6 Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe on the Road

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You’re on vacation, maybe partying, maybe just sightseeing but you do want to relax either way. Just because you’re on vacation though doesn’t mean you should act like an idiot. Okay, there was that one or two times in Mexico, but this isn’t about me.

Be Aware
There are always areas in every town, even your own, that you just should not be in. Use your head and stay out of trouble spots. Just because you want some “Local” flavor doesn’t mean you can wander aimlessly around; okay there was that other time in Paris too. Tourist areas are generally safe, be it in the Caribbean, Europe or the USA as far as violent crime goes. They are however prime pickpocket spots and thieves are looking for the easy mark.

Think about it
Be smart and don’t leave your purse or backpacks lying around unattended. You wouldn’t do that at home, but especially don’t in busy tourist spots. We purchased a Pac Safe brand hip/shoulder bag for a recent trip to Europe and, like the famous commercial line, won’t leave home without it. Pacsafe bags have steel threads throughout the handle and bag, along with zipper locks that not only will prevent any cutting or unauthorized entry, but even confounded security at Heathrow airport in London. After quite a few passes through the metal detector, they finally figured out the design, but no pickpockets or other thieves stood a chance. It was stylish enough that the Wife took it everywhere (it is a “HIP” shoulder bag after all,) and big enough to carry her necessities.

Give Me a Belt
A money-belt is the time tested answer to pickpockets. You do have to let your shirt hang outside your pants unless you are blessed like some of the folks on our last tour and can just let your belly hang over. Okay I admit, that was me. Anyway, get a silk one that is light and comfortable, put a few bucks in your pocket, and put the rest along with your passport and credit cards in the money-belt.

Safe is Safe
If you’re staying at a hotel with a room safe, use it. Of course you would never leave cash lying around but many times people absently leave electronics right out in the open. Lock up that camera, cell phone and even your device battery chargers. I had a friend have the candy he brought with him stolen from his room. Unfortunately for the maid, he was from Colorado and it was for medicinal purposes, if you get my drift. If the maid ate more than one or two, she’s probably still high.

Timing is Everything
There are certain things to avoid at certain times: side streets after midnight, traffic during rush hour and college kids during spring break. I should also add teenagers at any time but that’s a whole other article there. If you are staying out late, do it in safe areas. I know it doesn’t sound fun, especially for you spring breakers but the old adage is true, nothing good happens after 2 AM. Okay a few things have, but unfortunately, I can’t remember them anyway.

Safety in Numbers
Some of our best vacation experiences happened when The Wife and I struck on our own. Some of the scariest experiences also happened when The Wife and I struck out on our own. There is no reason to be afraid to go almost anywhere but there is safety in numbers. That time in Paris I mentioned earlier was a good case in point. I just about got my butt kicked and good if it hadn’t been for my new best friend from Texas. We got accosted for “donations” to a rather large gentleman’s cause and I of course handled it badly. Luckily, Todd, at 6’5” and about 250lbs had asked to tag along on our aimless wandering to a part of town we shouldn’t have been in and jumped in to equal the odds. Now for safety there are 2 things I don’t leave home without: a Pac Safe theft proof bag, and any 6’5” 250 lbs. Texan I can find.

Michael Ryan

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