If you are planning to travel, it’s wise to give some thought to protecting your valuables.
Thankfully, there are a host of different tips and tricks – not to mention some quirky clothing ideas – that give you the edge over pickpockets.
With secret pockets, hidden pouches and anti-slash straps, these items aim to keep travellers safe from bag snatchers and thieves the world over.
Because backpacks are often a target, we like the look of the new-generation of ‘smart packs’ such as the Presli Voyager (main photo)
These packs smartly position anti theft, reverse design zippers to sit snugly against your back, and are made entirely from slash-proof and water resistant material.
Added smart features include an easy to find key clip and two internal zipper pockets for safe storage of passports and a wallet.
Business travellers will love the padded pocket for their MacBook Pro (up to 15”), multiple pen slots, business card pockets, and a pouch for A4 documents to store unfolded.
An external water bottle pocket, and two zipped pockets forward on the shoulder straps are for easily accessible, and secure stowage of credit cards, transport passes or an office access swipe card.
There’s also quite a range of travel pants designed to make life difficult for pickpockets.
With a host of zips, velcro strips and flaps to ‘double lock’ your pockets, these trousers provide many options for keeping valuables safe.
If you want to get really clever, there are many types of security underwear available for travellers.
There’s also T-shirts and vests with hidden pockets and the Braza Secret Stash, which allows a woman to put valuables in a pouch that sits on the central part of a bra.
Clever and cunning socks
Some travellers swear by the use of special socks with a built-in compartment for storing valuables.
Vests and jackets with as many as 42 hidden pockets are now common among travellers, as are slash-proof carry bags, handbags and similar accessories.
And, there are also anti theft bags such as those made by Travelon with shoulder straps reinforced by cable and anti-slash material.
That brings us to a topical subject: protection against illegal scanning of credit cards that have radio frequency identification technology, or RFID.
There is debate about whether not not these cards can realistically be scanned through your purse or wallet.
Even though scanning apps are apparently easily downloaded on the web, it would apparently take substantial computing power to lift information from an RFID card.
However, there are still plenty of handbags, wallets, carry bags and even individual sleeves that are designed to protect your cards against identity theft and tracking.
Broad, general steps
And, of course, there are general precautions that you can take to further turn the odds against the thieves in public places.
- Keep your wallet in a front pocket instead of the back. Consider taking a dummy wallet as well.
- Loop an elastic band around your real wallet, which will help prevent it from sliding out smoothly.
- Spread your valuables instead of keeping them all in one place. Thieves are not stupid and are well aware of money belts.
- Remain alert and don’t allow anyone to divert your attention or distract you.
- If you are using public transport, keep your bag with you at all times – in contact with your body
- Be naturally suspicious. Don’t accept food or drink from strangers.
- Carry a back-up ATM or credit card.
- Consider a slash free carry bag with lockable zippers – and keep it with you at all times.
- Consider a dummy camera.
- Before travelling, research any particular scams that operate where you are going
- When in public, don’t stop to get out money or other valuables. Assume that pickpockets are watching you.