With Spring now leading us into Summer, there are probably many things you would rather do than go to work! In fact, the stress of your manager always looking over your shoulder may be getting just too much and, well, you know how it is, with those colleagues simply bickering all the time, maybe it really is time to think about getting away from it all!
You could consider travelling to Morocco to visit the stunning Draa Valley, located south of the High Atlas Mountains, or perhaps you would prefer to hitch a ride on the back of a Camel across the Sahara desert or maybe follow that dream to take a trip to one of Spain’s finest vineyards. Whatever your plans, being able to keep your personal belongings safe and secure is a key priority if you are to avoid the mad panic of having to contact the British Embassy to obtain the appropriate replacement travel documents – a hassle you just don’t need, when you are supposed to be relaxing!
If your cash, travellers’ cheques or credit/debit cards should ever be stolen, the first step you should take is to contact the local police immediately who, in turn, will issue you with a ‘crime number’. If you then need to replace your travellers’ cheques this can, surprisingly, be a fairly straightforward process and all you will need to do is phone the emergency number you will find located on the cheques’ receipts. Don’t forget that, over the phone, you are likely to be asked for the ‘crime number’ given to you by police officials when you notified them of your circumstances. Do consider however that there may be a delay in the replacement cheques reaching you.
On the other hand, lost or stolen debit and credit cards should be reported to your Bank as soon as possible and, for ease of use, you will find that all Banks offer an emergency 24 hour telephone number that you can use to contact them. Going through the process of reporting lost or stolen personal information can of course be extremely stressful and the experience may even ruin the rest of your holiday. Therefore, it’s probably best to explore the steps you can take to avoid this situation from happening in the first place.
Thieves target tourists – fact! So, at all times, you need to be one step ahead of the thieves and keep your personal belongings safe and secure.
There are many products available that can help you do this:
- PacSafe Hip and Shoulder Bags
- PacSafe Bag Protectors
- Money Belts
It may be worth examining these in more detail, one by one!
PacSafe Hip and Shoulder Bag
Sadly, a growing form of theft in the UK – and abroad – is RFID! This acronym stands for ‘Radio Frequency Identification Fraud’ and relates to thieves using a ‘RF card-reader’ to access the radio frequency (RF) omitted by your ‘RF enabled’ credit or debit cards. If you use a credit/debit “contactless” card as a method of payment, you may be a target for RFID fraud. The microchip on ‘contactless’ cards holds your personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, account numbers and also your home address.
Thieves can use an RF card reader up to 10ft away to ‘clone’ your personal information stored on a “contactless” debit/credit card and this will give them access to your account number and other details. Thieves can then transfer money from your account, withdraw your money from cash machines or, if they wish, go on a spending spree!
PacSafe has designed what is described as RFIDsafeTM material to combat this growing trend, and has manufactured a range of RFIDsafeTM products. As an example, the Metrosafe 100 GII Hip & Shoulder Bag will keep the personal information you have stored on RF enabled cards safe from those ‘RF card- readers’.
Additionally, it appears that nowadays, thieves are willing to ‘bravely’ slash the bottom of tourists’ bags in an effort to release personal belongings, such as mobile phones, purses, and ipads, causing them to fall out, without the thief having to tug or pull at the victim. The victim unfortunately remains unaware and oblivious until it is too late. The Metrosafe 100 GII Hip and Shoulder Bag has been specially designed using ‘eXomesh slashguard’, meaning that a lightweight slashguard has been incorporated into the most vulnerable parts of the bag, preventing the material from tearing too easily. (e.g. base, front or side)
Thieves, unfortunately, also like to slash, grab and run! To combat this another anti-theft feature incorporated into the Metrosafe 100 Bag is the ‘Carrysafe slashguard’ straps, whereby a flexible, lightweight, stainless steel wire has been incorporated into the strap to prevent bags from being slashed, making it far more difficult under these circumstances to grab and run! So, be vigilant, and keep valuable items such as cameras safe with one of the PacSafe bags detailed above.
Incidentally, the Metrosafe 100 bag can be described as a very stylish bag that also offers many anti-theft features, to help keep tourists safe.
Thieves are opportunistic and are often spotted jumping on and off trains and trams. This is because travellers leave their belongings in the walk way or at luggage holds and this means thieves can easily grab and run off with your bag, particularly as the train doors are opening or closing.
In reality, it is not always practical to have your luggage bags next to you, so this begs the question of how you can keep your belongings secure? The PacSafe Backpack & Bag Protector is one way you can do this!
It may be a source of comfort to know that you can go some way to outsmart the, thieves, bag slashers and bag snatchers simply by using a ‘PacSafe Slashproof, eXomesh’ locking system. This easy to use mesh is placed over your backpack or bag and easily locked into place. The mesh is slashproof and has a reinforced locking device that visibly acts as a deterrent rather than as a target. To ensure your belongings stay safe and thieves don’t run off with your bag, the PacSafe bag protector incorporates a lightweight, stainless steel locking cable, so that you can lock your bag to a secure fixture such as the luggage hold bars on the train, or even to your seat in a busy restaurant.
It really is about finding ways to out-think the thieves!
One of the most common and perhaps oldest forms of theft is pick-pocketing. A pick-pocketer can take all your money, travellers’ cheques, credit/debit cards and your passport without you even knowing. By the time you have noticed the items are missing, the pick-pocketer has long gone. It’s easy to say, but never keep personal belongings in a backpack or in the back pocket of your trousers or shorts. These pockets offer easy access to the pick-pockets!
Having said that however, the most secure place to keep your personal belongings is actually ‘on your person’! Consider a money belt for example. A deluxe money belt is designed to be worn under your clothes and directly against your skin. This product is tough, yet lightweight, and is large enough to store passports, travellers’ cheques and money securely. Because this belt is worn against the skin and under your clothes, pick-pocketers just cannot know where your belongings are being stored, increasing your security and safety and resulting in a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday for you and your friends.
There are of course many other things you could do too, to avoid your personal items being stolen, such as:
- Keep valuable items locked in your hotel room when not in use (e.g. your passport)
- Remember to ‘look back’ when leaving a train, taxi or even a restaurant, to double check you have not left items behind, such as your camera or mobile phone
- Don’t hang bags, rucksacks or jackets on the back of your chair in a restaurant or café. This is a perfect opportunity for thieves to pickpocket you
- Be vigilant in busy crowded areas – these are perfect conditions for pick-pocketers and also slash and grab thieves.
Hopefully, the hints and tips above will help to keep you and your friends safe and secure when away from home. Enjoy your travels and make the most of the Summer – after all, it will soon be time to be back at work again, with the stress of your manager looking over your shoulder, those colleagues bickering again and………….well, let’s say this, maybe it’s time to start planning your next ‘get away’ all over again!