Traveling is exciting, allowing you to explore the world and its people, cultures, sights, and cuisines. For some, traveling is a time for relaxation and for others it’s an adventure. However, it can also be dangerous to be in a new place where you don’t know anyone. Theft abounds, especially around tourist areas. To avoid losing your belongings, here are five tips for preventing theft when you travel.
Avoid Over Drinking
It’s normal to have a couple cocktails while on vacation. However, this can put you in a vulnerable position. You won’t have a clear mind, allowing people ample opportunity to rob you blind. Stick to one or two cocktails instead of ten. If you start to get drunk, go back to your hotel for the evening.
Divide Your Money
If you do end up getting robbed, you don’t want them to lose everything. Be smart before anything happens. Divide your money in two places on your person. You may put cash in your pants pocket as well as your shoe. If someone does steal the money in your pocket, you will still have the money in your shoe. Keep enough in each place to get you back to your hotel or a bank where you can get more cash.
Research Crime in the Area
It’s useful to learn what to expect ahead of time, so do some research on the area you’ll be traveling to. This will give you an idea of what to look out for while you’re there. You will also learn which areas of town are most commonly hit by thieves. Avoid these areas and stick to locations that are known to be safe whenever possible.
More than anything, you need to keep your eyes and ears open. Simply be aware of your surroundings. There will be a lot of distractions on your journey—things to look at and things to do. Even while in the middle of an adventure, you need to be mindful of the people around you.
In addition to being aware of the people around you, you want to ensure that you’re aware of where your belongings are at all times. It can help to make your bags and luggage more stand out from similar items. A custom engraved luggage tag or a bright ribbon can help your belongings stand out so you always know where they are. They can also help authorities find and recover your belongings in the event that your luggage is stolen.
Be Careful of Who You Trust
You’ll likely meet many people during your travels. It’s important to be careful about who you trust. Some people are obviously untrustworthy. However, thieves might not look shady or suspicious. It could be a cute guy at the bar or a tour guide. Even children or elderly people can be the culprits. Do not trust anyone. If you do meet a new friend, take it slow before you make yourself vulnerable to them.
You shouldn’t be afraid to travel. However, you shouldn’t be naive and make yourself a target, either. Follow these tips to ensure that you lose yourself in the experience, and not your stuff.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.