Luggage hacks to ‘pickpocket-proof’ your belongings while on holiday

Woman catches pickpocketer attempting to steal her wallet

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Tourists can be a prime target for pickpockets in busy holiday destinations, with some popular cities around the world infamous for thieves roaming the streets. However, it isn’t just in the hustle and bustle of a crowd that pickpockets can strike; airports, restaurants and hotels are also at risk.

However, Sam Willan, global vice president of marketing for StudentUniverse (@StudentUniverse) says there are ways holidaymakers can reduce their risk of being targeted.

While travel insurance is undoubtedly the best way to protect yourself in the event of theft, the type of bags you choose to take on holiday can also play a key role.

Speaking to, Mr Willan said: “There are a few ways you can better prepare yourself and ‘pickpocket proof’ your belongings.

“Our top tip would be to wear a crossbody bag with zips and to avoid keeping valuables in your pockets. Instead, zip them away in your bag.”

Crossbody bags are particularly useful as they are hard to snatch from your person. Wearing your bag on your front, rather than your hip or slung behind you, can also ensure pickpockets aren’t able to sneakily dip their hand in.

Mobile phones are a particular target for pickpockets, especially if you leave them in a jacket pocket or in the back pocket of your jeans. The best way to store your phone while walking about on holiday is within the zip pocket of a bag.

Mr Willan explained: “If you need to use your phone out in public to help you get around, make sure it’s attached to your bag using a spring cord so people can’t grab it from you easily.

“We’d also suggest you have the ‘Find My’ app switched on [iPhones] – it could save you a lot of hassle in the long run.”

Tourists wandering around the streets aren’t the only targets for pickpockets, and with so much time separated from suitcases during the travel process, Mr Willan advises holidaymakers to be strategic about the type of luggage they buy.

He said: “While it might not always be the most stylish option, we’d recommend making your luggage as memorable as possible.

“Whether that be garishly bright colours or adorning your luggage with ribbons, make sure your bag is easily identifiable.”

This can also come in handy if your luggage is lost by an airline while in transit, a reality faced by hundreds of travellers earlier this year.

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Mr Willian added: “It’s also worth ensuring your bag is labelled with your contact details in case the worst should happen.

“If you want to be extra safe, we’d recommend investing in a smart luggage tracker – they use Bluetooth to track your luggage around the globe, helping you work out where your belongings are at all times.”

Regardless of how many safety precautions passengers take, travel insurance is an invaluable asset.

Mr Willian said: “Travel insurance is extremely important. We can’t stress enough how important it is to travel with insurance, especially for any medical problems that should arise.

“When it comes to valuable items it gives travellers that extra peace of mind that their items are covered in any worst-case scenarios.”

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