It was not long ago when I shared this post Vision Board Peg: Paris.
Actually back then the trip was already taking shape. My family was going on a cruise in Western Europe and we had an option to have a short stopover in Paris on our way home. HOW ABOUT THAT? =-)
Liking Paris for me was a process. It was not like Disneyland where you instantly go "Wow" at first sight. I did my research long before the trip and was gripped by fear of pickpockets, bag slashers and snatchers and the like. I read about each and every trick in their books and listened to all my friends' advice. I needed to be ready. Call me paranoid but hey, this story has a happy ending because my family and I were. What I found very helpful were the following:
1. Pacsafe cross body bags, belt bags and money belts
They were a bit of an investment but it made us feel safer. These bags are anti-theft and great for travel.
2. Being alert at all times at the same time looking like you don;t care about anything that is happening to you.
My family and I were almost victims several times but we just never stopped, talked or even helped anyone who seemed to need help. Twice people tried dropping things deliberately in front of us or catch our attention by talking too loudly on their mobile. We simply ignored them. My husband actually watched and looked an obvious pickpocket in the eye as he attempted to get his hand on our friend's pants pocket. When he saw that he was being watched he simply walked away.
3. We avoided the Metro.
I know, I know it is the easiest way around Paris but we had children with us and my mom who is 67 as well. We were advised by our travel agent to avoid the Metro and we did.
4. A lot of prayer!
The greatest feeling was riding the airport shuttle for our flight home with none all of of us unscathed of the theft culture in Paris. I knew prayer was the greatest anti-theft tool.
Most of us were first time visitors in Paris and the sense of awareness and security I believe made us enjoy the city more.
Next post will be about the fun beyond my paranoia. haha!
Know more about Pacsafe Smart Travel Gear here
and posts on safety like this.