Subject: European Tour safety habits
Hi Bill and Lynn,

These are all great ideas and I have a couple more regarding Barbara's recommendation on money belts. Be sure they are way under your clothes and remain out of sight and out of reach. On our last trip, in Rome, a member of our group had his money belt under his sweater. Someone on the bus put a hand in his pocket and while he was disengaging himself from the pickpocket, the money belt was entered from the other side and he was relieved of almost $100.

Rick Steves recommends you keep a day's cash in a handy wallet for easy retrieval. And the rest of it way hidden.

Another trick discovered was that a taxi driver, at night, asked the patron to change a $20 bill for him. After the transaction the patron discovered, long after the driver had gone, that he was holding a copy of a $20 bill.

I used to keep a few dollar bills (or a small amount of currency of the current country) in a buttoned blouse pocket, keeping each bill separate so if you wanted one bill two or more did not come out at once.

One more thing to keep in mind is the safety of your hotel room. Often keys open more than one room in a hotel. I know this for a fact. Also, if keys are the way to get into a hotel room, it is possible that previous occupants can enter a room. This happened to a friend of mine. Her suitacse was entered, items removed, and the suitcase was re-locked. She knew immediately when she returned as she leaves her combination locks in the same position each time and they were on different numbers. It must have been an experienced crook who planned this well as several rooms were robbed while the tour group was on a planned city tour.

Be careful, yet enjoy your trip. Always have a card from the hotel where you are staying so in case you get separated from the group, or are out on your own, you can show it to the taxi driver and he will know where to take you back.

Barbara is right on track with travel light--carry no more than what you can easily carry yourself, wear those comfortable shoes and be sure the socks are comfortable, too, and do arrange to go a day early. You will enjoy the time to get over jet lag and thus, enjoy the trip even more.