By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: My father returned from a Caribbean vacation and found out too late he was pick-pocketed. His watch he keeps in his pocket was stolen. Iíve told him several times to watch out but it doesnít seem to work. Could you give some pointers so I can forward it to him?

A: One company thatís been around for years and specializes in fool-proof garments is Tilley Endurables. For store locations and information, visit them online at or call them at 1-800-ENDURES. The Canadian company manufactures secret pockets in its popular clothing line so you can carry your valuables in them.

However, when travelling itís also good to pack your common sense and heighten your awareness in unfamiliar surroundings. In most cases thatís when the crime is committed as your perusing the markets and stalls where crowds congregate. Unfortunately, pick-pocketers come in all disguises. On one trip to Rome, I witnessed a swarm of gypsy children literally picking the backpack off one poor victim, leaving him dumb-founded and helpless.

Having said that, here are some handy reminders to protect against pickpockets: Donít put your wallet or passport in a back pocket.

Donít leave your backpack or purse unattended. Iíve seen this happen more times especially at the airport when tourists are asking for directions.

If you are swarmed by children, run and shout. Be mindful at airports, hotel lobbies, bus and train stations as pick-pocketers like to lurk here.

When traveling donít divulge important personal travel information i.e. your hotel room, itinerary to people who donít need it. And always trust your instincts. If you feel youíre being followed, change to a more secure location.


dispatches | q&a | photos | fork | newsletter | archives | links | search | store | streaming | submissions | about | contact | home

All text & photos © 2006.