Being pick-pocketed while traveling is awful but hard to prevent. However, these 4 tips will help you arise from the situation quicker than you can say “where the F@*& is my wallet!?”
Add Someone to Your Account
The best thing that I did before I left the country for eight months was to add my mother to my bank account. When I added my mother to my bank account they gave her a debit card. I took ‘my mom’s’ debit card and packed it in my luggage. I also signed my Mom up to my credit card and took that card as well. The reason that I did this was so that I would have an extra debit card and credit card on hand in case I got pick-pocketed or lost my wallet
. Crazily enough I did end up getting pick-pocketed and I am very thankful that I had thought of this before I had left otherwise I would have had to survive another 2 months in Asia without even a penny. After that awful experience I NEVER leave the country without a few different ways of accessing my money.
Make sure to makeup another reason as to why you are adding another person to your account because technically you are not allowed to have their card.
Always Carry USD
American money is like a wild card. You can use it or exchange it practically anywhere. I have had moments where I enter a new country without the local currency or any ATM around and so could not buy any food and was starving. Talk about being hangry!
American money is amazing to have on hand until you can find a way to take out the local currency since a lot of countries will accept American dollars and almost every country will exchange American dollars.
Keep Your Money in Different Locations
Losing money sucks in any situation, but especially while traveling. I do not have any concrete method for preventing theft, robbery or absent-mindedness but I have a few words of wisdom to help lessen the blow if any of these situations do happen to you.
If you take out a large amount of cash (to avoid a lot of ATM fee’s) separate your money in half and keep both piles of money in separate locations. This way if you lose your luggage or get pick-pocketed you will not be left completely penny-less because you have an extra pile of cash in another location.
Also, if you do sign someone else up to your abnk acocunt and manage to get an extra debit card always make sure to keep the two cards in seperate locations. Afterall, this whole precaution goes to waste if both of your cards get stolen.
Keep Your Money Close
There are all of these fancy things on the market that you can buy to try to prevent pick-pocketing.However, people who pick-pocket are skilled and not much gets passed them. Never-the-less it does help to at least make an effort to keep your money close to you at all times. Don’t just shove your money carelessly into your pocket.
As a woman I find the safest place to hide my money and valuables is in my bra. Men- figure out a place where you don’t think people will be sticking their hands.
Don’t be Paranoid
Wait. Shouldn’t you be paranoid of losing all of your money?
Sure you can be- but it will have a greater effect of ruining your trip than actually preventing you from being robbed.
I realize that this article may scare a few people into thinking that it’s a big bad world out there and as a foreigner you have a target on your back. I cannot stress enough that this is not that case! I have met WAY more kind, caring, generous and loving people while traveling than petty ones. In fact, the kindness of people across the globe is one of the factors that fuels my passion to travel.
So forget about the high-tech wallet that slips into a hidden department of your underwear- just be aware. Yes, I have been pick-pocketed while traveling and it sucked. But, I have also had locals buy me dinner, give me a ride, let me stay in their homes, and the list goes on. Whether you are at home or abroad- shit happens. Use my tips to be prepared, in case this situation does occur, but do not let your fear and paranoia inhibit you from enjoying your travels to the fullest!
Click here to read my story about how I got pickpocketed.