How to Protect Valuables While Traveling
Few things can ruin a trip faster than having something precious get lost or stolen. Although the best policy is to leave valuables at home while traveling (do you really need to bring those diamond earrings?), sometimes you just can't do without. When that's the case here's how to protect your irreplaceables while traveling:
- Document your valuables before you leave for insurance purposes, in case the worst happens. Take a copy with you and leave one with someone at home.
- Make a point to be (and look) alert Pickpockets and theives often target those who look preoccupied and innattentive.
- Never pack valuables in checked luggage. Keep them with you in your carry-on instead.
- Use see-through bags when packing your carry-on so the TSA inspectors can easily see what's inside without needing to directly handle the contents and potentially spill, drop, or pocket anything.
- Don't put items loose into the TSA bin Anything small (like watches, cell phones, etc) should be put into a coat pocket, handbag, or ziplock bag to keep them together before going through security.
- Always keep your carry-on as close to you as possible Make a point to stash it in the compartment either directly above or in front of your seat, if possible keep your most precious cargo in the bag that goes under the seat in front of you, and don't leave your carry-on behind when to go to the baggage carousel to pick up your luggage.
- Have locks on everything You can't lock your carry-ons while they're going through security, or your checked luggage while it's on the plane, but having them locked at all other times (i.e. while your carry-on is stowed in the overhead compartment or your luggage is in the trunk of a taxi) can still help prevent theft.
- Use the hotel room safe Locking items in your hotel room is all but worthless, and locking locked luggage in a hotel room isn't much better. Stash valuables in the room safe, hotel safe (even better), or if neither of those is an option you can always bring your own (check out Pacsafe).
- Don't leave your luggage on a tour bus Just because everyone else is doing it, and the tour guide says it's okay, is no guarantee. Lock up any luggage you must leave behind and take all irreplaceable items with you.