Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Bag on the Ground in Spain

“Don’t leave your bag on the ground,” the waitress lifted Andy’s handbag and placed it on an empty chair.

“Ah, in case someone might steal it?”

“No,” the waitress looked shocked at the suggestion. “It’s bad luck. If you put your bag on the ground, all the money will run away.”

I can’t remember where or even when this first happened. But every so often a waiter or a waitress will tell us the same when we absently place our bags on the ground. We’re clearly slow learners.

Earlier in the year we stopped at a café in Candelaria with my mum. Depositing our bags by our feet brought the waitress running across to scoop them up and put them on a chair, explaining in all seriousness about how unlucky it was to leave them on terra firma.

Bag on a stool

This doesn’t only happen in traditional places. A couple of months ago we stayed in the Royal Garden Villas in Costa Adeje. Again, placing our bags on the floor brought a waiter to our table pronto.

At Royal Garden Villas they took the tradition to the next level. Instead of putting the bags on an empty chair, they brought a couple of tiny wooden stools to our table, special bag chairs.

There aren’t many hotels which would provide chairs just for your bags. It was a really nice touch that made us smile.

So next time a waiter or waitress advises you not to put your bags on the ground, don’t automatically assume it’s because there are petty thieves around.


Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+


  1. I grew up to this superstition. My mother so to this day freaks out when she sees ladies placing their bags on the floor. For the same money loss reason. I was born in the former Yugoslavia.

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