Travel Tip of the Day: Keep Your Handbag Safe

PurseKeep Your Handbag Safe
Yesterday I had a tip for men about not putting their money/valuables in their back pockets. Today’s tip is for women (or anyone carrying a bag), and the idea is similar: to help safeguard their handbags. Always carry a handbag in front of you with it zipped or buttoned (or however) closed and your hand over it while traveling in crowded areas.



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Johnny Jet

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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

11 Comments on "Travel Tip of the Day: Keep Your Handbag Safe"

  1. Once on a train in Belgium, my husband had his briefcase stolen because he put it on the floor between his feet. Someone leaned over him as if signaling to someone outside of the train window and in a flash the briefcase was taken and the person ran off the train. We saw him with it as the train pulled away..a very common move from roving gangs of thieves, according to the police when we got to Amsterdam to report it. Of course, the police can do absolutely nothing. You are best to keep your hand on your purse at all times but guys ride by on motor scooters and can rip a shoulder bag off at any time, or cut it if your strap is leather or cloth. Scary but true; it happened to my Mom.

  2. After having my purse stolen off the back of my chair in Stockholm a year ago, I now use a purse with reinforced strap and it NEVER leaves my body, no matter where I am. The theft could have happened anywhere–I just happened to be hit in Sweden. Ugh!!

  3. I have not carried a handbag in over 20 years. After being mugged and my bag was taken I decided not to carry one. The man who took it was caught and my bag was given back. He went to jail for 2 years and then received another year for “bad behavior.” Story made the papers because some men caught him and pushed him to the ground where I gave him a few well-deserved kicks.

  4. Use a Pacsafe purse with steel in the strap and mesh in other parts. Or use a purse with a moveable lining because it’s harder for a thief to slice through to the contents. They can still slice through the strap, though. It’s startling reaching into your purse and finding a man’s hand in it – he had cut through the end.

  5. Being a former Law Enforcement Officer, I thought I was fairly security savy, but while standing on a corner waiting for a bus in Paris, I was wearing a backpack, that had all of my camera equipment & Laptop inside. I always try to be aware of my surroundings and those within my space. I noticed a man that kept trying to get behind me, as I was turning to look at the sights & people. I realized he was trying to get to me from the back and gain access to my backpack. I removed the backpack and put it in front of me and looked directly at him. He walked away.

    Same trip, but in Brussels Belguim, I was waiting for a train and again, I noticed the same man walking past me. Again I was wearing the backpack, so I went to the rear of the waiting area and pressed my backpack against the wall and stood there. The man continued to go back and forth in front of me, but when I placed the backpack in front of me, he finally walked away.

    • Scary! I usually take my camera out and turn it to video and start shooting the area in a 360 angle — that scares everyone away.

  6. Wearing a crossbody style purse is the way to go. You keep the purse in front of you with your hand on it if needed. Also, the PacSafe bag that AAA sells is perfect as I used that in Europe too. If someone is looking at your purse – look at them straight in the eye! Sit in the cafes with your purse always on your body directly in front of you.

  7. Better yet, don’t use a purse at all. I like traveling with a vest with lots of pockets (Scottevest comes to mind, but there are alternatives). It’s great to have both hands free, and have your stuff close to your body.

  8. Johnny…where can I buy that handbag??? Love the metallic architecture on the brown leather!!!

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