Listen, while the world is a beautiful place (see literally every video we’ve ever produced) there is always a chance you’ll run into the wrong element while traveling abroad. Whether it’s a street thug trying to take your wallet or an organized human trafficking ring that wants to sell your daughter into some “Taken” type scenario, the truth is - even in the nicest of locations - things can go bad fast. Of course, the likelihood of your vacation going sideways is pretty slim, but a little extra “special awareness” goes a long way in an unfamiliar place.
So here are a few surefire ways to keep thieves and brigands out of your pockets and keep that smile firmly on your face while abroad.
- THE OLD WALLET IN YOUR FRONT POCKET TRICK - It would be nice if pick pockets were just some Hollywood creation but in reality, they are a very real problem in most crowded markets and thoroughfares. Putting your wallet in your front pocket removes the large red target crosshairs on your back because - unlike the back pocket of your pants and the breast pocket of your coat - the front pocket is too unwieldy a place for someone other than yourself to quickly remove your billfold. Heck, even you can have a hard time getting it out. You ever need to retrieve something from your front pocket while on the freeway? It’s darn near impossible!
- HOTEL ROOM LOCKS - No, we’re not talking about the locks that are already on the door when you get to your room. We’re referring to a growing number of gadgets available that insure no unwanted guests can slip through in the middle of the night or while you’re out sightseeing. Sadly, some budget priced hotels can’t be trusted to not give an unsavory element the ins and outs of how to get past the usual latches and door clips they provide. My favorite DIY hotel room door locking device is the ADDALOCK. At $17.99 you can’t go wrong when trying to protect your family and belongings on the road.
- WAVE AROUND A GUN EVERYWHERE YOU GO - Okay, okay, I’m not being serious here. However, if you’re one of the many Americans who feel more secure when you’re strapped at the hip, there is hope! Just because you’re traveling overseas, over the border or into another state doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to bring your ol’ trusty six shooter. No pilgrim, every country has their laws and some of those countries have the good sense to allow tourists to protect themselves. Just remember, you not only need to understand the country’s gun laws, but also the rules of the companies you’ll be using while away such as the hotel, the airline, the airport, the car rental agency, the group tour operator, etc.
- TAKE A SELF DEFENSE COURSE - Listen, we can’t all be specimens of human perfection, like Steven Segal, but we can take a class at the local YMCA about how to hip throw a perp into oblivion. However, the best form of self defense may surprise you. Cardio and comfortable shoes. When you’re traveling you never know when you’re going to make the wrong turn. So, in case you find yourself in the midst of some international ne'er do wells, be ready to hoof it. That’s right. Ask any tough guy. What’s a surefire way to stay out of trouble? Don’t get in any in the first place! Running and screaming will draw attention and save you money in the long run (see what I did there?).
- A PERSONAL BODYGUARD - Who doesn’t want a sunglass wearing, earpiece whispering into, intimidatingly built shadow of protection following you around everywhere you go. Well, you’d be surprised how inexpensive this option is. While it may not be for most of us, a temporary bodyguard just makes sense because when you’re on vacation you just don’t want to be on your guard. This is a time for you to cut loose, after all! Price it out for yourself at various organizations by searching “How to hire a bodyguard for international travel?” You'll be surprised at the wide variety of options and prices!
Well there you have it! Five great options to keep your hard earned dollars in your pocket while on holiday. But let’s be real. The best defense in any situation is just common sense. Straying from the well worn path at any stop is bound to be as fraught with peril as it is informing and enlightening. So just keep your wits about you and… I’ll see you in line at security!