David’s notes: This was originally posted in July 2007.
I always thought I was good at watching and protecting my stuff when traveling…but a few weeks ago I had a lot of stuff stolen from me.
It all started when I set my backpack on the front seat of my tour bus. That normally is not a problem, but this day it was the wrong thing to do. Soon I began helping people load their luggage and was busy with the hotel checkout for the group. At some point (which no one in the group of 35 people can determine) someone walked onto my tour bus and grabbed my bag off the front seat. I did not discover it was gone until we were ready to roll out of the parking lot. Then it hit me that I’d been had…ughhh. That was a terrible feeling and it took me over a week to get over it.
The only positive thing about this experience was that I was wearing my money belt (tucked safely under my pants) and all my cash, credit cards, and passport were still safe.
Theft is a real thing, keep a watchful-eye and don’t get to feeling so cocky and think it will never happen to you.
During the last six weeks there have been two other people who have lost money and credit cards due to theft. Both events were in Rome. The first happened to a lady who, on her last night in Rome, was riding a crowded bus. She had her billfold in her “fanny-pack” in front of her, supposedly safe and sound. When she arrived at the hotel her billfold was gone!
The other theft happened when a lady left her billfold, containing credit cards and cash, on a bed in a hotel room. When she returned it was all gone.
The moral here is don’t trust anyone. Guard your stuff all the time. By all means tuck your most essential valuables under your clothes in a moneybelt. But hey, don’t worry, I still think Europe and travel are great..however I’ll always be more on the lookout for those people everywhere that cannot be trusted.