The most common question in travel communities, how to keep your things safe when traveling? whether it’s in a hostel, using public transportation or on the beach. Check those travel safety tips to reveal the secrets of how to keep your stuff safe.
To travel in safety you should follow the following tips:
1. Safety Tip before leaving home:
Before leaving for your trip, and if you are traveling with some super expensive stuff, you should check your travel insurance.
For example, if you’re a photographer and you really want to pack your DSLR, paid thousand dollars, then you notice that your travel insurance doesn’t cover expensive personal items like Laptops and Cameras. If this case you should leave your DSLR home and never risk it.
If you’re worried about losing something simply don’t pack it in your backpack, when you are seriously concerned about losing things and you’re panicking about it, just leave it at home it’s not worth it.
While sometimes it’s really important to pack your DSLR (taking pictures for your blog) or traveling with your Laptop (working as a Digital Nomad while abroad), then you should think about an add-on for the travel insurance to cover the expensive stuff.
The cost of the insurance can’t be as expensive as losing your important things, also you’ll get the peace of mind when traveling.
2. Hostels Safety Tip:
Most hostels do have lockers but they won’t give you the lock, you can rent one from the front desk at the hostel, or simply buy one prior to leaving.
The lock doesn’t have to be a massive or an expensive padlock, some of those come with a key or a code to unlock.
Make sure to pack one of those small locks to use it on the hostel’s locker to keep your valuables safe.
Also if you arrive in a hostel you will automatically have a feeling if it’s a cool place and people there seem nice. Some hostel has bad vibes and you’ll feel uncomfortable leaving your things in the hostel.
When encountering this situation, you can just leave that hostel and try to find another one, you have the freedom to move, change your mind and change your plans because your safety is more important than anything else.
I personally always make a plan B for those situations, yes you’ll be spending more money on the next hostel, but you’ll feel safer.
Your safety is way more important than anything else including losing a deposit of however much you paid for the first -apparently- not safe hostel.
Even if you feel the hostel is safe, you should keep your belongings in your backpack and under your bed (besides using the locker for other stuff). Believe me, I traveled a lot and things get stolen in hostels more than anywhere else.
Another tip, keep your valuables deep inside your backpack/suitcase, if anyone is frisking your belongings, don’t make it easy for them to take your DSLR who’s packed on top of your clothes, obvious!
You don’t have to be worried because this kind of stealing does not happen too much. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Passport and Documents
When traveling in your country you should never bring your passports, some people do take their passports in case they go on a spontaneous trip abroad.
Always leave your important documents home, even when traveling outside your country, make sure to leave back home your driver’s license, ID and other documents, as you’ll not need them in this other country you’re visiting.
The only case where you can take your important documents with you is when staying a good reputable hotel. They should have a safe at the front desk, sometimes even hostels do offer safes or keep your valuables with the stuff until you leave.
4. Don’t look a Rich Tourist:
You need to avoid wearing precious pieces of jewelry, walking with iPods or iPhone on your hand, or having your diamond earrings in your gold chain while walking down the street looking like the ultimate tourist with way too much money and ready to get robbed.
Always try to wear casual, nothing fancy or even brand new when visiting touristy places (expect f you’re a model visiting Milan); also when shopping on your trip, make sure not to buy a lot of stuff in one single trip to the mall.
To sum up, take your expensive jewelry off, don’t walk around holding your iPhone, you might not feel very safe and will attract thieves easily.
5. Avoid being a Target:
One time I was in Thailand, a group of three people from one country (can’t say which one) stole 15 iPhones in one night, it was after a party where everyone came back drunk.
Getting robbed is easy when you’re in a bar, having multiple shots and not very attentive. Some people can get drunk after the 5th beer, others smoke the first weed cigarette in Amsterdam.
You’re more of a target if you are absolutely smashed off your face got plenty of money in your wallet, having your iPhone in your pocket and your camera is hanging. So you should pick one of those, being absolutely wasted while you have nothing expensive on you, or stay sober while keeping your stuff with you.
6. The Best Way to Carry Money:
Travel cards are the best, the ones where you can load on the go, some of them have lower fees and sometimes without fees, all you have to pay is the ATM withdrawal fee.
I personally use Paysera when traveling into Europe, no fees at all, expect the 1€ fee when withdrawing using ATM machines. While traveling into the US I prefer using TransferWise card, easy and can be used in multiple currencies.
Picking the best travel card depends on your travel style, country, income and mostly your expenses, so I can’t recommend the exact card, the mentioned above as just references.
While traveling with cash, or withdrawing cash on the trip, make sure to take small amounts, sometimes it’s better to carry both local and foreign currency in case of any emergency.
Also, in order to decrease the ATM fees, make fewer withdrawals (I know that withdrawing cash in Asian countries is really expensive). For example, If you’re going on a four-weeks trip try withdrawing once a week from the ATM, reducing the fees and being sure not to carry more than enough (and risking the cash), also split the cash between your pocket, wallet, sockets, moneybelt… and leave the rest in the hotel’s safe box.
How much you can carry depends on the activity your planning on that day, if you’re just going out for a coffee, lunch, so make sure to take enough to pay for your meal. When going out on a big day, multiple activities involved, try booking the activities online first, and only carry some money to pay for the extras.
If you’re going to spend the day on the beach, that’s a different situation, keep reading the last tip to know how to keep your belongings safe while enjoying the beach stay.
7. Travel Safety Tips on Beach:
You don’t need to take everything to the beach, I saw people using their laptops, taking selfies using expensive cameras, putting the iPhone on the beach table while using sunscreens. It’s like if someone is saying “Hey there, I’ll be swimming for the next 15mn, you can steal my Laptop”
You do not need to take your DSLR to the beach, neither your Laptop or your expensive Rolex. You just have to take minimalist things if you’re going for a day. Especially if you’re not traveling in a group.
Likewise, there is no need for you to take fancy-schmancy technology, still, you can carry your DSLR, keep it in your backpack and use only if you feel it’s the moment to take the picture of the perfect sunset. Also, keep in mind that thieves target the crowded spots on the beach so if you’re carrying expensive things, keep away from those spots.
Spending a day at the beach should be focused on swimming and relaxing, not being vigilant all the time protecting your things.
Sometimes covering your stuff with a towel is sufficient, but if you’re worried about your car keys, wallet and credit cards, use a waterproof bag and take the team for a swim.
The best way to enjoy swimming is to take only a few important things, it can be a book, your phone to take pictures, and a small amount of money for a coffee.
Finally, as a piece of overall advice try to use your common sense, follow your gut, not to show all your possessions off and try to follow these tips for your safety and have a safe trip.