• Posted:Wednesday, July 22, 2009
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Posted in: Travel
Keep your wits about you  even on holiday
You can spot a backpacker a mile off can't you? The stereotypical ones at least. Certainly the presence of a large backpack is a bit of a giveaway, but in more general terms there's the dishevelled look and the gaping jaw anywhere near a major tourist attraction.

I prefer to think that I avoid being too obvious when I'm on my travels, but I'm sure the locals can spot me coming a mile off.

One of the other ways to spot a tourist is of course the clothing. And that's something that Which? Money has warned could get you into trouble. Senior researcher at the consumer champion Dan Moore explained that being an obvious holidaymaker could make you a target for pick-pocketers.

While you may be sure to keep your wits about you and conceal your wallet in jeans or a chunky jacket while at home, chances are you are much less careful when you head abroad and start to relax.

"If you are on holiday, you've got shorts on in a light material, it's quite clear that someone is carrying around cash with them or a card," said Mr Moore. "Be aware. If you have got your card with you, then you are a target."

He noted that that some tourists will spend longer at cash machines than normal, perhaps because of the time it takes to choose an alternative language, so that's another way you can be spotted.

But the advice, which comes after life assistance company CPP identified a 17 per cent rise in cards lost or stolen abroad over the last year, is simply to keep your belongings secure - just as you would while at home.

Sam Buckley
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