Why I Won't Be Bringing My Camera Or Laptop To Portugal Or Spain // All White Look
The last time I left my camera at home while on vacation was when I went to Greece and Croatia with a couple of my girlfriends. Believe me, it was a hard decision, but as neither of my friends volunteered to be my photographer on the trip, I figured the smart thing to do would be to stick to my iPhone. The photos weren’t half as good as they could have been, but it was an awesome vacation and I survived.
Now that my travel buddy is my husband, I love being able to bring my camera and have him take my picture 100x a day, much to his dismay, but on our next trip to Portugal and Barcelona, we’ll be leaving the electronics at home. Not bringing my laptop on vacation isn’t new to me. It’s the best break in the world. But not bringing my camera is basically accepting the fact that my travel photos will not be up to my standards. They won’t match my completely high-res Instagram feed and I will be forever tortured with my purposely sub-par content.
So why in the world am I leaving my camera at home?
For one simple reason. Because I love my camera.
Barcelona is the pickpocketing capital of the world and Lisbon, Portugal doesn’t fall too far behind. My husband and I are already accepting the fact that we will be some thief’s victim (whether the pickpocket is successful or not), but aside from keeping our valuables close and only bringing exactly what we need, we want to take every precaution possible. Walking around with a camera around my neck would just call attention to us and I’m really not interested in having it snatched. I repeat, really not interested.
While every article we read swears Barcelona isn’t a violent country and just suffers from a pickpocketing epidemic, there were one too many comments from tourists saying they witnessed at least one mugging during their trip, and I’d rather not become a statistic. If that means I have to leave my laptop and camera at home, I’ll live.
I do recognize that most of Europe has a pickpocketing problem, yet I freely walk around with my DSLR camera in Paris, but with Barcelona’s notorious reputation, some extra precaution isn’t a bad idea. In case you’ve also got a Barcelona trip coming up, here are some great tips I found to avoid being pickpocketed:
The more touristy the area, the more pickpockets you’ll find, so just be aware, especially when on Las Ramblas and in the Gothic Quarter.
Keep your bags close and in front of you at all times. I read one tourist’s account that said he saw a woman’s bag get stolen immediately after she hid it under her coat while going to the restroom at a fancy restaurant.
Always travel with photocopies of your license and passport in case they get stolen.
A lot of the pickpockets in Barcelona work in teams or gangs, so stay alert to groups of people on the street or on the train. One of their best tricks is to approach their victims in twos, one to show you a poster or try to sell you something and the other to reach into your bag while you’re distracted.
Going along with the fact that Barcelona isn’t known for violence, if the pickpocket sees you notice him getting close, he’ll usually back off and find a new victim.
Watch your luggage at all times. There are even thieves at the airport and on the airport shuttle bus. The AEROBÚS is less than a quarter of the price of a taxi, but my husband and I will be avoiding all public transportation for this reason.
Always be aware, even in your hotel lobby. Thieves are always where the tourists are. We were actually about to book a beautiful 4.5 star boutique hotel until we read multiple reviews saying guests’ bags were stolen within 5 minutes of their arrival.
Stay away from the street games as many are fronts for thieves. Also, be careful if you stop to watch a street performer as a pickpocket will most likely target you while you look distracted.
Don’t fall asleep on the beach unless you’re with someone who’s watching your belongings.
Separate your cash from your cards and only bring exactly what is necessary.