Hands of my stuff! Safeguard your cash, gear and devices with 13 safety tips to bring on your next overseas trip.
When you go to a new country on holiday, keeping your money and valuables safe is pretty essential if you want to have a good time. But with crooks and crims looking to make off with your stuff, you’re going to have to put a little bit of work into keeping your belongings safe. Here are 13 indispensable tips to help you to keep your valuables safe while travelling.
1. CARRY YOUR CASH IN DIFFERENT PLACES
Wherever you choose to keep your money, do not keep it all together. Instead, carry some cash in your bag, some in your pocket, and leave some back at the hotel. Even divide cash between your wallet and bag pockets, so that if your wallet is nicked out of your bag, you have cash stashed on hand. That way you can minimise the risk of losing it all in one go. Same goes with your credit cards, and identity cards, drivers licence, and passport. Don’t have all of your eggs in the same basket.
2. CARRY YOUR BACKPACK IN FRONT
If you are in a busy area or travelling on the metro or subway then make sure you carry your backpack in front of you. If you carry it on your back you are making it more accessible to thieves who will find it much easier to swipe your valuables without you noticing.
3. BE CAREFUL AT ATMS
Whenever you use an ATM abroad make sure that there is no one else too close behind you. It is also a good idea to only withdraw money from the ATMs inside the banks rather than the ones on the street. Never underestimate the tricks thieves can use to view your pin number.
4. CARRY A FAKE WALLET
Whenever you go out, keep a fake wallet on you with just a few notes in it. That way if someone does mug you then you can just hand over the fake wallet and keep your real one.
5. BE AWARE OF PICKPOCKETS
Pickpockets often operate in crowded places, so even though you might feel safe there is a good chance you are not. Be aware of anyone getting too close to you, and try to avoid getting stuck in large crowds where it is easier for pickpockets to operate.
6. INVEST IN A MONEY BELT
One of the simplest things that you can do when you go on holiday is to invest in a money belt. Dorky, yes, but it’s damn handy as a place to hide all of your notes, credit cards, and travel documents where thieves cannot see them, reducing the possibility of losing them.
7. ALWAYS LEAVE YOUR VALUABLES IN THE HOTEL SAFE
Most hotels, hostels, and guesthouses have a safe that you can use, either at the reception or in your room. Make use of it. If you only take out with you what you actually need you can significantly reduce the chance of losing any of your valuables.
8. ONLY KEEP SMALL AMOUNTS OF CASH IN YOUR WALLET
If you regularly need to take out your wallet then only keep a small amount of money in it. If you keep all of your spending money in your wallet then whenever you take it out you are advertising this money to everyone, and you never know who could be watching.
9. DON’T WEAR EXPENSIVE JEWELLERY
Try not to advertise your wealth when you go on vacation by wearing expensive jewellery. This may attract some unwanted attention and make you a more tempting target for thieves.
10. KEEP YOUR CREDIT CARD IN SIGHT
Whenever you spend money on your credit card, don’t let anyone take it out of your sight, especially in restaurants. Cards can be copied very quickly and this could put you at risk of fraud.
11. USE A PREPAID CARD
Instead of taking your credit cards on vacation, consider taking a prepaid card instead. You can top up the card with a small amount of money from your bank account, and then you know that this amount is the most that you can lose. In addition, many of these cards come with better rates when you spend money on them.
12. KNOW YOUR CARD CANCELLATION NUMBERS
Make sure that you keep your credit card cancellation numbers separately from your cards. That way, if you are unlucky enough to lose your cards then you can still call up your operator and cancel them before any money is stolen.
13. STORE COPIES OF ALL YOUR DOCUMENTS
Whenever you go overseas, make sure that you make some copies of your passport, flight tickets, insurance documents, hotel reservations, and anything else of importance. Scan the documents and either email them to yourself or upload them to a syncing program like Evernote. That way you can get access to your copies from anywhere with an internet connection.
“Real travel would be to see the world, for even an instant, with another’s eyes” – Robyn Davidson, Tracks