exposed wallet in jeans

Being from New York, I’m naturally paranoid (it’s in the water, I think). So when I travel — whether it’s internationally or just to the living room — I take great pains to protect my valuables. And my money, too. Because nothing takes the fun out of a vacation like spending primo “tanning time” inside a U.S. Embassy trying to get a new passport.

Obviously, I was pleased to run across this collection of helpful tips for keeping your valuables safe while traveling from professional pickpocket, Gene Turner. Some of his tips are just common sense, but others you’d need to be an actual criminal to know. Here’s a sample:

    Ladies’ Purse Tips

  • Don’t hang your purse on the hook on the bathroom stall door and don’t sit it on the floor within arm’s reach. Set your purse at your feet or on a shelf that is midway up the stall wall.
  • Don’t hang your purse on the back of your chair at restaurants. Keep it between your feet.
  • Use handbags that have a zipper or a flap that latches. Carry it with the flap side towards you.

    Men’s Wallet Tips

  • Avoid the back pockets — many men feel if they have the pocket buttoned, they are safe. A good pickpocket can get it, and some who aren’t as good will use a razor-blade to slit the bottom of the pocket so the wallet will fall into their waiting hands.
  • Put your wallet in sideways.
  • Put wide rubber bands around your wallet. It will make it more difficult for a pickpocket to get the wallet out of your pocket (note that I wrote “more difficult,” not “impossible”).

For Gene Turner’s complete list of safety tips, visit