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5 Travel Tips to Avoid Being Robbed Abroad

One of the worst nightmares of a seasoned world traveler is the fear of having his valuables stolen during their travels. Can you imagine being stranded without any cash, no credit cards and not even your passport in a foreign country? 

In my years of travel, I have come up with these 5 tips to help you avoid being robbed during your travels. Are you ready to fool all of those thieves that want to rain in your parade? 

I really hope this article will help you to take better care of your valuables during your journeys but first, let’s talk a little bit more about our dear sponsor of wonders (click here to become one) for this new article on the blog:

Numinous Packs, a brand of backpacks labelled as being anti-theft.

Numinous Packs, the Anti-Theft Backpacks? 

During my nomadic life, I have stayed at many hostels with equipment valued at over 2000 USD and one of the biggest fears is coming back to my dorm room only to find out that my bags are no longer there. 

After all, hostel lockers can be easily breached with the right tools and I have heard many horror stories about fellow hostel guests robbing the entire dorm before checking out to never be seen again. 

The people behind the Numinous Packs know about these situations and that’s why they designed a backpack that is basically, theft-proof.

It has an anti-slash technology that prevents thieves from breaching it and it also has a cord that you can wrap around static objects in order to prevent thieves from running away with your backpack.

Numinous Packs, the Anti-Theft Backpack
The Man of Wonders Backpacking in Europe

The Numinous Packs come in many different sizes ranging from 25 to 85 Liters and the bigger models also have wheels in order for you to use the backpack as a suitcase too. 

The design is very ergonomic and practical which allows you to organise all of your belongings inside in a very tidy manner while also providing you with comfort during your travels. 

Plus, for every backpack you buy, you’re helping African children to have a better life which is a very big competitive advantage that Numinous Packs has over similar competitors in the market.

Pretty cool, uh? Thanks to Numinous Packs for being part of the Journey and now, let’s continue to my top 5 travel safety tips to avoid being robbed during your travels. 

No pickpocket can steal the Numinous Pack
No pickpocket can steal the Numinous Pack

Don’t Flash Your Wealth

This one is obvious but the more I travel, the more I see that people normally leave common sense at home. All countries in the world have their fair share of thieves, however, some countries have a huge gap of wealth inequality which brings resentment amongst the population towards foreigners and locals that flash their wealth in the streets.

When you travel, it is important for you to have consideration for the locals and for the fact that sometimes your fancy camera is worth more than what they can hope to make for an entire year living on minimum wage. 

My recommendation of wonders? Put a little bit of dirt on your electronic equipment so it doesn’t looks new nor desirable (after all, thieves aim to re-sell it in the black market). If possible, remove the labels in your camera so thieves don’t know it’s an expensive brand. 

How to avoid being robbed during your travels
The traditional gondolas of Venice, Italy

Don’t Lower Your Guard

When traveling, we tend to be more relaxed than at home but that’s not an excuse for lowering your guard. Pickpockets are a serious threat in all European capitals and they will take advantage of distractions such as museum exhibits, street performances and others in order to rob you blind.  

Other than pickpockets, you need also to be aware of purse snatchers who will violently run away with your purse in broad daylight if you lower your guard. This is mostly common in cities such as Barcelona but it can happen basically anywhere. 

My recommendation of wonders? Always keep your hands in your pockets when traveling in crowded areas and don’t lower your guard under any circumstances. That friendly stranger might as well be a scam artist so trust your gut and take it from there.

Shared gondola ride at Venice, Italy
Shared gondola ride at Venice, Italy

Don’t Use the Hostel Lockers for Valuables

If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, then you probably remember the case of a stolen painting where the detective spent days searching for it in secret places without realizing that the thief hid the painting in the least protected place possible: his own living room behind a replica of the same painting. 

Hostel lockers are the first place that thieves will target when searching for valuables since it’s common sense that travelers will store their valuables there. After all, you’re basically telling the entire world that there’s something important in the locker and that’s just not smart at all.

My recommendation of wonders? Hide your valuables in plain sight (inside your carry-on luggage or backpack) since it’s the last place thieves would check. I mean, what type of thief doesn’t go directly for the lockers? 

The off the beaten path city of Trieste
The off the beaten path city of Trieste

Don’t Put Your Cash and Cards in the Same Place

This one is also obvious but it surprises me to see the number of travelers that put their cards, passport AND cash in the same place. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is not smart at all since that leaves you extremely vulnerable in case of theft. 

Each time I went back to my hostel in Prague, I saw at least two tourists crying because they were stranded after a thieve stole all of their money and now they were in panic mode since they didn’t know what to do (see number #05).

My recommendation of wonders? Leave your passport and a small amount of cash at the hotel/hostel while taking your cards and the rest of the cash with you (on separate pockets!). This way, one single robbery will not be the end of the world for you and you will always have some money left for the rest of your journey.  

Best European Winter Destinations, Venice
Italy. Photo credit: Rasimh

Don’t Travel Without a Backup Plan

Finally, let’s assume that the worst scenario happened and someone robbed you during your travels. Do you have a backup plan? Does your travel insurance covers theft of valuables? Do you have scanned copies of your travel documents? 

Not many of us are mentally prepared for dealing with the consequences of being robbed during our travels and it is quite easy to have a panic attack once the worst happens and you are left wondering what to do now. 

My recommendation of wonders? Scan all of your travel documents and store them in the cloud (or just e-mail them to yourself). Leave a second debit card with your family back home with your PIN code so they can withdraw your own money and send you an emergency transfer via Western Union or similar.

One of the 431 bridges of Venice
One of the 431 bridges of Venice

The most important thing? Don’t panic. Just don’t. Things happen for a reason and that robbery might just have been a blessing in disguise in order for you to experience the kindness of the locals who will do their best to help you get back on your feet. 

Just relax and accept that there are things that can be solved and many more that can’t and it’s up to you to move forwards or not.

Have you ever been robbed abroad? What are some of your best tips to avoid being robbed during your travels? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think! 

Until next time, my friends!!!

Disclaimer: This article was brought to you in collaboration with Numinous Packs. All opinions are my own.

5 Travel Tips to Avoid Being Robbed
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