Nothing can spoil a trip faster than discovering that your valuables are missing. Both business and leisure travelers are at risk for theft or lost belongings, but there are steps that you can take to keep your valuables safe while on the road.
Tip 1: Lock up your valuables at the hotel.
You may feel secure leaving your laptop or passport in your locked hotel room while you are out seeing the sights or using the pool, but that sense of safety is misleading. Consider that many hotel employees have access to your room and that it is the routine in some hotels to leave room doors propped open while housekeepers are at work. How hard would it be for someone to pop in unseen or for a dishonest cleaner to slip your cash into a pocket?
Hiding items in suitcases or drawers may keep temptation out of sight, but is unlikely to stymie most thieves. If your room offers a hotel safe, lock up any valuable electronics, cash, identification, or credit cards anytime you leave you the room. This is a safer option than leaving items unsecured and in many locations, may be safer than bringing valuables with you.
Tip 2: Know your destination.
Doing research before your trip can help you assess the safety of your destination. Some areas may be more prone to pickpockets or parts of town may be unsafe after dark. Knowing about your destination can help you to plan your trip with safety in mind.
If pickpockets and petty theft is a concern, consider using a money belt or other out-of-site or protected method. Some travelers may even carry a decoy wallet with a small amount of cash to fool thieves. Remember that staying alert is important even if safe areas, especially in unfamiliar places. Consider keeping your wallet in a front pocket and leaving your valuable phone or jewelry out of side.
Tip 3: Secure your luggage.
During air travel, wise packing can help avoid the loss of valuables. Checked luggage can be locked to avoid unauthorized access. TSA-safe luggage locks are available that allow access to TSA officials during their job and avoid the need for the lock to be cut off for a baggage search. Before traveling, take a picture of your checked bags and mark them with a visible luggage tag as well as leaving contact information in an inner pocket. This can make it easier to identify your bag if it is lost or stolen.
Most importantly, keep valuable items with you in your carry on rather than checking them. Tablets, computers, expensive jewelry, and other valuables may not be covered if a checked bag is lost or damaged. Leave these items out of your checked baggage and remember to keep an eye on them. Never leave personal items unattended in the airport and stay alert for the possibility of theft during periods of distraction, such as after security screening. If you put your carry on luggage in an overhead compartment, try to select a compartment that is within view of your seat to prevent another passenger from picking up your bag without your knowledge.
Remaining vigilant and traveling smart can keep your valuables safe and secure during your vacation or business trip. The steps to keep items safe are simple enough to avoid interfering your trip while still giving you the confidence that an unexpected loss will not ruin your vacation.