Zermatt is indeed one of the popular areas for vacation and since there are many tourists, sometimes there are pickpockets on trains. Since Zermatt is car-free area, most visitors travel around Zermatt by train, gondola, taxi or by feet. Many ride the train to go hike up the beautiful mountains or to go high up to ski. And since there are many people visiting Zermatt, trains can get crowded, and when there is crowd there are pickpockets from out of town. It would be a tragedy to get pickpocketed while you’re on a lovely vacation so here are some tips on how to protect oneself while traveling.
1. Never leave your luggage out of sight or unattended. You may have many luggage and your hands may be full but never leave your luggage unattended even for a while. Leaving it unattended is like saying “please take my bag”.
2. Pay greater attention to your luggage when people are boarding or leaving the train or bus. There are times when people rush in the train or bus and can get crowded, but this is one of the times when you have to be extra careful. If you do not pay proper attention, you can easily loose your luggage in the crowd. Also pickpockets can easily take your bag right before they get off the train or bus so pay attention to your luggage.
3. Never let strangers watch your luggage. There may be times such as you need to buy the train ticket or need to use the bathroom and you have trouble keeping an eye on your luggage. But never allow strangers to watch over your luggage.
4. Use baggage lockers. Pickpockets can easily open zippered or clasped bags so try to have a lock on your bag or suitcases. Pickpockets do not like to take time to steal so if there is a lock on the luggage, it is likely they will avoid the bag.
5. Never let go of hand luggage or shoulder bags. Many tourists, since they have many luggage, sometimes carry their hand luggage by hanging the bag to their suitcase. This can be very dangerous since if pickpockets steal the suitcase, they will also take the hand luggage. Also hand luggage, especially if it is held only by shoulder, can be easily taken so try to have it across your body.
6. Take extra care of your valuables in crowds. When there is crowd, if someone bumps into you, you may only think that it is because of the crowd. But pickpockets use that as a chance and try to steal your valuables so try to take care of your valuables.
7. Carry your wallet and cellphone in a buttoned inside pocket. Never put your wallet or cellphone in your back pocket since it is easy to steal and many times, people do not realize that they got pickpocketed until it is too late.
8. Carry your hand luggage and shoulder back locked and in front of you with the lock against your body. When lock is far from your body and the train or bus is crowded, pickpockets can easily unlock the lock without you noticing.
9. Be careful with confidence tricksters. Watch valuables at all times even when someone approaches with a friendly questions. Tricksters tend to be very friendly and sometimes may even offer to look after your bag but be always careful and no matter how much they are friendly, watch over your valuables.
10. Careful with over-helpful strangers. This could just be a distraction. Some pickpockets work in groups and trickster will be friendly to keep your distracted while the other one steals your luggage.
Simply, always keep your eyes on your luggage and do not let strangers keep you distracted. If you really have to leave your luggage for any reasons, try to ask for help at the police station or use lockers.