too.
My husband carried a black Metrosafe bag (it’s better than Joey’s man bag) and I carried a plum colored one. The carrying strap you wear across your body is reinforced with steel so it can’t be slashed. The lining of the bag is also slash proof, so the pickpocketers can’t slice the bottom and retrieve your items as they fall to the ground.
While I knew our bags had great anti-theft features, we also never removed them from our bodies. We were always discreet when we handled money, always staying within a shop to do so. We were aware of people around us, and if they were too close. We made eye contact with people, were aware of our surroundings, and kept our hands on our bags.
Seven things I learned/did to avoid pickpockets:
- Expect that getting pick-pocketed can happen to you.
- Observe the people around you – pay attention to those that are busy scoping out targets, or that look nervous – it’s not easy to be nonchalant when you’re plotting to do something wrong.
- Keep your important items close to your body.
- Avoid crowds, and distractions.
- If you suspect someone, keep eye contact. Let them know, that you see them, and are watching.
- Only carry what you’re willing to lose, or can easily recover.
- Practice discretion when retrieving/putting away your money/valuables.
I’ve done some traveling since our European adventure, and love taking my Pacsafe Metrosafe bag. It’s the right size for a girl like me – always on the run.
I am not a pickpocket expert like Bob Arno. I’m sharing our experience, and mindset. Following my tips do not guarantee that you will be free from thieves. In addition, I was not contacted, nor am I being compensated by Pacsafe for this post. Although, we all know they should, because, DUDE, I love this bag.