Keep your wallet safe

Hallie Gardner

Last week, I had a housemate tell me that her wallet was stolen at Union Station. Now, that’s no surprise considering this probably happens frequently, but she went on to explain her frustration. Turns out, whoever ended up with her pocketbook has this down to a science. Within half an hour of her noticing it was gone, there was a $960 Macy’s charge on her credit card and her debit card had been over-drafted. What’s worse, the charges were in Oklahoma City, meaning the thief was able to send her information to a few of his buddies.

DC at night
Photo Credit: Hallie Gardner

Keep in mind that even the most cautious people can be pick-pocketed. I’ve compiled a few tips that I’ve learned when it comes to preventing your valuables from falling into the wrong hands, your wallet especially.


Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. Only carry the things you need. Not planning on going to Starbucks today? That gift card can probably stay at home.

Don’t carry too much cash.  This is a fine line. You don’t want to have too little, but don’t carry excess amounts. Carry what you think you need. ATMs aren’t hard to find in a city if you feel you need more.

Don’t travel with important/sensitive information like social security cards. Once these are lost, you’ll have a real problem on your hands. It’s best to keep these somewhere safe and memorize your number.

Girls, use a backpack or a cross-body bag, rather than just a purse. Guys, keep your wallet in your front pocket.

Safety pins.  My mom has a friend who has lived in New York for years and her word of advice was to deter people with safety pins. Sure, they may not be glamorous, but if you are worried about someone digging into your purse or backpack while your back is turned, these will usually do the trick. Just pin your two zippers together.

Happy and safe travels!

Hallie Gardner can be reached at and on her twitter page @gardner_hallie.