The quick hits include always be aware of your surroundings, keep your head down and try always to blend in, always look as though you know where you’re going and are not indeed a tourist, as well as don’t escalate bad situations. But from those pretty obvious tips, I must highlight above all the need to travel smart, which includes taking time to outthink and outsmart thieves and scam artists, because they’re everywhere.
Keep your mind sharp and your senses even sharper, because most of the time since my few awful encounters, I’ve learned to train my eye for recognizing possible scammers, thieves and negative situations. I keep my head down, and move quick, acting like I know where I’m going, and I always take precautions, like studying a map before heading out into unknown territories. Additionally, I take the trouble to carry a faux wallet with a little bit of cash and nameless gift cards, just in case, and I prepare my pack so it doesn’t look all that appetizing, nor easy to thwart.
I always keep my bags locked, no matter where I am. Even when I’m settled into a bunk in a small, secure dorm in a hostel, I will always lock every pocket of my bag and the bag will be chained to something immoveable like a heater or bed frame. You simply never know in this world of inequality and desperation, so it’s always best to think ahead.
The Anti-Theft Urban Backpack is a fine traditional backpack with a modern take on security. It’s body and side panels are layered with slash-resistant webbing. Additionally, lockdown hardware allows each zipper to lock together. Inside the front pocket is a multi-layer for RFID blocking, and pockets specific for guarding your passport. The inside of the pack has the normal organization that most folks look for, but one of my favorite features is that the outer shell of the pack is water resistant, which is huge for a techy traveler like me.
The Anti-Theft Weekender Carryall is a sort of hybrid messenger bag, with space to hold clothing or a laptop, and pockets for a water bottle or umbrella. The wide main opening has a zip wall pocket and 2 elastic episode pockets. The Weekender also offers slash-resistant technology and RFID blocking, as well as a tethered key clip with LED light to help locate your keys. As far as security goes, beyond the RFID blocking and slash-resistant material, the Weekender includes a lockdown strap, which is removable, and it also comes with passport slots and security pockets built in.
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(Main photo by xrainm via Flickr)