Travelers are targets for criminals in many cases. It is not that travelers are careless; they just tend to be distracted and unfamiliar with the area. Money, jewelry, cameras, and other valuables could all make you a victim. It is important to safeguard your valuables both when you are in your hotel room and when you are out enjoying the sights of your travel destination. Here are the tips you need to keep your items safe. Tip #1: Be discreet – The best way to keep your valuables safe while on vacation is to avoid letting people know that you have valuables in the first place. Although you do want to look your best, pick and choose how much jewelry you wear or what kind of bag you carry. Only take the money you need with you when you go out so that you are not counting out cash from a huge wad of bills, and if you do not think you will use your camera, leave it at the hotel room. Most of all, avoid looking like a tourist. Wearing a fanny pack, stopping on the sidewalk to look at a map of the area, and constantly announcing that you are from out of town can all lead to you being a target. Try to blend in as much as possible.
Tip #2: Do not assume that your items are safe – On a daily basis, a handful of people other than you will have access to your hotel room. Maids come in and out to clean, waiters come in to bring you room service or collect used dishes from the night before, maintenance comes in to fix leaks and other problems, and others come in to stock the mini-fridge, replace your towels, and take care of other problems. Even if you have a “do not disturb” note on your door, these individuals all still can get into your room, even if they are not supposed to go there. Because it is easy to get caught, hotel workers typically do not go out of their way to steal clothing or other items in your suitcase, but if you have designer sunglasses or a diamond ring sitting on your nightstand, they might not be able to resist. Hide your valuables in your suitcase when you leave or, better yet, if they provide a hotel safe, use it.
Tip #3: Keep your money in double pockets – What is meant by a “double pocket”? Well, if you just keep your money or wallet in your pants pocket or even just in the general pocket of your purse, you are an easy target for a pickpocket. Instead, keep your money or wallet in a pocket within a pocket. The more zippers and snaps a pickpocket has to go through to get to your cash, the better. Remember, only carry with you the money you really need. Leave the rest in your hotel room safe.
Tip #4: Do some research on your destination – No matter where you are traveling; there will be good sections of the city and bad sections of the city. As a tourist, it can be really easy to get lost and find yourself somewhere that is not very safe for tourists. Instances of crime are higher in these areas, and you could find yourself in a very dangerous situation. By doing a little research about your travel destination first, you can avoid areas that are not especially safe. In general, stick to downtown areas, tourist sites, and places that are highly patrolled by security guards or police officers. If possible, have fun exploring during the daylight hours and stay to more structured activities when the sun goes down.
Tip #5: Remember, protect yourself! – When you are taking measures to safeguard your valuables, keep in mind that YOU are the most valuable thing you are taking on vacation! Stay safe while on vacation, and make sure to keep your kids safe as well. Although we often let our guards down to relax while on vacation, identity thieves, kidnappers, and other “bad guys” thrive on tourists and even people traveling on business. The damage may not occur while you are traveling – in the case of identity theft, it could happen sometime later. Take steps to shield your credit card account numbers and any identifying documents at all times.
What else can you do to keep yourself and your fellow travelers safe? Avoid telling others anything personal. Check in with someone at home at least every other day. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, even if you are with people you trust. Keep your hotel door locked whenever you are inside. Stay alert no matter where you are or what you are doing – that way you and your valuables will be safe.
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