My trip to Thailand was one of the best experiences of my life- It was my first time traveling internationally. It was a bit of a culture-shock once we landed, but I learned more about myself and the world out there that I had yet to experience. While I had the best time in Thailand, on my first full day in Bangkok, I was the victim of pickpocketing. Not even realizing the “Beware of pickpocketing” signs around the temple- of course-until after i fell victim, it happened in the matter of less than 5 minutes.
I have come up with a list of some Do’s and Dont’s for traveling abroad with links to handy items below!
- Do yourself a favor and DON’T bring a backpack to use as your daily bag. I bought a Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Backpack specifically for this trip, thinking it would be the easiest way to travel so my hands would be free. I loved that it had a zip top and flap to cover- figuring this made it extra safe, but it didn’t, and my new iPhone 6 was stolen. After reading tons of articles, the best choice would be a crossbody of messenger-type bag. Two of my favorites are the kate spade new york ‘cobble hill – ella’ leather hobo (on sale right now) and the Longchamp ‘Le Pliage Neo- Medium’ Tote. I always bring my Canon DSLR and GoPro with me on trips, so I like a roomier bag. These two work well, but each also come in a smaller size if you travel light . With these bags, you can zip them up and keep them in front of you and have the pickpocketers not see you as a target.
- DO bring an external battery pack. Life-saver on those long flights where you may be stuck in a seat that DOESN’T have a working port (true story). I love the external battery pack I bought from Amazon. It’s a little thick, but can fully charge my phone six times!
- DO write down all of the names, addresses, and phone numbers for the places you are going to- think hotels, restaurants, attractions! Do not rely on technology, because we all know things happen-Batteries can die, wifi can not be found, etc. The person in our group in-charge of the hotel address kept it in his email and once we reached the town, he phone didn’t work and we spent the next two hours walking around town trying to find the hotel… not the best situation.
- DON’T over-pack. I was in Thailand for 12 days and I fit everything in one carry-on and a small personal and it was still too much! I’ve been spoiled by being able to stuff an insane amount of stuff in my carry-on and I knew, as long as it fit in the overhead compartment, I was good! Imagine my shock when learning, first-hand, that most international carry-on items are subject to size AND weight limitations. I bet you can guess how my experience went. I either had to pay weight-overage fees or was forced to check-in my bag and pay outrageous checked baggage fees. Save yourself the trouble and pack smart and light. It’s also a good idea to invest in a handheld scale to be certain you’re good to go.
- DO have fun 🙂 Remember to enjoy your time on your adventure. Go with the flow, roll with the punches, and fully embrace the surroundings and cultures. Appreciate your opportunity to see a world different from your day-to-day life!
3 thoughts on “What I Learned From Someone Stealing My Phone in Thailand… and Other Tips for Traveling Abroad”
For your DSLR do you have a protective case to place in your bag? Also sometimes I don’t feel comfortable flashing my fancy camera around.
I didn’t have one for my trip, but I’ve been looking into getting one. I really like this one on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Domke-F-34M-15-Inch-Protective-Wrap/dp/B00009R88S). I totally understand that feeling, too! Showing off a big camera, GoPro, and cell phone draws interest-and I got caught up in all of the excitement of being somewhere new and ended up juggling between all three and that’s when I was distracted and my phone was stolen, so I wasn’t thinking smart- but after that, I started being more aware of myself and my surroundings and keeping my bag in front of me at all times. I limited myself to only having one electronic out at a time and from just taking those simple steps, I didn’t experience anymore issues for the rest of the trip 🙂
Thanks for sharing! I will look into the protective wrap.