Tips for Traveling with Valuables: Avoid Theft and Burglary

Although you might never have the need to travel with valuables, it is important to know how to safeguard them in the event you are ever forced into this situation. Theft and burglary are more common when traveling than while at home, and you don’t want to lose money or valuables to a criminal who targets tourists and travelers.

1- Consider Traveler’s Checks

Even if you won’t be traveling with valuables, you still may need access to cash, which is just as susceptible to theft and burglary. Instead of cash, purchase traveler’s checks in different denominations, and write down the serial numbers in a safe location. You might also want to leave a copy of those numbers with a friend or relative back home, then put a check-mark next to teach number as you use it to buy things. This way, if they are stolen, you can have them immediately canceled to avoid losing the money.

2- Use the Hotel Safe

Many upscale hotels come with in-room safes that are useful for traveling with valuables. Even if your room is a target of theft or burglary, it is doubtful that a criminal can crack the code for your hotel safe. Make sure that the hotel management has changed the combination since the last guest, and close the door carefully every time you need to open it.

3- Bring a Single Bag

You might not be traveling with valuables when you start your vacation or business trip, but after a few days in a new city, shopping will begin to accrue. When you shop, carry a single large bag, preferably with a snap closure on the top. You make an easier target for theft or burglary if your laden with packages and bags, and you’ll be less likely to notice if someone relieves you of one of your possessions. Plus, this will leave you with a free hand to defend yourself.

4- Avoid ATMs

It is never a good idea to use an ATM while traveling, especially if you’re withdrawing large amounts of cash. To avoid theft or burglary, use ATMs in closed vestibules of familiar banks so that you aren’t easily seen from the street. Additionally, put your valuables and cash in a fanny pack or money belt until you return to your hotel.

5- Buy Quality Luggage

Spending a few extra dollars on luggage will make traveling with valuables far less dangerous, and you won’t be as susceptible to theft and burglary. Purchase luggage with sturdy locks to hold your personal items, and make sure you keep the keys in two separate, secure locations. If your briefcase or suitcase has a combination, store the numbers somewhere safe, and use numbers that won’t be easily guessed by a criminal on the street.

6- Carry a Link Chain

Another good way to travel with valuables is to carry a locked link chain with you to the hotel. You can secure your suitcases to the clothes rod in the closet or even to the bars on the windows to ensure that no one can take them with you. Even if the bags don’t have a lock, it will be more difficult for a criminal to get away with theft or burglary.

7- Avoid Crowded Subways and Buses

Anyone who travels with valuables on crowded subways or buses is a prime target for theft. If you have cash or other expensive items on your person, hail a cab or wait for a less crowded car to arrive before heading across town in an unfamiliar city. If you don’t have a choice, you’ll be safest near a wall or sitting in a seat.

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