Antigua, Guatemala Arch at night
Antigua, Guatemala Arch


At the Airport, Train or Bus Station:

As you approach, remind the driver if you have bags in the trunk and leave the passenger side door open until you retrieve all your items from the trunk.

Never leave your bags unattended.

Make a mental note of how many items you are carrying and be sure to check you have them with you after each stop.

At the airport, do your best to be sure you and your valuables go through the separate metal detectors as simultaneously as possible. Wait until there is no line for the machine your bags go through before walking through the metal detector – or your bags could be sitting unattended on the terminal side of security. In airports with long snaking security lines this isn’t as much as an issue where there are many short lines.

If you know you’re arriving in a unsafe destination (or one known for skilled pickpockets), secure all your valuables in your money belt and have cash readily available for ground transportation so you don’t need to access your money belt in the airport, station or terminal. Get started thinking about separating your big cash from your small cash. Small cash is what you need to get through the day.

If your airport uses body scanners, keep the money belt stuffed deep inside your smaller carry on bag until after you clear security. Avoid being put in a position where airport security commands you to place your money belt with all valuables on the conveyor.

If you’re traveling with children, let them go through first and assist them from behind. I cannot tell you how often I assist children through the machines while their parents are well ahead. If there are 2 parents, one should go first, one should go last with the kids in the middle.

Never leave your bags dangling off the back of a chair. Ever. Anywhere. It amazes me how many women do this in NYC. I’m not a thief, but they are around and your designer bag is screaming “steal me!”

If the only hook in a restroom for your bag is on the back of the door, hang it around your neck. Avoid hanging bags where they can be easily snatched.

Thanks to a barrister friend in London, I now also know to never leave my bag on the ground under a restaurant table – thieves there use umbrellas to pull the bag out from under your feet.


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