How to Prevent Pickpocketing When Traveling

    Traveling is an exciting and enriching experience, but it can also expose you to various risks, including pickpocketing. Most pickpockets are skilled at what they do, and they can strike when you least expect it. To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, it's essential to be vigilant and take proactive steps to prevent pickpocketing. In this blog, we will provide you with practical tips on how to protect yourself from pickpockets while traveling.

    1) Choose the Right Bag


    elderly man carrying a backpack in a plaid shirt
    Credit: Envato Elements/ fxquadro

    One of the first steps in preventing pickpocketing is selecting the right bag for your travels. Here's what you should consider:

    Opt for a Crossbody Bag

    Choose a crossbody bag that you can wear across your chest. This type of bag is harder for pickpockets to grab and run with, as it stays close to your body.

    Pick a Bag with Zippers

    Opt for a bag with secure zippers rather than open-top designs. Make sure the zippers have small locks or clips that can be used to deter would-be thieves.

    Use Anti-Theft Slash Resistant Bags

    Consider investing in an anti-theft bag with features like lockable zippers, slash-resistant straps, and RFID-blocking compartments to protect your valuables. Additionally, consider using an RFID-blocking wallet if you're going to carry credit or debit cards.

    2) Organize Your Belongings


    black camera in black bag
    Credit: Envato Elements/ StepanPopov

    Keeping your belongings organized can help you quickly notice if something is missing and deter wallet pickpockets. Here's how to do it:

    Use Pockets or Pouches

    Divide your essentials into zippered pockets or pouches within your bag. This makes it easier to find what you need and harder for pickpockets to grab everything at once.

    Keep Valuables at the Bottom

    Place your most valuable items, such as your passport, cash, and credit cards, at the bottom of your bag, under other items. This makes them less accessible to thieves.

    3) Minimize Unnecessary Items


    travel essential on table with passport, credit cards and camera
    Credit: Envato Elements/ znatalias

    Traveling light not only eases your load but also reduces the risk of losing valuables. Here's what you can do:

    Leave Unnecessary Items Behind

    Bring only what you need for the day. Leave unnecessary items, such as extra cash and multiple credit cards, in a secure location at your accommodation.

    Make Copies of Important Documents

    Photocopy your passport, visa, and other important documents, and keep them separately from the originals. By doing this, you can avoid losing any original documents.

    4) Be Mindful of Your Surroundings


    tourist in market with cap and backpack
    Credit: Envato Elements/ Chalabala

    Awareness is key when it comes to preventing pickpocketing. Here's what you can do to stay vigilant:

    Stay Alert in Crowds

    Pickpockets often operate in crowded areas, such as tourist attractions or public transportation like train stations. Pay extra attention to your belongings in these situations. Additionally, if you're eating in a crowded restaurant, avoid hanging your bag on the chair leg. This is a common tactic used by pickpockets to steal your belongings.

    Avoid Distractions

    Put away your smartphone or other distractions when in public places. Being engrossed in your device can make you an easy target.

    5) Secure Your Belongings


    man with fanny pack around waist as belt
    Credit: Envato Elements/ Portoprens

    Taking steps to secure your belongings can significantly reduce the risk of pickpocketing. Here's what you can do:

    Use Money Belts or Hidden Pockets

    Consider wearing a money belt or hidden pouch under your clothing to keep your passport, cash, and cards safe. These items are less accessible to thieves. Alternatively, consider using diversion safes.

    Keep Essentials in Front Pockets

    Store your most important items, like your wallet, phone, and credit and debit cards, in your front pocket instead of your back pockets. This makes them harder to access.

    Invest in a Lock

    Use a small combination lock to secure the zippers of your bag or backpack. This can be an effective deterrent for pickpockets.

    6) Be Cautious in Tourist Hotspots


    man pickpocketing phone from woman's bag in crowded place
    Credit: Envato Elements/ stokkete

    Tourist hotspots are prime hunting grounds for pickpockets. Follow these guidelines to avoid pickpockets:

    Keep Your Bag in Front

    When in crowded tourist areas, it's advisable to keep your bags – whether they be shopping bags or backpacks – in front of you. This is the most common way of having your belongings and wallet stolen.

    Beware of Distractions

    Be wary of individuals approaching you with seemingly friendly intentions, as they may use distractions to steal from you.

    7) Stay Informed


    Asian man and woman talking and laughing in public place
    Credit: Envato Elements/ davidpradoperucha

    Stay informed about common pickpocketing techniques and the areas known for pickpocketing in your destination. You can do this by:

    Researching Ahead of Time

    Before you travel, research the safety tips and common tricks pickpockets use at your destination. Knowledge is your best defense.

    Ask Locals

    If you're unsure about the safety of a particular area, ask locals for advice on where to be cautious.


    Preventing pickpocketing while traveling is all about staying vigilant, securing your belongings, and making smart choices. By following these simple tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to pickpockets and ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Remember, a little caution goes a long way in keeping your adventure worry-free.

    And for an extra layer of security, consider Travah's innovative diversion safe. Our diversion safe is designed to discreetly protect your valuables, allowing you to enjoy your adventures with peace of mind. Travel smarter with Travah.