Here are 5 things we do to stand out a little less:
1) Dress Down
If you dress like you have money, people will think you do and probably feel that you won’t miss what you’ve got all that much. So try to blend in by not wearing flashy colors, or having brand names all over your clothes.
Keep this in mind as you look at your child before heading out too. Children tend to draw attention, especially if they are blond with light eyes. People stare at them because they are so “preciosos” (precious). If your child is dressed in visible brand names, again “you obviously will not miss whatever money is in your pockets or purse because there’s much more at home, if you can afford to dress your child like that.”
2) Keep Jewelery to a Minimum
Jewelery draws attention, especially gold. People know the value of jewelery so you make yourself a potential target by wearing the bling. Silver is better than gold, and beads/non precious gems or metals are even better.
3) Don’t “Pull a Tourist”
It would be hard to do something to standout more than doing this: Stand in the middle of the city with a guidebook in your hands. If you need to consult your guidebook, or map, it’s much better to find a bench, or better yet duck into a cafe and regroup there.
4) Leave Your Big Purse at Home
If you need to carry a bag, pick one that doesn’t standout, and one with a long shoulder strap that you can wear across your body.
Better yet, don’t carry a bag. Wear a light jacket with zip pockets, and pants with zip or snap pockets. Leave the credit cards at home or in the hotel.
5) Don’t Flash Cash
Carry cash in small bills individually folded. When your cash is folded individually you only have to pull out two little fives, not a big wad that requires searching through, right there out in the open in front of everyone. This can also save you money because if what you want costs $6, but you pull out your folded $5 and say “is $5 OK” they usually just say yes, they don’t know you have more folded up in your pocket. It works for me. It’s better to have a small wallet in a zipped pocket, and small bills in other zipped pockets so you don’t have to take out your wallet at all. If you need what’s in your wallet chances are you’re in a restaurant or something anyway, and not that much of a spectacle, otherwise try to keep it hidden.
Please keep in mind that we’ve never seen a purse snatching or anything like that. Our daughter did have something taken out of her purse (which was unzipped) but she didn’t even know until a half hour later. Read more about moving abroad with kids.
I didn’t share these precautions to scare anyone, just to possibly help others avoid being an easy target.
If you’ve picked up some of your own tricks along your travels please share by commenting on this blog.