5 Tips to Avoid Pickpockets

A primary concern for travelers is safety.

Although Toledo is a safe city, as in any city, the most common problem that tourists experience is petty theft.

And if you are not prepared and you’re not constantly on guard, you’ll have something stolen from you.

Purse-snatching and pickpocketing are rampant in places where tourists gather.

In any city, in any country. Period.

Crowds anywhere, but especially on public transit and flea markets, where people bunch together provide bad guys with plenty of targets, opportunities, and easy escape routes.

Whether you on a tour, looking at art in a museum, shopping at a flea market, or riding on public transportation someone is probably watching you to see if you might be their next victim.

With some smart preparation and vigilance you can keep your personal items safe.

Tips to Avoiding Pickpockets

1. Avoid using your back pockets

This piece of advice sounds so simple and maybe even a bit corny to list, but I see this everyday here and I feel like it is important enough to mention.

Do you like keeping your wallet and or cell phone in your back pocket back home? Guess what? So do pickpockets. Your back pocket items will be whisked away as fast as you can blink and you will never realize it.

2. Wearing a backpack

A backpack is a great way to bring all your gear with you while you are discovering Toledo.

Your backpack can be your best friend, carrying all your devices, clothes, water, and even functioning as a pillow if you need to lay down and take a nap while waiting for your bus (and yes – I have seen this before).

If you feel a little anxious about walking around a new city with your backpack on your back, just swing it around and wear it on your chest.

A lot of tourists who visit Toledo wear their back packs in this manner.

Backpacks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and with an assortment of storage options inside and outside.

You can get a large and durable TSA compliant backpack such as this one from Swiss Gear on Amazon or something a little smaller and more fashion friendly such as this one also on Amazon that is slimmer and comes in many colors.

3. Carry a purse that you can wear across your body

A good defense against purse snatchers and pickpocketers is to wear a zippered purse diagonally across your body, keeping the purse in front of you at all times.

Avoid unzippered bags with button closures, or purses with wide openings.

4. Don’t leave valuables unattended.

If you sit down at a restaurant or bar to enjoy delicious tapas and a cold beer, don’t hang your purse around the back of the chair.

And don’t lay your cellphone down on top of the table while you eat.

It will be gone before you even have a chance to photograph your culinary adventures.

5. Wear a money belt

A money belt is a small zippered pouch for your cash, cards, and other valuables and a thin, sturdy, strap that wraps around your waist.

Although you can wear a money belt like a fanny pack, the most unassuming way is to wear it underneath your shirt.

Now that most bankcards and credit cards have an embedded chip inside them, it is a good idea to get a money belt like the Zero Grid Money Belt w/RFID Blocking available on Amazon.

The cool thing that I like about this money belt is not only will it block RFID but it is still large enough to carry your passport and phone inside it.

Put it on under your clothes and enjoy your trip with the peace of mind that your money and ID will be safe.