TRIPS GONE BAD

Protect Against Pickpockets

By Brad Tuttle, Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

Thieves look for an easy target—so don't be one. Play down jewelry and luxury logos. Put your passport in a neck pouch. Lock the zippers on your backpack together. And take these worst-case precautions:

1. E-mail yourself the account and phone numbers for your bank and credit card companies. You'll be able to cancel lost cards and have them replaced ASAP. (Getting replacements might take a few days, so be patient.)

2. Before you leave, split up and hide a few traveler's checks and some $100 bills among the people you're traveling with. You'll be especially glad you did when you're waiting for that new credit card.

3. Scan your passport and upload it to Passport Support (www.passportsupport.com), a service that securely stores travel docs for about $12 a year. Passports can be issued at a U.S. embassy on the same day if you can prove your identity.