It doesn't take asking around to much to find someone that has had some sort of valuable stolen on a vacation. Many times these situations can be avoided with some proper planning beforehand. Below are some tips to help keep you and your valuables safe.
Before You Travel
When you plan what are you going to bring beforehand, think about if you need to any expensive items. This can include jewelry, clothes, electronics, etc. Chances are you probably don't need as much as you think. If you do need to bring expensive items, carry them with you at all times. Don't check them with luggage.
Speaking of checked luggage, a quick tip is to use a paperclip to secure the zippers on luggage together. This can be opened by airport security in case of a random check on your bag. But would take too long to open for someone looking to use their five finger discount. Of course you can use locks. However, if your bag ends up being selected for a random security check, the officers will cut open the locks. And in all honesty, in my experience locks can be a pain to deal with.
One of the most critical items to your travels is your passport. Before you leave, it is important to make copies. Don't neglect this step, it is critical to have copies if your passport is stolen. You can even scan it and email it to yourself so you have an electronic copy as well.
When you are traveling, always lock your passport up in the safe in your rooms Get in the habit, no matter how nice the hotel/resort/cruise is. If you need to have your passport on you, put it in a pocket where no part is poking out. You can even a passport holder or flat money belt against your body.
Both Sandy and I know of multiple people that have been traveling and have had their passports stolen. All the victims were females traveling in Europe. They were out enjoying the night life. None of them were too inebriated that they lost track of it. All of them had their passports in their purses when they were taken.
Jewelry, Electronics, and other Valuables
For any valuables, it is important to remember to carry them with you as you fly. This can be burdensome, especially if you are like my family that brings their big SLR camera and battery pack on most trips.
I can't say that I've ever had to worry about jewelry on vacations, because I don't wear anything besides a wedding ring. However, if I did wear more, I would absolutely not bring anything expensive. The less you can bring, the better. Less to keep track of, less to lose, less for bad guys to steal.
In regards to electronics, try and pack only what you know you will use. For example, now that we've been traveling with our one year old more, I've been reading less and less on trips. I don't need to bring my e-reader. Typically a magazine or single book will last me most of the trip!
We do travel with an iPad. What is nice is that I've always been able to store the iPad in the safe. I typically don't travel with a laptop if I can get away with it. Because smartphones have become such an extension of daily lives, carry them on you at all times or leave them in your safe.
Passwords and Internet Safety
Keeping passwords and electronics safe is becoming more of an issue the further into the twenty-first century we go. Even though I'm by no means an expert, there are a few things I always do to try and stay safe. The first is to have a security code on my phone and iPad. That way if they area stolen, the information is harder to get to.
There are many bogus WiFi hotspots out there. This is especially when traveling to places in Europe or Caribbean where tourists are known to be spending time. Always get legitimate networks and passwords from the front desk or store clerks where you happen to be spending time.
If you are going to enter a password into a device or public computer, I always make sure it isn't likely to be saved. I try and use the incognito mode if possible.
Last, but certainly not least, I can't overemphasize how important it is to purchase travel insurance. Most insurance policies will cover the cost of stolen possessions. For the small cost of insurance, the piece of mind that comes with it is incredible.
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