How to Protect Yourself and Your Belongings on European Trains

European trains offer a reliable, convenient method for traveling between cities and countries. Once you learn how to read the timetables and know where to go to buy and validate tickets, train travel can be remarkably stress-free. A rail pass can make traveling throughout Europe even easier. However, you need to know how to protect yourself and your belongings on European trains.

Steps

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    Secure your bags to the luggage rack or to your seat. You can use a lock or clip. A bag that is not easy to grab is less likely to be stolen.
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    Use your bag as a pillow you can use as support while seated. Pack it to make it as comfortable as possible. Clip it to your wrist or to the seat.
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    Avoid letting people around you see where you keep your valuables while on a train. It also helps to have bags that look ordinary instead of flashy. Be discreet.
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    Dress like a European. Don't draw attention to yourself by wearing touristy clothes such as shirts emblazoned with slogans or white sneakers. Thieves will be less likely to target you if you blend in.
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    Wear a money belt to keep your passport, tickets, credit cards and other valuables close to you. Avoid letting others see you accessing it if possible as skilled pickpockets can get to just about anything.
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    Remain alert at train station stops. Thieves often jump on, grab a bag, and jump back off.
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    Keep your eye on your stuff while traveling by train in Europe. Never leave your bags unattended while you go to the toilet or the dining room. If you are alone, take them with you. Always keep your bags in front of you while waiting at train stations. It only takes a thief a second to grab your bag and run. You can even try positioning your bags between your feet for added safety when waiting for the train.
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    Travel safely while journeying overnight on European trains. Avoid sitting or sleeping alone, especially during overnight jaunts. If you are a woman, look for a compartment with other females.
    • Try to get an upper berth in a couchette, or sleeping compartment. This makes you and your bag less easy to access.
    • Secure your bag to the storage rack or sleep on it.
    • Insure the door to the compartment or couchette stays locked overnight. Make sure the others in the compartment understand how important it is.
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    Photocopy your passport, tickets, credit cards and other important documents and keep those in a separate place. If your passport gets stolen, it's easier to get a new one if you have a copy. Consider emailing these to yourself so you can access them electronically.
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    Travel lightly. The fewer bags you have and the lighter they are, the easier it is for you to keep your belongings safe. Also, you won't be struggling to drag all your heavy stuff around with you which can lead to multiple distractions.
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    Make friends but be wary. Part of the fun of traveling by train throughout Europe is meeting interesting people. But be cautious of people who are too forward or "helpful." Strangers who offer to help carry your bags or purchase tickets may be thieves.

Article Info

Categories: Road & Rail Travel