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“We were riding the metro in Istanbul. The train was packed. One minute I had my backpack on, the next it was gone.” Andrew’s co-worker tells us. “We had everything in that bag. Wallets, passports…everything. We ended up being stuck there for nearly a month getting everything sorted out.”
It is clear from the look on his face, that he is going through the whole ordeal in his mind. His eyes are distant and haunted by this memory. It is something that every traveler dreads.
What would you do if this happened to you? Can you afford to withstand that kind of setback, both financially and emotionally?
Honestly, being robbed is usually the last thing that I’m worrying about when we’re traveling. Shoot, I’m pretty much counting to four, every five seconds to just make sure that I haven’t lost one of my kids. Then there’s the fact that at any given moment, three of them are trying to have a conversation with me. Oh, and have I mentioned that I like to take pictures – A LOT? I’ve got to stop and get lots of shots to document these amazing places we’re visiting. Then there are the snacks, drinks, and diapers that we’re hauling around…
Can anyone else relate?
See, when you travel as a family, avoiding getting robbed isn’t something you’re thinking about in the moment, it’s something you prepare for long in advance. When you’re out there with the kids, there’s a pretty safe bet that you’re going to be avoiding a lot of the main things that will make you a target for a thief. You are probably avoiding bad parts of town, aren’t out super late at night, and hopefully you’re not getting smashed at the bar each night. However, there is one thing that makes you (and me) a bigger target – you are distracted.
After hearing our friends story about being robbed with his family in Istanbul, we soon learned about PacSafe. They make bags that are specifically designed to be anti-theft. On our recent trips through Prague and Turkey, we got to check out the PacSafe Venturesafe 25L pack. Honestly, unless we need a pack with more technical specifications for something, I’m pretty confident that this will join us on most of our trips in the future. It was just such a relief to know that because we had this pack, we literally were being so much safer. Public transportation didn’t worry me at all, nor did crowded areas (outside of my constant counting to four to make sure I didn’t lose anyone :). It was just one less thing we had to stress about.
Here are some things that make it a great pack for families:
- Good water bottle pockets on the side that can each hold two small water bottles (honestly, with 4 kids, we always travel with at least 4 so that’s a big deal).
- A laptop sleeve, that also doubles as a great place to stash a days worth of diapers.
- A large pocket that can fit all of the essentials for the day. For us on this trip that meant 6 rain jackets, a guide book, snacks, diapers (see above), and my DSLR camera. Granted, we had to pack that all in carefully, but the thing that counts is that it all fits and we only had to carry ONE bag.
- Easily adjustable to fit both myself and my husband.
- To prevent theft, this bag also has some awesome features that you won’t find in a regular bag:
- Steel reinforced straps to avoid slashing (like our friends experienced).
- Slashguard wire mesh under the fabric to prevent common “bottom slashing” (where the bottom of your bag is cut, and contents emptied while you are still wearing it).
- Closing clasps to secure zippers so that a thief can’t just open up your bag
- RFID pocket to keep your passport and credit cards in so your personal info can’t be stolen (RFID theft is becoming very common and it’s eay for a thief to steal your identity with the handy chips now in most passports and credit cards).
This pack retails at $140, which is a little higher than most bags, but I’d say it’s well worth it for the security features.
PacSafe generously provided this bag for our review, but these are our honest opinions, and just what we’d tell our friends.