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luggage

Old Jul 12th, 2020, 09:38 AM
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luggage

WE will be visiting Slovenia and Croatia in the spring. WE will visit Plitvice NP and Mostar for day trips. Is it safe to leave our luggage in the car while we are there?

Thanks

David
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Old Jul 12th, 2020, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by davidjac View Post
. . . Is it safe to leave our luggage in the car while we are there?
No.
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Old Jul 12th, 2020, 11:52 AM
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While it isn't recommended to leave luggage in your car, the safest way would be to make sure that it is not visible in the trunk then backup against a fence, wall, or tree so the trunk can't be opened. Make sure nothing is visible in your car. You may also want to bring along some type of bike chain lock and secure it that way in the trunk before parking as above. Also, try to park in a well lit area/lot in an area with a lot of pedestrian traffic.

Last edited by joannyc; Jul 12th, 2020 at 11:59 AM.
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Old Jul 12th, 2020, 12:27 PM
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How much would it affect the happiness of your trip if your luggage was stolen?
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Old Jul 12th, 2020, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
How much would it affect the happiness of your trip if your luggage was stolen?
Indeed, that's the question. Unless the answer to that is that it wouldn't effect the trip at all, then don't do it. Because you ask the question I suspect it would, in fact, have an impact. And because no matter the precautions you might take to reduce the likelihood of theft, it happens a lot. And if you do all you can & leave it in the car, will you spend the time away from the car thinking about it? I would, which is why I never do it. Sometimes things go awry even when you've planned well but this isn't one of those. Find another way.
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Old Jul 12th, 2020, 02:01 PM
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joannyc 's advice takes into account the fact that some sights are visited on the way between two points. It is at times difficult to avoid leaving luggage in the car. A ski chain, which is retractable, can be used to attach two suitcases together, making it difficult to carry off. It would discourage the opportunistic thief but not the one who comes prepared with bolt cutters.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 06:17 AM
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Would the same be true for stopping at the postijna caves in slovenia?
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 07:34 AM
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The problem is most pronounced, though not limited to, places where tourists go and park their cars with luggage inside. If a car is identifiable as a rental it will be a target whether belongings are in sight or not. Leaving items visible will attract casual thieves but the more sophisticated will target any possibilities. Rental cars in some places have particular license plates if not other identifiers like stickers. Wherever you go and leave your belongings inside you'll be taking a chance so you must decide what that's worth to you.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by davidjac View Post
Would the same be true for stopping at the postijna caves in slovenia?
The same can be true ANYWHERE. It is best to plan an itinerary so one is not sightseeing/parking for more than a few minutes (staying in sight of the car) with luggage and other valuables inside. Not always easy but is the smart way to plan.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 11:23 AM
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Totally agree with janisj. Not only is it generally good advice at any time not to leave any valuables in a car anywhere in Europe, keep in mind that things are even worse right now. There are a gazillion unemployed people here in Europe, and in hard times people resort to measures they wouldn't normally resort to, to make ends meet. Even in our teeny little commune, where nothing ever happens and everyone leaves their doors and cars unlocked, the local gendarmerie is warning us of a rash of thefts nearby and telling us to make sure everything is locked up tight. It's not going to be any better next spring, IMO.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 01:05 PM
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That is very limiting. Using my visual references to my travels, I would guess that 50% of my European pictures outside large cities would not exist if I had followed your advice.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 01:57 PM
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Well, here is one other crazy possibility, which I have actually done a couple times when I had to park on a city street. It is a pain and sounds kind of stupid, but nobody bothered our things. Don’t pack it all in the suitcases. Before you leave the hotel, dump clothes and things around in the car. Make it look as if it was already broken into. Used cups tossed about. Newspapers and magazines in the local language tossed around. Leave the suitcases open so anyone can see what is left inside them. Throw in some cheap flip flops and a dirty beach towel. OK, laugh if you want.😸
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
That is very limiting. Using my visual references to my travels, I would guess that 50% of my European pictures outside large cities would not exist if I had followed your advice.

Consider yourself lucky. It is still good advice.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Consider yourself lucky. It is still good advice.
Do you have figures on the percentage of tourists who did have their car broken into when parked in public spaces? To which percentile must one belong to be considered lucky? I consider myself unlucky to have been in the 10% that have been pick-pocketed with serious losses (more than money).
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
Well, here is one other crazy possibility, which I have actually done a couple times when I had to park on a city street. It is a pain and sounds kind of stupid, but nobody bothered our things. Donít pack it all in the suitcases. Before you leave the hotel, dump clothes and things around in the car. Make it look as if it was already broken into. Used cups tossed about. Newspapers and magazines in the local language tossed around. Leave the suitcases open so anyone can see what is left inside them. Throw in some cheap flip flops and a dirty beach towel. OK, laugh if you want.😸
I would say that if parking on a city street where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic and following the instructions above as far as making certain everything is in the trunk, no tourist paraphernalia visible in the car, no accessing the trunk at your destination, etc., then you are doing everything you can do if you absolutely have no alternative. Obviously, it's not ideal but we all do what we must. How much are you willing to risk?

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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Do you have figures on the percentage of tourists who did have their car broken into when parked in public spaces? To which percentile must one belong to be considered lucky? I consider myself unlucky to have been in the 10% that have been pick-pocketed with serious losses (more than money).
Now you're just being silly (meant in the nicest possible way). I've never been pick pocketed but I still take precautions. And I haven't had anything stolen from a rental car, but know three different friends/relatives who have -- one with absolutely NOTHING visible in the passenger compartment and every single item stowed in the boot. So . . . do you feel lucky? That you haven't been robbed 'yet' doesn't make our advice wrong.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 10:15 PM
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There are stops and there are stops.

An overnight stop with street parking is much more dangerous than a short stop at a busy parking lot.

If you're stopping on the side of a country road to snap a photo there is very little risk. A rampaging cow might ram your car but very few empty fields have thieves hiding behind the trees.

OTOH a rest stop at a road side diner can be risky. Especially if you park out of the way in a hidden spot.

Not leaving stuff visible is a start but you'll see people stopping and putting things in the trunk or pulling things out. Anybody watching now knows the trunk isn't empty.

Reality is breaking into a car is less profitable than it used to be. Car radios and GPS units aren't worth what they used to be. People are more likely to look for your smartphone. Some will even break your window to steal the change you've set aside for tolls.
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Old Jul 13th, 2020, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Now you're just being silly (meant in the nicest possible way). I've never been pick pocketed but I still take precautions. And I haven't had anything stolen from a rental car, but know three different friends/relatives who have -- one with absolutely NOTHING visible in the passenger compartment and every single item stowed in the boot. So . . . do you feel lucky? That you haven't been robbed 'yet' doesn't make our advice wrong.
This is what Plitvice NP is: "Plitviče Lakes National Park is a 295-sq.-km forest reserve in central Croatia. It's known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes. The latter are the site of Veliki Slap, a 78m-high waterfall."

Now tell me how you are going to visit the place and not leave your car for more than 5 minutes, as per your suggestions: "It is best to plan an itinerary so one is not sightseeing/parking for more than a few minutes (staying in sight of the car) with luggage and other valuables inside." The same goes for Mostar whose interesting old town probably does not allow cars.



Last edited by Michael; Jul 13th, 2020 at 11:26 PM.
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Old Jul 14th, 2020, 04:45 AM
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Safest solution: Stay overnight somewhere convenient to your tourist site. Store your stuff at the lodging. Go to the site with an empty car.
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Old Jul 14th, 2020, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody View Post
Safest solution: Stay overnight somewhere convenient to your tourist site. Store your stuff at the lodging. Go to the site with an empty car.
If you look at all the tourist cars crowding the parking lots of the popular sights, it is clear that this is not always possible. That is why joannyc's advice makes more sense. Actually, the safest solution is to travel by public transportation, which is not always possible. Even relatively isolated areas are subject to car break-ins. Taken at a small overlook:


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