Ah Paris. This city is, perhaps, every cosmopolitan traveler’s dream. With its amazing architecture and sights, scrumptious cuisine, and romantic scenes, who wouldn’t want to spend a day sipping latte at one of those al fresco cafes while watching people go about their ways?

Then again, one of the many reasons tourists are rethinking twice of visiting this great capital is petty crime. Pick pocketing and snatching to be exact. With the huge number of people visiting spots like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower on a daily basis, many tourists have experienced having their purses snatched.

Travel Tips Paris

However, like many famous tourist spots in the world, petty crimes like pick pocketing and purse-snatching shouldn’t hinder you from seeing the great capitals of the world. An avid traveler would know how to arm himself with basic know-hows to make travel and adventure both fun and safe.

Here are some tips on how to safeguard yourself and your valuables during a trip to Paris.

Photocopy your passport and other important documents

When traveling, it’s important you bring your passport with you when you leave the hotel. But before you do, make sure you leave photocopies of your important documents back at your hotel for backup.

Bring just enough money

When you’re in Paris, there are three things you must do: eat, explore, and shop. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, you just couldn’t resist shopping. Famous for its delectable dishes, you just have to try the bestsellers at an authentic restaurant or café. And of course, a trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without the proverbial exploration of the Louvre and a photo op with the Eiffel Tower standing high behind you.

Many travelers have debated whether you should bring all your money and important documents with you when you leave your hotel. That way, you carry all your valuables and do not risk having them gone when you check back at your hotel. However, it is better to bring just enough cash when you go out and explore the City of Lights. Remember, in case you run into trouble, do not bring with you more than you are willing to lose.

Safeguard your belongings

While a large bag can hold more, experts advise in bringing a small bag when you explore the city. Bring just the essentials. After all, you are there to immerse yourself in the culture and the sights. It’s hard to be on your feet when you’re lugging a heavy bag. Zipper bags are more advisable compared to those you can easily open with one click. Keep your wallet in your front pocket all the time. If you are carrying cash, divide them into thirds and secure them in various parts of your bag. Try to get one of those jackets with inside pockets and secure your cash there.

Avoid hotspots of the city

Just like in every city, try to avoid the seedy or hotspots of the city where most petty crimes take place. However, in Paris, this is particularly different since the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower are two of the major hotspots in the city. How can you enjoy your trip to Paris without seeing these two? Before you leave, read up on the latest news about the places you are visiting and arm yourself with basic know-how on how to steer clear of trouble so you can enjoy the sights you traveled all the way to Paris for.

Steer clear of groups

Pickpockets in Paris often travel in groups. Based on recent reports, they tend to be young and would often strike where and when there’s huge foot traffic. For instance, when you get off the train, be vigilant about your surroundings and clutch your belongings securely. If you’re carrying a backpack, carry it in front of you. It is important to look vigilant and alert.

On the streets, if a stranger comes up to you and asks for help in getting to certain part of the city, politely decline. Do not feel bad either. They can ask the police for that or consult a map. Just the same, as a traveler, it is better you do your own research beforehand, consult a map, or ask the right authorities for directions instead of asking someone on the streets.

Research on the recent scams in Paris

Any traveler would know this: before you fly to a certain location, research on the latest news that concern tourists like you. For instance, in Paris, one of the more popular scams is the Ring Scam. Someone comes up to you on the streets and insists that you dropped a ring. Obviously, it’s not yours and you politely excuse yourself. The guy will not stop and will insist that you buy it for your lovely companion for a bargain price. Not wanting to look cheap, you would be forced to buy that ring. You are, after all, on a romantic rendezvous. You just got scammed.

Learn a few French phrases

“Va-t-en” means “get lost” in French. Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel that a particular stranger is leaning close to you or offers you something you don’t want, don’t be afraid to say a few French phrases. Don’t feel bad. You’re in France.

Use ATM machines located at bank lobbies

As much as possible, use the ATM machines at bank lobbies during opening hours. And of course, like any normal person, do not allow a “good samaritan” to “help you” with whatever you are doing; when you need help, ask the authorities.

Act like a local

First of all, try not to dress like a tourist—no baseball caps, no shorts, and definitely no flip flops. Research on how the locals dress and try your best to look like one. More importantly, study your maps before you even leave the hotel. Lastly, when speaking in English, do not shout. Try to speak in low tones so you won’t draw attention to your group.

What to do when you’re being followed

It is best that you travel in groups. However, if you are traveling with just one companion, be more alert of how you act in public. If you suspect that someone’s following you, do something that will completely throw them off guard like entering a store and staying them for quite some time until you are sure that the stranger is gone. You can also walk up to an police officer and politely ask for some directions while throwing looks at the stranger. This will make him aware that you know what he’s up to.

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