When you’re traveling internationally, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the trip and planning the itinerary for the duration of your stay. And while it’s important to have a plan for how you’ll spend your time away, it’s equally important to plan ahead to avoid theft. There’s nothing worse than being thousands of miles away from home and having something valuable stolen, especially if it’s the money you needed to pay for daily expenses while you’re there. Our tips to avoid theft will put your mind at ease, while keeping your valuables protected.
Keep your money close to you.
Pickpockets look for obvious targets, like someone whose purse is hung on the chair behind them in a restaurant, or someone who set their wallet down on a table. Never set your money down anywhere, and avoid counting cash on the street. One way to avoid theft is to not carry a purse or wallet at all. Money pouches that go underneath your clothing are a great alternative, as it’s difficult for someone to steal something they don’t know is there in the first place.
Use a credit card or debit card with your picture on it.
Cashiers don’t always ask the customer paying with the card to see identification. One tip to avoid theft in this case is by getting a credit card or debit card with your picture on it. That way, even if the cashier doesn’t ask for ID, your picture is right there on the card and, chances are, the criminal doesn’t look enough like you to pass as your twin.
Never keep all your money in the same place.
One of the common mistakes travelers make is carrying all their cash on them, all the time. How could anything get stolen if you always keep it with you? Remember that pickpockets make their living from stealing, and they’re very good at what they do. Never carry more cash on you than what you need for that day, and always keep your money in at least two different places. That way, if something gets stolen, at least you have a back-up plan.
Ask for a hotel room with a safe in it, if available.
Many hotel rooms abroad come with optional safes that you can pay an additional fee to use. Trust us, it’s worth it. It’s a great idea to not only put your cash and credit cards in there when you’re not using them, but also your other valuables, such as an expensive camera, jewelry, or important identification, such as a passport.
If it’s expensive and irreplaceable, don’t bring it.
While we’re all creatures of comfort and like to have our things with us while we’re away, there are some items that should just be left at home. Although you might want to pack your great grandmother’s necklace to wear to a fancy occasion, sometimes it’s just not worth the risk.
… But if you have to bring it, get it insured.
If you’re packing expensive items that are needed for your trip, such as golf clubs, a surf board, a camcorder, or a high-quality camera, look for an insurance plan that covers baggage and personal effects. RoamRight offers a number of insurance packages you can choose from, like our Active Sports Vacation Insurance Plan, which covers up to $2,500 for baggage and personal effects (including sporting equipment).
What suggestions do you have for avoiding theft?