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1. 10 Ways To Keep Valuables Safe While Traveling
As a woman, traveling alone tests everything. Your confidence, your intuition and even your sense of self.
Here are a few tips to keep you and your valuables safe on solo romps around the globe. Keep feeding that adventurous spirit, but be strategic while doing it!
2. Be An Undesirable Target
Stay alert. Scan the streets before you walk down them. Avoid getting pulled into conversations by strangers. Don’t be distracted while walking (that means no gabbing on the phone or tweeting!) Use your peripheral vision at all times.
3. Good Hotel Room Behavior
Ask for a room closest to the elevator to avoid that vulnerable walk down a long hallway and when you’re going out at night, keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign up and your TV on, so any potential thieves think the room is always occupied.
If you are staying in a hotel or hostel that you are unsure of, sleep with your cash and passport on you under your pajamas. Better safe then sorry!
4. Find Hiding Places
Sometimes you pick up things along the way that you don’t want stolen or some items are too large to lug everywhere. Find creative ways to hide things at the hotel. During one of my trips once I picked up a medium sized jade Buddah. It was much to heavy to lug on my person, so I hid it inside my dirty laundry bag at the hotel. That’s a little gross, but after a quick wipe down, it’s now sitting in my living room.
5. Avoid Carrying Valuables
When I travel I only wear my wedding band, leaving the pricier engagement diamond locked up at home. Keep the jewelry your traveling with at a minimum and if your hotel comes with a safe, use it to house your important documents and items (you can ask ahead if your room comes with a safe or there is one with the concierge).
If you MUST carry valuables, disperse them around your body using your bra or a money belt.
6. Get A Money Belt & A Water Wallet
These will be your best friends for keeping your money and documents safe while traveling. A money belt is a great place for your cash, cards and passport. It fits around your waist comfortably under your pants, shorts, dress or skirt. To keep your passport from getting ruined with sweat, put it in a Ziplock bag before you place it in your money belt. A water wallet works similarly and is great for vacays by water.
7. Watch Your Drink
In some developing countries, dangerous chemicals like Ethanol and Methanol are mixed with alcohol in “mixed drinks” because they are cheaper substitutes.
Your best bet is to stick with bottled (make sure the cap is still on when you order) beers. Make sure you keep your eye on what your sipping all night. It’s easy for criminals to slip tourists something to knock you out and them rob you if you don’t stay alert.
8. Don’t Fight Back
I’ve read and heard horror stories about people being slashed with knifes, or worse killed. If someone is trying to rob you by force, let them. It’s a frustrating process to get a new passport and cash in another country, but it beats being hurt or worse…dead.
9. Don’t Hand Off Your Belongings
While it might seem easier and surely more convenient to hand off your bags to the taxi driver, concierge or bellman, avoid it! Hold on to your carry on bags at all times. Anything that houses your camera, phone, documents, cash, etc. should always stay in your sight. If it’s a backpack or a crossbody bag keep it wrapped around you.
Be weary of people trying to “help” you with your bags around public transportation.
10. Divy Up Your Cash
A good rule of thumb when traveling is to divide your cash and keep it in different places on your body or hidden in your carry all.
This way, if something happens to your wallet or bag, you still have access to other cash.
11. Carry A Dummy Wallet
Pick up a cheap wallet or use an old one and stock it with a small amount of cash and any expired I.D.’s or credit cards you have. If a thief comes your way, you can throw him that and still get away with your safety and resources in tact.