How to Keep Your Valuables Safe While Traveling
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Keeping valuables safe while traveling is always at the back of each and every traveler’s mind to one degree or another. Having something valuable such as a laptop or a camera stolen while overseas can really dampen your holiday spirits and leave a sour taste in your mouth; as can obsessing about keeping them safe.
So here are ten quick tips to help safeguard your valuables and ensure a worry free holiday.
Tips for Keeping Valuables Safe while Traveling:
1) If you’re staying in a hostel make sure you choose a hostel with private lockers (preferably inside your dorm room).
2) Did you know that most insurance providers will not pay out for items stolen from lockers where others have access (ie: the hotel staff have access to the key)? In laymens terms this means do NOT use a key and lock provided by staff if you are concerned about your belongings getting stolen at your hostel or hotel – bring your own lock with you and use it instead of one given to you by the hostel manager.
3) If you don’t have access to lockers you can use the hostel/hotel safe (although you will have to check with your insurance if it will cover items stolen from here – as above). This option isn’t entirely recommended due to the insurance factor but is better than nothing if you have no other options.
4) When keeping valuables safe within your backpack or suitcase, wrap them in clothing so they aren’t immediately visible if someone was to riffle through your bag. Most crimes are opportunistic so if you’re highly unlucky and have a criminally minded hostel mate, they’re looking for the quickest and easiest steal.
5) If you’re super paranoid about having your bags slashed you could try pac-safe although this option comes with mixed reviews. Some say it may make your bag more of a target by pointing out that you have something valuable enough to protect but others swear by it. I personally have never used it.
6) Carry valuables on your person most of the time. While this could be a bad idea if you’re walking around a bad neighbourhood (there are certain places where you should leave your valuables at your hotel), it does stop you someone stealing it from your bags back at the hostel. This should be especially easy in the case of a camera as you’ll be taking it most places anyway; less easy when carrying around a laptop (you may want to leave this at your hostel/ hotel inside a locker in a hostel, or somewhere in your private room).
7) ‘Crapify’ your belongings. The art of making your $4000 camera look like a $2 piece of junk. I haven’t done this personally but it can be a good idea depending on where you’re going and how enthusiastic you are about safety.
8) Never carrying your wallet in your back pocket, NEVER. You will just be asking for it to be stolen.
9) You can wear a money belt to keep your passport, money and other smaller items safe but they are often bulgy and uncomfortable and not a great deal of younger people wear them. Try sewing in a hidden pocket somewhere (if you’re handy) or hiding cash in your shoes if you can’t stand the money belt option. If you do go for a money pack there are more styles than the classic round the waist version, some go around thighs or arms.
10) Be aware of your surroundings – if someone is acting strange around you move away from them. It doesn’t matter if it looks rude.