Securing your valuable luggage is essential to enjoying a good time while touring a new country. But with criminals everywhere, you are going to need effective strategies to protect those precious items. Nothing spoils a trip faster than experiencing luggage losses. If you are heading abroad for a fun adventure or business function, implement these indispensable measures to protect your valuables.
1. Pack only essential items
It helps to be frugal when packing, and ensure you don’t take more items than you need. Carefully choose credit cards, jewelry collections, and electronic devices for the trip. You may not need huge stacks of cash since you can find ATMs at your destination. The biggest packing mistake you can make is setting yourself up as an easy target by displaying any precious item in public. You may want to pre-inform your bank of your international trip so your transactions won’t trigger suspicious activity alerts. A prepaid card may be a good idea to cap the funds available to you in case you fall into the wrong hands, so keep this in mind.
2. Do your research
One of the key security checklists to follow when traveling abroad is researching the destination. If you plan to visit a tourist hotspot, check out the stats on the crime rate in the zone, local government warnings, and the history of tourist scams. Is the destination popular for rampant pickpocketing and mugging? How safe is the place for tourists? Can you get help when in need? Answers to these questions will help you set your expectations so you can prepare for the unfriendly experiences. The ultimate goal for researching an international travel destination is to ensure you don’t become overly paranoid, which can ruin the fun of the trip. You will find it safer to avoid high-crime places, so keep this in mind. Exploring beyond your comfort zone may be fun, yet it can have potential risks. As long as you know the background of the place you are traveling to, you can maximize your luggage and personal security.
3. Use the hotel room safe
If your accommodation plan includes an in-room safe, you may want to use it to protect belongings like passports, credit cards, and cash. However, if your hotel room does not have one, but you need to store precious items, then consider getting a portable safe. It is usually made from nylon canvas fabric, and comes with a water-resistant storage compartment to protect your belongings.
4. Make copies of important documents
Scanning copies of your travel documents like passports, hotel reservations, insurance, and flight tickets is one way to protect yourself. You can save them in your email for easy access in case you lose or misplace the original documents.
5. Carry your backpack in front
Make sure you wear your backpack in front of you when heading to busy places like the metro or subway. This deters thieves from tampering with it, so keep this in mind. Alternatively, you may want to buy a tamper-proof bag for your international trips, as thieves can’t slash them with a knife. Get this to boost the safety of your belongings in a busy train or other crowded areas.
6. Use nearby luggage storage facilities
Booking nearby luggage storage facilities is one of the best ways to protect your essential travel belongings. They help international travelers conveniently keep their valuables at affordable rates. Therefore, ensure there are such facilities in your destination area. For instance, if you plan to travel to London soon, just research luggage storage in London to find a host of secure storage solutions to meet your needs.
Luggage storage locations are often accessible 24/7, so whether you are on an important business trip or a long layover, you can book the units without any worries. Loads of souvenirs, laptops, and other belongings can weigh you. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on lockers at airports since they are non-existent in many places because of security reasons. Leaving your bags with storage providers will allow you to easily move around the town, which may be crucial to reduce stress and make the most of your trip.
7. Be careful when using the ATM
Be careful at ATMs when in new locations. As a tip, always ensure there is no one close to you when withdrawing your cash. Also, the ATMs near the banking premises are safer than using those on the street, so feel free to consider this.
8. Get a dummy wallet
The first thing robbers may demand is your wallet. Having a dummy wallet is a great strategy to outwit a criminal. Just ensure you keep a little cash on the decoy to fool the thieves better. If you are being mugged, hand over the fake wallet, keeping the original out of sight.
9. Get a money belt
A money belt may not sound stylish. However, it’s an effective technique to keep your cash and other monetary materials safe. A money belt can also store travel documents, including your passport. Get the slim and subtly shaded one to ensure the public won’t notice it.
10. Buy travel insurance
It’s also important that you don’t skip travel insurance when embarking on an international trip. No matter how well you plan your journey, external factors may put things beyond your control. Securing travel insurance is a good way to plan for uncertainties, so seek coverage for your valuable belongings. Most travelers wrongly assume that international travel insurance doesn’t cover lost pieces of luggage and canceled flights. However, you can enjoy these benefits if you get comprehensive travel insurance. Domestic travel insurance plans may not have this benefit in their policies, so consider international insurance when requesting quotes.
11. Be attentive
Feel free to explore new places, but make sure you are not careless. As a tip, keep an eye on your belongings, and never leave your luggage unattended on the seat, under your chair, or inside the train’s rack. Forgetting about a bag is easy, especially when it’s not close to your body. Unfortunately, this can result in losses since nefarious individuals can easily stash your valuables without your notice. Consider securing your bag with a cable lock if you have to put it down.
You may require a plain-looking case for your laptop to ensure you can use it in public without drawing people’s attention. Furthermore, consider reducing your phone usage in public, especially if the device is the expensive and popular type.
Avoid dozing off in public places, including public transportation, as it could leave you vulnerable to theft. Pickpockets may grab your bag and speed off when you are inattentive, so keep this in mind.
12. Hide things in different places
Storing all your valuables in one location is never a good travel tip. If thieves make away with one bag, you could be up against the sad reality of losing everything. Therefore, consider hiding stuff in multiple places. Spread your valuables like cash across your luggage, allowing you to access back-up cash in the event of losing some belongings.
There are several creative ways to do this. For instance, you can sew back-up cash behind your backpack or roll money in socks and keep them at the bottom of your bag. An empty deodorant case allow you to store keys, cards, and other small materials. Ladies may even choose to hide valuables in their tampon boxes, knowing few people would want to look in there.
13. Track your bags with Bluetooth technology
Bluetooth receivers like Tile Mate are a smart idea to monitor your bag while exploring international destinations. You can keep the receiver in your luggage, backpack, and purse. This will enable you to track your belongings at the airport with an app. The Tile Mate allows you to log into the app and create a sound alert if your missing bag is somewhere nearby. Additionally, you can send a ringing alert to help you find a missing phone nearby.
14. Invest in RFID-blocking wallets, backpacks, and purses.
Advanced passports, credit cards, and driver’s licenses now come with radio frequency identification(RFID) chips. These chips can wirelessly transmit information to anyone with an RFID scanner. Even though they were initially designed for easy scanning of IDs, RFID chips now find applications in electronic pickpocketing (RFID skimming).
Tech-savvy thieves may bring a handheld scanner near your stuff to steal information on your bank card or passport. The malicious actors can walk away with your sensitive information without ever touching your bag. Thankfully, there are several wallets and purses with RFID-blocking features. You may need these to stop professional thieves from skimming your RFID chips, so feel free to consider this.
Traveling to new countries can be exciting, as you get to explore new cultures. However, losing your stuff isn’t fun, as it can put you in a state of panic. Since the goal is to create positive memories and experiences, use these clever ideas to secure your things as you move around the world.