5 Ways You Can Avoid Getting Pickpocketed When Traveling Abroad

Planning for an international trip? You may have already set your itinerary and set your packing list – but did you prepare for pickpockets? A simple bump, an open back pocket, or a two-person distraction can bring your whole vacation to a standstill in just a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, getting pickpocketed is a huge possibility in most well-visited areas, but there are ways you can prepare yourself to have a safe, exciting visit without losing your valuable items.

Start your planning with research on your destination. There are some areas where tourists are more frequently pickpocketed than others. But, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Before you set off on your travels, check out these 5 ways you can avoid getting pickpocketed while traveling abroad.


Keep Important Items Close

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Read more: Hotel Safety: Protection When Traveling

The most important thing you can do to prevent yourself from getting pickpocketed is to keep your essential items close to you at all times. This way, you can keep an eye on your items if someone were to accidentally bump into you in the guise of conversation when they’re actually planning on pickpocketing you. People who pickpocket are tricky! Keep your guard up at all times.

There are several ways to safeguard your items. Some people prefer to wear a passport pouch under their clothing, while others opt for a cross-body bag with a high-quality latch or zipper. This way, it’s not so easy for unsuspecting pickpockets to stick their hand into your bag. If you don’t have a sturdy cross-body bag, pockets with zippers can provide an added layer of protection. 

Use a Phone Strap

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Read more: Family Carry On Bags- 4 Things I Did Right

While traveling, of course, you’ll want to take photos and videos of the sights you see along the way. Having a cross-body phone strap is the perfect way to keep your device accessible while also preventing it from getting snatched out of your hands or pocket. Simply attach your phone to the cross-body strap, like a lanyard. If you wear it across your chest and also make use of your pockets, you’ll have two layers of protection against theft. Plus, there are some stylish accessories out there. Check out a variety of options from Casetify

Secure Your Valuables

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Read more: 25 Best Travel Backpacks for Your Next Adventure

If you’re traveling with large valuables like Laptops, iPads or tablets, it might not be the best idea to lug them around with you everywhere you go. Traveling light allows you to pay close attention to the items you bring on your journey. In fact, you might reconsider bringing those large electronic devices at all unless absolutely necessary. Leave any valuables not close to your body either in a safe or lockable container at the hotel.

The same goes for cash. Carrying all your cash in one large wad puts you at greater risk of being targeted if someone sees you making a purchase. By taking your cash out and flashing it, even unknowingly, to other people nearby, you might be putting a target on your back. A better option is to separate your cash into different areas for storage and never travel with all your cash in one place. For example, you might leave most of your money in the safe at the hotel and bring just enough for the day in your purse or wallet.

Carry a photocopy of your passport

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Read more: 15 Of The Best Travel Gifts To Kick Off The Holiday Season

Your passport is likely the most important document you are traveling with. You won’t want it to get pickpocketed! It’s personal preference on whether you feel it’s safer on your person or stored away at the hotel. If you are planning on leaving your passport at your hotel, be sure there is a lockable safe available for your valuables. You can never be too sure who will have access to your room while you’re gone. If you can’t leave it at the hotel, you might have to bring it with you.

Either way, it’s definitely going to create a huge issue if your passport gets pickpocketed. To add another layer of protection, you’ll want to have a photocopy in a separate location from your original. This way, if anything happens, you’ll still have the passport number and other important details you might need for recovery. 

Prepare Backup Documents Incase They Get Pickpocketed

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Read more: Most Popular Travel Insurance Options for Families With Kids

When all else fails, have a backup to your backup plan. Upload a copy of your ID, passport, travel insurance, and other important documents to a cloud-based folder you can access abroad. This way, if anything is pickpocketed (or lost), it will be easier to get started on the process of getting back your documents (or replacements). 

For an added layer of protection, share the folder with someone you trust who won’t be joining you in your travels, like an emergency contact. This way, if you need to visit the embassy for any reason, you’ll have at least one contact at home you can rely on who has your important documents on hand.


Even the most careful traveler can be pickpocketed, so it’s important to be prepared. Do your due diligence and research your destination – some areas are more susceptible to theft than others. You don’t have to live in fear of getting pickpocketed if you follow these simple tips to help you stay vigilant of your surroundings. Make your next international trip worry-free by following these 5 simple tips.

WANT TO READ MORE?
Get around Europe with ease by checking out these Tips for Traveling via Railroads in Europe.

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