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Travel Safety: How To Never Get Pickpocketed Again

travel safety

Pickpocket-proof tanks/undershirts from Clever Travel Companion

As the creator of a solo travel blog, I often get about safety as a woman roaming the world on her own. While there are many safety tips I could provide — you can read 17 of them here — one I wanted to dedicate an entire post to was pickpocket-proof clothing.

Pickpocket-proof clothing  is something I discovered about three years ago with Clever Travel Companion, when I began using their underwear and undershirts. I still use these products today. Since, I’ve also discovered a company called Clothing Arts that also has a line of these safety-driven items.

What made me think to write this post was a recent trip to Colombia, where I did a bike tour in Bogota. The capital is known for being rough, especially when it comes to thieves, and I wanted to be prepared; however, I also wanted to bring money for tips and food and my camera for photos.

My solution? I carried money, ID and a credit card as well as a sleek camera phone in the underwear, which features hidden interior pockets so robbers won’t even know you have valuables on you.

travel safety

Watching an al fresco salsa class during my Bogota bike tour.

During a portion of the tour when we were off the bikes, a woman I’d been chatting with got pick-pocketed in broad daylight. She had zipped her iPhone in her jacket pocket, and a thief had sneakily unzipped it and retreated with the goods. Luckily, a group member spotted it happening and the phone was retrieved.

But, what if it hadn’t been? Sure, it’s just an object, albeit a $500 one. While the situation wasn’t life threatening, what if the robber had threatened the woman at gunpoint? Or with a knife?

In Colombia, they have a saying, “Don’t give papaya.”

The statement doesn’t refer to a literal papaya fruit, but the fact that in Colombia if you show someone you have valuables and make them accessible, you also make yourself a target to be taken advantage of. Don’t be a papaya.

travel safety

Photo courtesy of Janine

Wearing my pickpocket-proof clothing, I eliminated myself from the group of targets, as I looked like a girl who wasn’t even carrying cash. Anyone who would have slipped their sticky fingers in my pocket or jacket would have come out empty handed.

This is why I recommend pickpocket-proof clothing to not only solo travelers, but all travelers. Not only does it give you peace of mind knowing you’re not a target, it’s also comfortable and affordable.

Stay safe. Don’t be a papaya.

*Disclosure: The pickpocket-pocket proof clothing link at the top of this post is an affiliate link. You can find a non-affiliate link here. Purchasing from the above allows me to make a small percentage of money from the sale to keep this blog running. Regardless of which link you use, pickpocket-proof clothing is something I truly believe every traveler should own.

Featured image courtesy of Laura Mason

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Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

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5 Comments

  1. Jørgen Kronborg Hansen on January 9, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you for that advice. I guess the threath of loosing ones valuables to a pickpocketing thief holds true for a number of large cities in the world; you never know where thieves might roam. Wearing a large overcoat though, it would suffice to carrie your valuables like a smartphone, keys and wallet, in the inside pocket of your wintercoat. I’m going to London next month, and i’ll remember your advice, as i never really thought about the dangers of someone snatching anything from me before. I’ll be carrying a DSLR camera too, but i guess having the strap around my neck all the time i deter even the most delinquent desperado from even thinking about taking it.

  2. Sky on January 15, 2015 at 4:25 am

    I was actually looking at those tank tops before my trip, though I never did end up buying one. I think they’re such a fantastic idea and I definitely plan on trying them out in the future.

  3. Ak on January 22, 2015 at 6:08 am

    But what happened when you wanted to take money out to buy something, like food? Someone’s watching.

    • jess2716 on January 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Ak: You do it quickly and slyly. Either way, someone would physically need to reach into your shirt or pants and feel you up to get your money 🙂

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