Picture this - you are travelling to a European City for the first time and are excited to arrive at your destination.
Walking along the banks of the river you meet some friendly locals who are selling friendship bracelets, and they enthusiastically try to sell you their wares.
You politely decline and walk on to a restaurant for dinner. It's only when you go to pay that you find with horror that you haven't got your wallet!
You realise that the enthusiastic locals were acting as a distraction for their friend the pickpocket, and you now have the hassle of replacing all your cards.
It's scary how often this happens, and there are some scary statistics reported by travel sites like the clevercompanion.com. For example,
- There were over 1700 reported incidents of pick pocketing during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
- An estimated 600,000 pick pocketing incidents occur in the United Kingdom every year.
- In 2009, Barcelona reported over six thousand pick pocketing incidents.
- Thirty-three percent of all claims in regards to travel insurance are for items that have been lost or stolen.
Over 400,000 pick pocketing incidents occur in the world each and every single day.
- The top five cities for pick pocketing occurrences are as follows: Barcelona, Rome, Prague, Madrid, and Paris.
However don't panic if you are planning to travel in the near future, here are some basic travel safety tips you can keep in mind which will ensure your valuables are protected:
- Avoid keeping your wallet in either of your rear pockets. As you may or may not know, your rear pockets are an easy target for even a novice pick pocket
- When you find yourself in a large crowd, try to maintain at least some awareness of your personal belongings. Don't let yourself get distracted by salespeople or other 'tourists'.
- Children and senior citizens should not be automatically disqualified on the basis of their age or appearance.
- Keep in mind that a pick pocket rarely operates alone. They are generally going to be working in groups.
- If you're in a confined space or a passageway of some kind, try to remain vigilant.
- Try to keep the contents of your purse or wallet down to the absolute essentials. This is something that can not only make it easier to find what you need, but it can also protect you from becoming a victim of pick pocketing.
Of course, the simplest tip of all is zipping your stuff inside the hidden pocket of one of our Anti-theft Infinity Scarves and be stylish and safe at the same time!