5 Useful Travel Safety Tips to Protect Your Valuables
Posted on December 01 2021
Looking for useful travel safety tips to protect your valuables? Well, you’ve reached the right place. As a travel blogger (and a woman), I carry a lot of expensive gadgets and valuables on every trip I make. My luggage and backpack are always filled with a high-end DSLR camera, one to three GoPros, a few quality lenses, my MacBook Pro, iPad, some more gadgets, and a few sentimental pieces of jewelry that I always carry with me. And yes, a few pieces of clothes as well. So how do I keep all my valuables safe during my trips? Here are some of the key tips you should follow.
I admit, I often get distracted when I’m traveling in beautiful places for the first time. Most people do. Distractions can lead to carelessness. That’s why keeping my valuables safe while I travel is a top priority on every trip. So, here are a few useful travel safety tips I’ve learned over the 20+ years of traveling around the world.
1. I Use a Travel Safe For My Valuables
In most reputable hotels, the room safe is reliable, although it’s not 100% safe. There’s always the slight chance of dishonest hotel employees who might get their hands into the safe. I prefer to bring my own lightweight travel safe which can be secured to any solid fixture in the hotel room.
Then, when I go rafting (or do any other extreme sports), I leave my jewelry in the travel safe. Naturally, these are the most sentimental items I have, so they need the best protection. Having lost a few rings and bracelets in the past (usually while mountain climbing or sailing!) - I do my utmost to protect my favorite jewelry.
By the way, if you’re not familiar with Gogh Jewelry Design, it’s a unique line of stunning jewelry made from nature’s most basic elements. The founder, artist Szilvia Gogh specializes in distilling your needs to create amazing handmade jewelry. I love her items because they are not just beautiful, they have meaning and purpose. On top of that, Szilvia is a professional scuba diver, stunt woman and a photojournalist - which is practically all ME. Her jewelry is assembled in LA using curated materials from her travels around the world, including natural stones and crystals such as quartz, turquoise, lava and pearl.
Picture: My Mermaid Soul bracelet.
2. I Advertise My Trips, Only Afterwards...
Don’t get me wrong. I love social media, and practically spend half my life in it. However, I don’t share photos of my getaways while traveling. I’ve heard too many stories of homes broken into because of online stalkers.
Try to avoid sharing photos or info about your trips, including location sharing or dates. I know it’s hard, but hold on until you’re back home.
3. I Monitor The Airport Security
Did you ever lose something in the airport? I did. It wasn’t a big thing, just a brand new power bank for my iPhone. But I’m 97.5% sure it was swiped away from me by the airport security. How exactly? It’s very simple. As I went through the security scanning process, I emptied my carry-on items into the tray, including the brand new power bank I just purchased at the airport.
There was a little queue at the time, at the scanner machine. They asked me to walk through the metal detector while my tray was still waiting. I walked, it beeped, they checked me.
They had plenty of time to swipe my power bank out of the tray. I was too busy buttoning my shirt and wearing my belt to even notice. Stupid. Well, I learned my lesson. Since then, I monitor the airport security, check what I put into the tray and make sure I get it all back.
4. I Put My Valuables On My Lap
As a travel blogger for offMetro.com, my primary transportation modes are buses and trains. A ride to a new remote destination can last 10 hours or more, and it’s usually overnight. On my first night bus trip, I didn’t sleep for a second. I was just too afraid that if I snooze, someone will snatch my stuff while my guard is down.
After 2-3 bus rides, I learned a few tips from experienced backpackers. The secret is to stash all your valuables in a small backpack and put it on your lap or tucked in between your legs. You can wrap the bags’ strap around your leg to secure it. If someone tries to pull the bag - it’ll most probably wake you up.
When you go to the toilet, take your bag of valuables with you. And do me a favor - never leave any valuables in your big bag that is stored in the trunk under the bus with other people’s luggage. I’ve heard so many stories of beautiful bags lost forever.
Also, lock the zippers of your bags. Any sort of lock will do, as we just want to deter any potential thief from even trying.
5. I Stay Away From Pickpocketers
This is probably the most common of all travel safety tips, but I still see friends of mine falling prey to it. Whether you’re walking with a bag of valuable jewelry, a small purse with cash or just a credit card - you should be aware of pickpocketers. They will prey on anything of value that they can get. And they are so talented, they can get anything, and you won’t feel a thing.
Here are some key guidelines I follow to avoid Pickpocketers.
- I always look for suspicious characters: Thieves usually work in teams. One will come ask you for directions or the time, another will make some noise to distract you, while another will grab your iPhone.
- I avoid walking with my valuables through big clusters of people. That’s where these teams of thieves love to work.
- I hold my bag of valuables strapped close to my body, and zipped up. I never flap it around.
- I always divide my valuables into several places. It’s good to have two separate wallets where you can split the cash, cards and IDs. I put one wallet in my bag and the other tucked inside my jacket.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to make you paranoid or anything. But I do believe that in order to protect your valuables while traveling - you should be well aware of your surroundings. Try to identify those who look suspicious, and stay far away from them. Take care of your valuables and keep them safe.
I hope my travel safety tips help you as they’ve helped me, and that you never ever lose a thing.
Photo: Some of my Jewelry is always with me. In this image: My Gogh Jewelry, Turquoise Prehnite.