How to Get Robbed – A Crash Course


How to Get Robbed – 101

Figuring out how to get robbed is potentially one of the most important lessons that any traveler can learn. After all, even the most seasoned of us have, at one point or another, grown attached to material possessions that do little but weigh down our bags.

Sure, your camera may provide nice pictures and videos… but get robbed… and stop living behind a lens.

Sure, your passport may be useful to get you out of a country… but get robbed… and learn to live in this new culture instead of just passing through it.

Sure, your money may buy you some things… but get robbed… and learn how to relate to all those people that you’ve never taken time to acknowledge asking for change on the side of the street.

Sure, you like your backpack… but get robbed… and you’ll never have to struggle to shove it in the overhead compartment, or worry about carry-in charges again.

Sure, your clothes seem important… but get robbed… and realize just how beautiful the naked body can be.

Obviously there’s many great reasons to get robbed, and don’t forget what a great story it makes for all your friends who thought you were crazy for going traveling in the first place. So let’s look at the crucial steps in order to make sure you can become the unwilling victim of a traveler horror story that is clearly no fault of your own.

Get Robbed

Gotta learn to stick out… enough of this blending in!

Step 1 – Be Conspicuous

One of the most important rules of getting robbed is to make sure that you stick out. You may think that by merely being in a country where no one shares your skin colour or language is enough, but it’s not. If you really want to get robbed, make damn sure that people notice you. Dress in designer labels. Stay clean shaven. Keep your makeup on. Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean that you won’t be suddenly discovered as the new upcoming model or Hollywood star!

Step 2 – Be Loud

Okay, this falls into being conspicuous, but it takes a whole new angle. You want to make sure to include any potential thieves that may be blind. So be sure to speak loudly and ignorantly. Using the words ‘No one here speaks English’ is a good start, but make sure to throw in a couple of racial slurs about the country where you’re visiting… now you’re developing the proper swagger!

Get Robbed

No matter what you’re looking for… if you try hard enough, you’ll manage to get lost

Step 3 – Get Lost

Many travelers get lost… but don’t forget that you want to be conspicuous about it. Make sure that everyone around you knows damn well that you’re lost! Now you would think that asking for directions is the best way to do this, but it’s actually not… for you might be charming and make friends when you ask for directions and thus have someone looking out for you. What you want to do, is take out a map and unfold it completely. Those people that barely unfold a map only get noticed by 80% of the folk out there… if possible, walk down the street whilst holding the fully unfolded map in front of you and don’t look where you’re going. Bumping into people without apologizing and loudly disapproving of ‘this stupid city and it’s people’ will definitely help you on your way.

Step 4 – Keep Your Valuables Handy

There’s nothing quite like having a huge SLR camera around your neck or large video camera (okay, that’s a little dated) to make thieves pay attention to you as you walk down the street with your head in a map, yelling racial slurs and bumping into passersby. If you don’t have an SLR handy, then maybe take a large IPad out in order to look for directions on that thing as well. Be sure to take pictures with your IPad. If you happen to have any small valuables, like a digital camera or IPhone, then take them out for pictures but make sure to leave them in your loose pockets so that they can be easily accessed in case a Monkey goes by riding a Camel whilst chasing an Elephant in a Gorilla parade… missing that moment would suuuhuuuuck!

Get Robbed

Develop that swagger!

Step 5 – Take a Load Off

You don’t need to always keep your valuables close. You might be uncomfortable if you have your bag on your lap on the overnight bus, so put it in the storage compartment above your head. If there’s no room there, you might be forced to put it at your feet, be sure to not wrap your foot through the armband or lock the bag. Putting a lock on your bag only shows thieves that it’s worth taking, and wrapping your foot through the armband merely proves that you are going to fall asleep. Just shove it far underneath the seat, and drift away to neverland where Peter Pan can sprinkle you with a little pixie dust.

Step 6 – Dark Alleys are Your Friend

There’s many great places to get lost when you’re on the road. Try to find the one where you would hang out if you were not wanting to be spotted by the authorities. If there’s enough room to be walking down the dark alleys with your map than do that, but once it gets a little too dark to read the map, take out your Ipad and hold it up in front of your face to get properly oriented. Be sure to have your SLR around your neck at all times in case that Monkey/Camel/Elephant/Gorilla combo comes trotting past.

Get Robbed

Ahh… culture! (sorry Lommer)

Step 7 – Get Wasted

What’s a true cultural experience if you’re not getting a little hammered on the local moonshine, or stoned on the hashish or hanging out in the Opium den. Be sure to bring your camera and passport with you, as they aren’t safe in the hotel.

Step 8 – Drink/Take Whatever/Wherever

You’re on the road to experience everything possible, no? So, why are you not accepting that sketchy drink from the shady guy in the corner? If no one is offering you drinks, then leave your drink in plain sight so someone might have the opportunity to spice it up a little bit…. they don’t call it spiced rum for nothing!

Step 9 – Carry Your Bags

Obviously, most travelers will be forced to carry their bags at some point or another… so you need to go beyond this. Try to make sure to carry your large bags frequently. If you can somehow manage to have all of your bags with you whilst successfully accomplishing the afore mentioned 8 steps, then odds are pretty good that you’re about to have a fantastic story to tell regarding these jackass locals that have no desire whatsoever to work for a living, and are happy just to steal and pickpocket the innocent tourists… If you’re friends happen to tell you that those scoundrels might’ve needed such possessions more than you, or even that it would take them 1 year to earn the amount that they received from selling a few of your possessions, stick to the personal property argument and stealing is bad carte blanche… you can’t lose that argument!

Get Robbed

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! Way to hard to get robbed up here!

Above All

Make damn sure that the locals never feel that they are your equal. If you start to relate too well to them, either by trying to learn their language to show that you respect their culture, or genuinely taking an interest in their lives by asking about their country and traditions, all may be lost. Don’t befriend your neighbour on the bus! Don’t learn to say thank you in the local language (and certainly not ‘how are you’) and don’t let them ever feel that you are anything less than a culture vulture.

Recently, some monkey provided me the opportunity to learn a great lesson in detachment by stealing my camera… and thus helped me reflect on all these great tips to share with you regarding how you too can get a great lesson in detachment by learning how to get robbed.

Jonny Jenkins

Jonny Jenkins

My name is Jonny, my friends call me Stef. I'm Canadian born, but don't find my identity based upon some borders that man drew hundreds of years ago. I have begun to make my way through the world, travelling and living in many different countries and cultures. I believe whole heartedly in staying longer and going deeper to get the best understanding possible of many different perspectives of life. In order to do so, you have to speak the language. I am no polyglot, but have started to put more emphasis on learning languages in the last few years. I have learned Spanish, relearned French, and started in on Portuguese, German, Indonesian and Malagasy. When it comes to the third world, I am willing to help where they (and not I) decide they need it... in the first world, I am hoping to inspire and motivate people to live more engaging lives.

78 Replies to “How to Get Robbed – A Crash Course”

  1. rencontre sexe toulouse says:

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if
    it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad
    is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this
    is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    1. She only has 83 views on that?! Man, I’m horrible at SEO (as all the other spammers have told me), and I guarantee I could get you a good few hundred views on that in a matter of hours.
      Thanks so much for adding this story to my site, it erm… adds great value.. riiiight :/
      I mean, I guess it is another way to get robbed… have a sister that wants to test out the durability of an iPad and have no idea how to draw viewers… hmmm… Sure, that falls into the ‘first world complaints’ that maybe makes up this post, so I’ll give it to ya!

  2. Lorine Sourwine says:

    quels sites consulter?est-ce facile a apprendre?sur quoi m’entrainer?on doute toujours de cette pratique, mais on apprend par ailleurs que la m

    1. What’s with the unfinished sentences? C’est quoi ton truc?!

  3. Cleo Swasey says:

    Est-ce qu’il y a une m

    1. Un quoi?! Un quoooooi?!?!?!

  4. everquest next powerleveling says:

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Appreciate it!

    1. Totally fine with me. Quote away. Although, I must admit that you make me wonder just how badly I’ve been writing. I mean, I understand my tangents get a little off-topic at times, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever ended up in a place where the area of interest sounds akin to ‘powerleveling’…

      Guess I gotta spend a bit more time editing… damn!

  5. RudolphIcep says:

    viagra 10mg our newest member

    1. No no… no no no! Viagara won’t help you get robbed.

  6. Garcinia Cambogia says:

    Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out some
    additional information.

    1. You want a video of a tourist getting robbed? Well… hmm… I have a video on my old camera, you might have to track it down in Kathmandu. By the by, if you do track it down, y’mind sending it on back?!

  7. Kredyt na dowΓ³d says:

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

    1. Oddly, you hit the nail on the head on this one, (odd because I’m 99% sure you’re spam)… so yeah, there’s an issue with my rss, but I don’t use it at the moment anyway, you’re best of following my Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Instagram

  8. Em says:

    Great humour, it’s a fun way to share the tips yet you get the message across.

  9. Haha love your humour on this post – certainly an interesting twist on this type of article.

    1. Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed it.

  10. Revati says:

    Such useful information, but I love how you’ve put it across in such a fun way. We’ve never gotten robbed ourselves, and now thanks to you, we probably never will!

    1. Woah, hold the phone… The whole idea was to teach you how to get robbed… Don’t you get this message all twisted up and make it seem like I’m out there trying to be helpful, far from it… πŸ˜›

  11. melody says:

    you are warped and i totally love it. especially loved the part about the video camera OR the taking pictures with the iPad. nothing screams naive and non-threatening like that! great work.

    1. Hahahahaha thanks… ya the Ipads are new enough to the scene that I still catch myself gawking at tourists that rip them out to take photos… Don’t know if I’ll get over that one

      1. Tina says:

        I want to send you an award for most helpful innetret writer.

        1. Is that a highly sought after award?! I mustmust admit my ignorance at not even knowing that I was writing for the innetret…

  12. I have to admit that I’m still not convinced about getting robbed despite your eloquent article. Perhaps I too need a monkey to seal the deal.

    1. Oh it may be more difficult to do than most people imagine, but with a little bit of hard work and can-do attitude, you do can manage to be releaved of your valuable possessions.

  13. Susan says:

    I think this should be on the homepage of every Travelers Beware post warning travelers how dangerous every city outside of the US is.

    1. Totally agree, I’ve started sending it to all of them… but, you’d never guess it, it turns out they don’t have much of a sense of humour… Those bastards!

  14. Alli says:

    Okay, first, I laughed at your responses to the spam comments, interesting technique, lol! Secondly, I enjoyed your twist on this how to get robbed crash course πŸ™‚ It’s neat how you put it out there so blatantly, and it comes across as humorous, yet there are people out there who do almost everything on this whole list and act surprised when something happens to them or their stuff!

    1. Funny how much perception can change the reality in which we see the world… Especially the ‘foreign countries’ or ‘third-world’ or ‘undeveloped countries’ or any other absurdly patronizing term we can come up with, ain’t it?!

  15. Samantha says:

    A great twist in the hundreds of posts I must have read about how not to get robbed! πŸ™‚ I like your humor style of writing..

    1. Thanks Sam, glad you enjoyed it

  16. Katie says:

    Well, this had me laughing from the get-go and then I read all of the spammer comments and your replies and it made me almost want to write a comment kind of spammy just to hear your reply to it!

    Great idea for a post! I see most of these kinds of people when I go on vacation with my family to resort type places. You know the people who buy every kind of travel safety device when they go to an all inclusive resort in Mexico. I would add put an obviously bulging wallet in your back pocket to be picked off in no time!

    you have gained a new follower in me!

    1. Hahaha, Katie, as far as I know, no one has actually purposely spammed me just to see my reaction. You’d be the first πŸ™‚
      Glad you enjoyed the post; it was a lot of fun to write and a bit of a way to process some emotions after havng my camera stolen

      Oh, and great addition to the list, nothing quite like a George Castanza wallet to scream ‘rob me, I’m a victim of the superficial materialism of my own culture and need you, oh humble thief, do ease me of my heavy burdens’

  17. Ahaha this was a fun post to read…but then I went on and read the comments and was cracking up! Answering to spammers is hilarious the way you do it, I just always go and delete the messages…boooriingg! Kudos!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Steph, and y’know what they say, even spammers need love… and or a light sarcastic mocking that they’ll never actually read πŸ™‚

  18. Alejandra says:

    ahahaha ok this just made my day, or night actually and I just spitted out my apple juice which was the only part I didn’t enjoy about this whole experience of reading your post, so I guess you have a new fan and ill be damn sure not to drink while reading one of your posts. I have never been robbed but if I ever wanted to I have a very detailed list to follow, so thank you?

    1. Lale, sorry, I thought about opening the post with ‘I must warn you not to drink, especially anything sticky, whilst reading the next post as I’m attempting to be funny and you may just end up spitting it out… Due to either disgust or genuine laughter, either way it won’t work out so well for your keyboard… Unless of course the sticky beverage you’re drinking is Coke in which case spitting it out on your keyboard might just end up cleaning that thing right out… and/or disintegrating the whole thing’

      Glad you enjoyed it, and hey, here’s hoping that you overpack to a a severe extent one of these days and up actually finding this detailed list helpful… I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

  19. Elena says:

    Funny article! Could recognize many of the backpackers I’ve met travelling in it πŸ™‚ Usually English speakers! I’ve been to over 80 countries and got robbed only at home.. Ironic, isn’t it? They took the whole backpack (50L)!

    1. Hahaha, Elena up until this camera incident I was the same (although not 80 countries, damn you’ve been around!) … Crazy how things like that work out… and to top it off, I’m Canadian! Canuckleheads!

  20. Its not a good experience being robbed in a strange place. πŸ™

    1. Definitely true, though being robbed in a non-strange place ain’t no picnic either :p

  21. christine says:

    Ha very unique story!!

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it

  22. Another way to get robbed is when you exchange your money. They count it really fast and move things around so you get confused. Thats why they like to give you your money in small bills so it is hard to keep track of them!

    1. So so true Jenn… Though a part of me wants to throw it into a ‘scam’ section instead of the straight out robbing… Sure, it may just be semantics as you end up losing your money in both cases… But oh, how the little things can matter on the road :p

  23. Genevieve Coppens says:

    I appreciate you sharing this article post. Much thanks again. Awesome.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Genevieve

  24. Michele says:

    I see people doing the things you talk about often , we just try and blend in although it is challenging to elarn languages sometime thank you, please and a smile go a long way.

    1. Absolutely Michele, sometimes learning the local language is not as feasible as we would like it to be, but having a few key words can make all the difference in the world.

  25. Hello, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boringΒ‘K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

    1. Aaah… Well I’m glad you pointed this out… You see what happened is this: I’ve discovered that you were spending too much time in front of the computer and thus could not continue on your very noble cause of spamming people in order to encourage them to keep their teeth healthy. What could I do when faced with such unsettling information but to start writing in an incredibly boring manner to lose you as a reader. …now if you would be so kind as to get back to your honourable mission, I think I will go brush my teeth and re-contemplate the meaning of my life… Jerk! GrrrRRrr

      1. Bertha says:

        We need more inthigss like this in this thread.

        1. Many more ithigss… In all threads, we’re missing ithigss these days… They don’t make ithigss like they used to!!

  26. Aston Martin says:

    I’m also commenting to let you know of the helpful encounter my cousin’s daughter found browsing your webblog. She picked up plenty of issues, including how it is like to possess an ideal teaching mindset to get the rest easily know just exactly specific impossible subject areas. You undoubtedly surpassed our own desires. Many thanks for giving those interesting, trusted, edifying and also unique tips on your topic to Tanya.

    1. How does this work?? Do you just pick words at random and then try to make sentences out of it? I tend to tell people who speak English as a second language that Twain, Dickens and Joyce are difficult to read as their English is a little out of date… what’s my excuse for you?

  27. I’m so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

    1. This post is, quite literally, random misinformation! Please, for me, if you are going to try to make a living in marketing strategy… please go back to school. The only thing that comes across by you spamming me with this is that you can’t think of a better marketing strategy than spamming bloggers. From what I can tell you’ve screwed up on at least 3 of the 4 p’s in your marketing mix. School friend… Education… Learning… You know you need it.

  28. I need to print this out and hand one to every American tourist that comes to Costa Rica haha. This is excellent! And very true – for some reason people think it’s ok to flash all their money and then walk down a dark alley by themselves. Hmm…

    1. They absolutely do. And naturally, when someone steals something from them that’s worth the equivalent of a year’s working salary, they blame those damn thieves!

  29. Ohh was a super post, I just found this on stumble on… and will be sharing with fellow travelers now. You may want to link this up on Sunday with us here: I am sure they’d all love it.

    1. Thanks a lot, I will certainly do exactly that. You’ll be hearing from me on Sunday πŸ™‚ *goes to check what day of the week it is currently*

  30. Erin says:


    1. You must have a beautiful head of hair over there! πŸ˜‰

  31. Erin says:

    Crap! I missed how to grow my hair faster & longer? Denied an important public service! Alas, I will forever more have slow, stubby hair. *lip quivers*

    On the plus side: This post kicks butt! I!! love how you tipped it on it’s ear and made it…well, hilarious! Smart cookie AND providing excellent tips to us all. Had to Tweet it out!

    Now, how do I get that long flowing mane of hair?

    1. Hey Erin,
      So glad you could drop by from your caffeinated day tripping.
      You’re the first one that’s commented on me attempting to find the humour in spam… hahaha, I was wondering who it’d be πŸ™‚

      Glad to hear that you liked the post, and thanks a lot for the tweet.

      Regarding the horse mane, the next time those chemicals peddlers find me worthy enough to bombard with their bleitzkrieg (probably spelled that wrong), I’ll be sure to point them in your direction. ^^

  32. I just want to tell you that I’m very new to blogs and absolutely enjoyed this web page. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You really come with remarkable writings. Regards for revealing your web page.

    1. I just want to tell you that I’m very new to receiving a ton of spam and absolutely enjoyed receiving (all today) 47 of the same message, but am wondering why you couldn’t make it an even 50? Most likely I’m want to report your site and really don’t care if I can grow hair faster and longer… You really come with remarkably unimaginative writings. Regards for revealing your ‘fake comment’ spam scam πŸ˜›

  33. Abu says:

    Haha good one Stef!! True words! The best way to get robbed is to walk passed a wild Carnival with your camera and wallet in a backpack without a log. Have them spray the foem thingy on your face and take liberty of your bag. πŸ˜€

    1. Abu, Abu!

      Glad you like it, and you’re going to have to explain to me the story that goes along with your little walk through Carnival sometime πŸ™‚ We’ll find each other again someday… some crazy surfer town, on one of these continents, we’ll rock up there around the same time, I just know it πŸ˜‰

  34. The Guy says:

    Love it! This is great advice. I always believe in trying to travel light so if someone can take some weight off my hands it is appreciated. Who needs material stuff anyway? πŸ™‚

    I love your approach and take on this topic.

    1. Hey, so great to hear from you. I like the site you have going over at flights and frustrations.

      Totally agree with you, nothing like having some good chap come by to help you unload some weight and take a load of fanny so to speak… There’s some amazingly philanthropic folk out there. Always provides a great lesson in detachment and a little perspective πŸ™‚

  35. The hiker says:

    Hi JJ I feel like I am writing to myself. So good to read your travel experiences. I enjoy your wry humour and your perceptions. I enjoy reading about those far away places with strange sounding names. I am looking forward to your next posting. Ciao for now!

    1. Great to hear from you… I must admit that I didn’t figure out right away what you were talking about with the ‘feel like I am writing to myself’… but I’m on it now JJ! Get your other son to write in, he’ll feel even MORE like he’s writing to himself.

      Glad that you’re enjoying the ride… Can’t help but thinking of you currently hanging out in Kathmandu… that’s really really where I’m going to… If I ever get out of here… I’m going to Kathmandu… πŸ™‚

  36. desert rose says:

    Hey JJ, you are becoming quite a writer! Another proof of “Practice makes it perfect”! I am very much entertained by your stories…. wonderful! Thanks!

    1. Desert Rose… Great plant, lovely pen name!
      It’s so great to hear from you. Thank you very much for the encouragement… I’m probably my toughest critic and am sure that my writing will only continue to improve.
      Glad to provide some entertainment, and thanks for the kind words!

  37. girjaa says:

    Oh my goodness, Stef you cut me up, and totally, joyfully break up my day of writing….’in case a Monkey goes by Riding a Camel whilst chasing an Elephant in a Gorilla parade’… so funny. and how you refer back to it. So happy to be reading your blogs again… I have been missing them a lot. Stick with this blog path, JJ, more will catch on, and get as addicted as I.
    Love the feature picture…and the picture of you and Julian, and its caption!!

    1. Thanks a lot. It’s so great to get the feedback, and glad to know when attempted humour actually makes it out of the black and white screen to connect with people. Your encouragement is much appreciated, and glad that I could serve to break up the monotony of another writing day… πŸ™‚

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