Expert Tips for Traveling Safely: Avoiding Pickpockets

Cover photo - Expert tips on avoiding pickpockets

Hello Concealed Coalition! Austin Davis coming to you from Sicily, Italy.

One of the things I think about while traveling overseas is pickpockets. The first thing you should remember when talking about pickpockets is this one golden rule: Do not risk what you cannot afford to lose.

For example, this means if you have a safer place to keep your passports and your travel documents than on your person when you’re out and about in the street, that’s probably a wise thing. Also, don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose in areas that are easy to get to. If I reach inside my pocket, I have some regular street cash I keep handy. That way, anytime I want a cigar, cannoli, or coffee, it’s right there and really easy to get to.

But I also have a deeper pouch tied to my belt in a very secure way. The reason I like this pouch is when I’m going through a crowd and I hold my hands in front of me, I’m always covering it. In order to get to this pouch, pickpockets have to go underneath my shirt and work around it.

Plus, if you’re like me and you carry a firearm, it feels kind of weird not having something there anyway.

Using Situational Awareness Tactics to Outsmart Pickpockets

When it comes to your phone, it’s not so much about someone grabbing it out of your pocket. Rather, a pickpocket could just run up and grab it out of your hand when you’re walking around.

Before you enter an area you’re not as familiar with and pull out your phone, make sure you keep in mind your internal narrow quadrant. This means you are applying situational awareness principles to your immediate surroundings to know that you’re okay to zone out for a second to find out when that museum is opening up, make a dinner reservation, or look at a map.

Avoiding pickpockets while on the go

So what’s the key to not being pickpocketed?

  1. Don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose.
  2. Deep cover the items you want to protect.
  3. When you have to take a moment to drop your guard, make sure you are using good situational awareness tactics to protect yourself. Pull off into a place where no one’s passing on through and you can turn your attention towards your phone before securing things and getting back out into the general mix.

For even more tips from me and lessons on important topics for travel like situational awareness, be sure to check out Concealed Coalition University! And as always, remember to be a guardian always and a warrior when needed, no matter where you are in the world.

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