Money. Passports. Smartphones. Laptops. Jewelry. These are just a few of the things you may find yourself carrying the next time you’re on the road. They’re also things that, if misplaced or stolen, can destroy your peace of mind and leave you scrambling for help.
It doesn’t matter if you’re backpacking across the European countryside, flying to the West Coast to look at Los Angeles homes for sale, or just taking a day-trip to the nearest Six Flags park, if you’re traveling with valuables, you need to be vigilant. Follow these simple precautions to make sure your personal belongings don’t end up becoming someone else’s personal belongings.
Keep Your Luggage Locked Up Tight
Most of the belongings you bring with you while traveling will be kept not on your person, but in your luggage. That’s fine when your bags are right in front of you, but what happens if someone intentionally or even accidentally makes off from the airport luggage pick-up with them? What happens if someone breaks into your hotel or vehicle?
While there’s no way to keep someone from stealing your bags entirely, except for keeping your eyes glued to them round the clock, even something as simple as putting a lock on them can discourage or slow down a robber enough to send them in search of an easier target.
Save Copies of Important Documents
Wherever you go, you need to have some kind of identification. That doesn’t just mean your driver’s license, though. If you’re traveling overseas, that could also mean your passport, visa, and immunization records. If you’re driving cross-country, it means automobile insurance, registration, and/or rental agreement papers.
It can be a lot to keep track of and losing even one of these things can cause all kinds of problems. That’s why it’s a good idea to scan copies of important documents into a computer, then email them to yourself so that you can access them virtually anywhere, any time.
Wear a Money Belt as Often as You Can
Don’t call it a fanny pack! A money belt might not be the most fashionable part of your travel wardrobe, but it might well be the most important. Despite the name, money belts can carry more than just your wallet; you can use them for keys, passports, mobile phones, and other such items, as well.
Instead of keeping these things in separate pouches or bags, you can consolidate them in one place. Money belts are also a lot more secure than your pants pockets, allowing you to keep easy-to-lose valuables on your person at all times.
Use Credit/Debit Cards Instead of Cash
If you’re really concerned about losing money or being robbed, consider reducing your use of cold hard cash as much as possible. Credit and debit cards have numerous advantages over paper money.
First, they’re easier to count and keep track of. If one goes missing, you can easily cancel or freeze it to prevent others from using it. You can have multiple cards, so if you do have to cancel one you’re not left entirely without finances. Last but not least, you can even get prepaid cards loaded with fixed amounts, which can help reign in impulse spending and mitigate accidental losses.