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Luggage safe left in car while travelling in Italy and France?

Luggage safe left in car while travelling in Italy and France?

Jul 2nd, 2000, 11:24 AM
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Luggage safe left in car while travelling in Italy and France?


We are travelling along French and Italian riviera for several weeks in a rental car. I'm assuming some of our luggage will need to
be left in the back seat given the car is sort of small. I'm also assuming we will be stopping for sight seeing and meal breaks during our trip in between hotel stays, most likely in small town rather than large cities. I was wondering if we need to be concerned about having our car broken in to during these stops. Not sure if
car theft in smaller towns in Italy and France is a problem or not. Your input would be appreciated.


Jul 2nd, 2000, 01:30 PM
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Never leave anything visible in your car! It's an open invitation, especially if what's on view tells the potential thief that your a tourist/visitor, and luggage sure does that. Further, even if you are able to store your luggage in the trunk, don't leave telltale items like maps lying around on a seat or the dashboard. That's also a sure sign that you're a tourist, and because of that, your trunk may be worth breaking into. I don't know, maybe it's less of a problem in small towns, but the theft potential is still there.
Jul 2nd, 2000, 03:45 PM
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I second the opinion that you should not leave anything visable in the car. The little european cars are easy to crack. Get one that has a shield, if it doesn't have a truck so that it is not visable..what you have inside.
Jul 2nd, 2000, 07:40 PM
Scott McDonald
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A couple of years ago my wife and I spent a week at Easter in Paris. We had rented a car in Amsterdam and driven down to Paris through Bruges.

Upon arrival in Paris, we drove to Gare du Nord to visit the excellent hotel reservation desk there. We'd visited Paris before and were familiar with the somewhat unsavoury neighborhood around the station, so we ensured that our bags were completely concealed under the cover in the hatchback and we purposely parked on quite a busy pedestrian street...and were in the station for fiften minutes. I'm sure you've already guessed the rest of the story....we returned to find a small side window broken and our bags gone.....we lost almost all but what we were wearing. Fortunately, we had taken our $$$, important papers,passposts and airline tickets in our body wallets....and our camera and a few other small things in our daypack into the station with us.

An unhappy away-from-home experience such as we had in Paris can happen to anyone...anywhere...even here in Canada(but not too often, please). Hopefully...and probably...it won't. But when you're thousands of miles from home in a place where you don't speak the language...it's prudent to have your most important possessions (the rest of your stuff you can replace)well-concealed on your person, and photocopies of them.....itinerary, passpost, credit cards, airline tickets, optical prescription?.....with a friend at home you can call if necessary, in spite of your best efforts to protect those papers.....you could lose them. It's probably smart to also take along a copy with you (to keep in a separate place) in case you can salvage that yourself.

But don't get too uptight about personal security...it could ruin your trip. Just take a few sensible precautions and you'll have a great time!


Jul 3rd, 2000, 04:19 AM
Mary Ann
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As stated above try to leave nothing in view. Last fall we had a Ford Mondeo station wagon which was of some concern because it just had the pull cover for the luggage for the 4 of us. Where possible we used secure parking garages or lots. On the french riviera, we did take all our luggage in and just used the hotel's lot. Even in Beaune, a relatively small town, staying inside the wall, the small hotel recommended a garage, over parking on the street. The only place we went in Italy was Venice, where we used the Tronchetto garage. We had to leave the bulk of our luggage and we tried as they did above, parking in the higher traffic areas, by the windows, etc. Everything was fine. Do not even leave newspapers (USA today type)or remnants of nibbles, all of which we were told were more remnants of American tourists (they do not know my husband)! Someone once suggested leaving local language newspapers! You may want to reconsider how much luggage you are taking so that all would fit in the trunk. We had everything in it, except for one tote. We emailed ahead to see what the places we were staying recommended for parking. We spent 20 nights, including visiting Eastern Europe, and all went well with the luggage. Use precaution and have a great time!
Jul 4th, 2000, 02:15 AM
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Don't mess around in the boot of your car before you leave it.
Stop somewhere a few minutes before & do any repacking needed.
After you park, walk away.
Thieves watch for someone who parks then starts stashing stuff in the boot.(trunk?)
Jul 4th, 2000, 09:22 AM
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Use the same precautions you would at home when traveling by car. Unless you frequently leave cameras and luggage in plain view in your car while you pop into the Mall or to get something to eat, or are seen rearranging the trunk contents and showing the world what's in there (or what you just bought)before locking up and going sightseeing for hours you should be OK. Try real hard not to leave anything in the back seat, re-think the amount of luggage you are taking. Thieves know what tourists carry around and they watch. In some countries rental cars are clearly stated as such with stickers. If you are American it is hard to hide that fact. In small towns you should be fairly safe (using precautions just the same) but I'd be sure to have my luggage in the hotel if I were touring around a larger city/town. Why take chances?
Jul 4th, 2000, 10:28 AM
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Try to always think like a thief. Others have mentioned this also, no thief is going to open my truck/boot when my car is parked in front of my house because there isn't anything to steal. He is going to wait in my area at the beaches or the parking lot for the bike/walking path for people to put the wallet/purses in the truck. Ditto the malls at xmas time. For tourists they really don't want your luggage, clothes, or toiletries but any valuables you leave inside. But they must be quick so they grab the bags and take-off. This is what I do when I leave my suitcase in the trunk but you might want to do the same thing in the backseat. Go to a hardware store and buy a few (3-4) meters of strong but *small* linked chain and a small but sturdy padlock. Run the chain thru *all* the handle rings and pull handle if its wheeled (on my suitcase they would have to cut 4 handle rings and break the pull handle) and secure it to something in the car. I would if possible leave the suitcases wide open on the back seat so they could see nothing of value was in them and make sure the chain/lock is very visible.
If I was a thief I'd pass on stealing that luggage, no profit and I would waste valuable time cutting the straps and trying to carry away suitcases with *no* handles. HTH Regards, Walter

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