Every thief knows that travelers usually have two pieces of luggage. The first piece being a big backpack or suitcase that contains clothes, maybe a second bank card and a lot of items of little value. The second piece of luggage is most likely to be a small carry on bag that contains all of the person’s most valued possessions, a laptop, tablet, camera, and some cash.
I met a lot of backpackers who have had their possessions stolen. According to most travelers that I spoke with, pickpockets and thieves tend to steal from small carry-on packs that usually have the most valuable items in them. I wrote “Secure Your Carry-On Bag” to hopefully prevent you from becoming a victim of these crimes.
Professional thieves use a lot of different techniques to distract people away from their valued possessions. I listed some of them in the following paragraphs. I would like you to familiarize yourself with these tactics so that you can better protect your belongings.
Beware Of These Scams!
Most thieves work in groups of two. One person will distract you while the other one will steal from your bag or pockets. Usually, the victim won’t know about the robbery until they discover that some of their possessions are missing.
The worst incident that I know of happened to a backpacker that I met on my travels. He had his large bag stolen at a bus terminal in South America. The first thief distracted him by asking for directions and got him to focus on a map, while the second thief took his large backpack, climbed over the security fence and ran off.(Nightmare!) My friend lost everything including his passport. All he had left was his tablet and a credit card that was in his small carry on bag. So please always keep an eye on your bag.
The Bag Slice Trick
Tourists are attracted to busy markets for obvious reasons; markets have tables full of fresh fruit, meat, and vegetables that make perfect photo opportunities. Pickpockets and thieves love to work in these markets. The busier the market, the better it is for these scumbags!
If you go to a crowded market, I suggest that you keep your day pack on your chest instead of your on your back, or better yet don’t take a bag at all. Many travelers have told me that thieves had slashed the bottom of their bag and stole some of its contents. By the time they discovered the tear, the thieve were long gone!
Your Bag Disappears While You Sleep
I’ve heard this story too many times! A person falls asleep on the bus or train and wakes up to find that their bag is gone! If you put your bag in the storage rack above or under your seat, then make sure you are aware of your surrounding! I find it almost impossible to stay awake for the full duration of a long bus/train ride.
During long bus/train trips, you will have people getting off at different points of the journey. Sometimes a dishonest person will grab a random bag when they exit the bus/train hoping to obtain something of value. If you use the storage rack above your seat, you can try to secure your belongings by clipping the belt straps of your bag to the storage rack. If someone attempts to take your bag, and it’s attached to the metal frame, then hopefully the sound of the belt clips against the rack will wake you up or discourage the thief from continuing to take your stuff.
Unzip And Steal
I recommend that you use a small combination lock to keep people from unzipping your bag and taking stuff. Using a lock will not stop somebody who is determined to get into your suitcase, but it is a deterrent.
Security In The Hostel
Most hostels have lockers. Some hostels have lockers big enough for your large bag, and some only have small lockers that only have room for a laptop and other small valuables. When you book a hostel through HostelWorld or HostelBookers, you can see if the hostel has lockers by reading the “Facilities” section on the booking page.
There is no guarantee that any of these strategies will stop you from getting robbed. The point of all these tactics is to make your possessions less convenient for people to steal.
I hope this post has given you some ideas on how to Secure Your Carry-On Bag for when you travel next. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below, or send me a message via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to learn more travel tips, then please visit my website travelcanbecheap.com.