The theft of important documents including passport credit cards, cash and other items of value can ruin a holiday or cause great inconvenience during any holiday away from home or overseas. Below are listed 5 key ways to ensure you and your valuables remain safe and secure while you are away on vacation.
1. Lock It Or Lose It!
When traveling this holiday season, the frontline in the defense of protecting your valuables is to lock it, or lose it! When leaving home, be sure to store valuable items out of sight of theives. Lock up the house, shed and garage before leaving home. Ensure vehicles are safely secured in the garage or carport.
The lock it or lose it philosophy applies when traveling away from home. Apply the fixed locking system on all items of checked in luggage. If you are unfamiliar with the 'fixed locking system' read my article titled - Luggage Padlocks, Priceless Or Useless. If you are traveling with a laptop, a good investment worth considering is a cable lock or pack safe product.
2. Make Duplicate Copies Of Documents
Should you become a victim of crime during a vacation - for example your travel documents and credit card/s are stolen, it’s a lot easier to minimize the damage caused by having previously made copies of your important documents. Retain a photocopy and photograph of the main page of your passport as this will assist local embassy staff to expedite a replacement passport whilst in the country of travel.
Additionally, retain copies of any travel insurance policies including the product disclosure statement and phone number, as this information can assist in making any claims overseas as speedy as possible.
Finally, keep a record of credit card numbers together with the phone number required to report a credit card as lost or stolen. This can significantly minimize the amount of potential losses your credit/debit card may sustain. An ability to quickly report the theft to your provider can save hundreds or thousands of dollars being lost.
3. Adapt To Your Environment
Remain alert and vigilant at all times, both day and night. Avoid crowded areas where brush passes and pick pockets are common. Don’t stand out in the crowd or put on a show of your display of wealth by wearing expensive jewelry, carrying a handbag loaded with goodies or showing off that impressive digital SLR camera purchased at the duty free store!
It’s extremely unwise to walk around an unfamiliar area with your Iphone on display and headphones firmly in your ears! The key is to blend into your environment and not to stand out from the crowd where you can be singled out for special attention by any opportunistic thief who happens upon you.
4. Beware Of Scams
Remain vigilant at all times when visiting key tourist sites. Check reviews before traveling or ask the hotel Concierge or locals for recommendations, and listen to your gut instinct and intuition every time. Crime syndicates operate at key tourism hotspots and are highly skilled in parting you from your money. Consider some of these classic common scamming techniques; The taxi meter is broken. It is always recommended the price be negotiated for travel prior to entering a taxi.
Fake hubs for Wi-Fi. Using unsecured hotspots to connect in public locations puts your online information including passwords and account information at great risk. Where possible encrypt your online activity by using a VPN (virtual private network) and only use official connections in coffee shops or hotels to minimize your exposure to hackers.
An accidental spill on your clothing? Do not allow others to put their hands on you in an attempt to relive you of your wallet. Clean up the mess yourself and move away as quickly as possible. Consider purchasing a money belt as an alternative to keeping your wallet in an easily accessible pocket.
5. Take Out Travel Insurance
In the event things do go wrong the key is to minimize the damage. Depending on the level and type of cover selected items such as stolen luggage, cash, delayed or canceled travel, or hospital cover and evacuation can be provided.
Specific high value items such as jewelry, laptops, cameras and other items can be specifically included on the policy, although the premium will likely rise as a consequence. Shop around and check which policy best meets your needs, and be sure to read the policy disclosure statement to ensure you are covered for what you require on your holiday journey.
How do you protect your valuables during the holiday season?