European cities are well known for pickpockets. They aren’t a new phenomenon. Charles Dickens wrote about them in Oliver Twist in the mid 1800s. Every year, thousands of tourists are victims of pickpockets. In the mind of a pickpocket, tourist equals money.
So, how did we protect ourselves on our recent trip to Europe? Richard has always carried his wallet in his front pocket which is one of the recommended strategies. This was a habit that his dad picked up while serving in Europe in WWII and taught his boys.
Before our trip, I decided to purchase a lightweight crossbody bag to allow for hands-free travel. That’s when I came across Pacsafe Anti-Theft Technology and purchased the Daysafe Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag. It isn’t glamorous, but it served its purpose very well.
Though it comes in several other colours, I chose basic black because it looks good with everything.
The main body of the Daysafe bag has pockets and dividers for easy organization. A secure zip clip essentially locks this compartment making it virtually impossible for a pickpocket to open it surreptitiously. There are outer pockets on both sides of the bag. One is open; easy to reach into but less secure than the rest of the purse. I used it for maps and brochures that I wanted easy access to while we were out and about. The other has a zipper that can be secured by slipping the zipper pull under and through a tab. That one was perfect for our travel documents when I needed to be able to access them at airports and train stations. In addition, there’s an elasticized pocket on one end of the bag for a water bottle, an essential travel companion. Though I didn’t worry about securing the zippers all the time, I made sure that they were safely fastened whenever we were in crowded situations whether on buses and subways or in busy tourist spots.
In addition, Pacsafe bags have a number of other safety features. Some pickpockets don’t bother trying to get into your bag. Instead, they’ll just slash it open. Pacsafe bags are made of a slashproof fabric that contains stainless steel mesh. Straps are also slashproof. In addition, the strap on the Daysafe bag has a turn and lock security hook that allows you to secure the bag to an immovable object such as your chair while sitting in a restaurant or your seat on a train.
High tech thieves don’t actually have to pick your pockets or steal your handbags anymore. With the right technology they can access credit card information wirelessly through radio frequency identification, or RFID. The research that I did seems to indicate that the likelihood of this actually happening is extremely slim, but like many crimes, it’s virtually impossible to track and a range of RFID blocking products such as credit card sleeves and travel bags are available on the market. The Daysafe bag includes a RFID safe inner pocket large enough to hold passports and credit cards.
Amazingly, all this extra security doesn’t add up to a lot of weight. In fact, the Daysafe bag weighs only about 11 ounces (320 grams). It’s slim shape rests comfortably against the body and yet I found it big enough to hold everything I needed including my camera.
Considering the fact that all I was originally shopping for was a lightweight crossbody bag that would allow for hands-free traveling, I got much more than I was looking for and I definitely look forward to using it again on future trips.
Sometimes a girl need her hands free. If you want to know why, check out this post.