So the Clever Travel Companion did a radio interview with Rudy Maxa, aka the savvy Traveler, travel guru extraordinaire, and it was fun! Not only was he and his team, lead by Ana Scofield, extremely profesional and nice, but talking to him was very pleasant. He simply does good radio and is the kind of person one wants to talk to, so it wasn't nervous or awkward at all. I think we spoke for about five minutes but time just flew and it felt like one minute tops. I hope I come out sounding reasonably sane.
Anyway, we spoke about keeping safe on the road, keeping pickpockets at bay, and of course about my preferred way to do so; by wearing the Clever Travel Companion's clothing with secret pockets. It turns out even the experts get pickpocketed and Rudy Maxa himself had it happen in Paris.
What strikes me most, talking to everyone from reporters to Clever Travel Companion customers, is how few of us see it coming. Basically we all think, "nah, it wont happen to me. I am smart, I got it under control." I have had it happen several times during my years traveling, so has my friends and family. After all more than 400 000 people get pickpocketed every day.
So I am sorry to burst your bubble but it doesn't matter if you feel you have got it under control because so do the pickpockets and you can bet your wallet and its contents on them being much more determined and much more prepared than you will ever be. Remember these pickpockets are robbing people because that is how they make a living. They are probably not inherently bad people, just poor and desperate. Of course, some, are more business like than that. Some work in gangs, organized crime really, and are not starving, they just see it as a job and a lucrative one at that. Either way, they are professionals. in a nutshell - they are professionals and you are not.
So it boils down to this: don't give them the opportunity. That is what it is all about, don't make it easy for the thieves to rob you. Make sure you hide your money and especially your passport. Money can be replaced quite easily, getting a new passort in another county usually messes everything out and can take days, even weeks. Keep only a few dollars in your pocket or wallet fro every day items., Stick to one credit card or even better, an expired credit card to foil thieves with. That way you always have something to hand over to a thief. Hide the rest, everything you can not afford losing.
And hide your stuff well. The thieves know where to look, so be clever about it. Of course, I think the clever Travel Companion's underwear with pockets or tank tops or t-shirts with secret pockets are the best bet for complete safety on the road, but anything is better than a dangling purse or simply sticking your wallet down your back pocket. I know you don't want to hear it, but I can't resist: better safe than sorry!
Safe travels everyone!