You renewed your passport, got all of the necessary immunizations, booked your ticket and bought all of the best travel guidebooks. Your dream of faraway beaches and exotic cuisine is just around the corner when you realize that you have forgotten one major issue. Safety. While pickpockets and thieves are a fact of life, there are plenty of people who prey on naive or unsuspecting travelers. Luckily, with a little planning and a few hacks, you can enjoy your vacation nearly worry free.
Safe While Travelling
The first rule of safety while travelling is to remember that hotel safes are not safe. Usually they are more than a few people who are on staff or former employees who have access codes and master keys to hotel safes. Try bringing your own travel safe or lockbox to guard your belongings.
Also, don’t bring anything you can’ bare to part with. Tucking your valuables away is a great way to avoid opportunistic thefts, but thieves who root through your belongings to find the most valuable items. This is where traveler’s insurance and careful planning comes in handy. Don’t bring expensive cameras and equipment when your cell phone will do. Similarly, don’t bring your laptop when you can make do with your tablet. Get any item of value insured in case the worst happens.
And finally, be sure to make copies of all of your important documents including your credit card. Laminate them and keep a copy in a safe place or on your person at all times. Give a copy to your family back home to hold on to in case of an emergency.
Safety at Home
While it’s easy to be vigilant while abroad, it is much harder to ensure the safety of your home while you are away. Just like opportunists everywhere, thieves will often target homes during peak travel seasons, when nobody will be home. Many people have fallen into a false sense of security because they have installed an alarm system. Unfortunately, if you are abroad, most systems will be useless unless they call the authorities automatically.
Asking a friend to check on your home, automating your lights, and having somebody mow your lawn and shovel your walk while away help to prevent your house from being targeted by criminals. Make sure your security system is augmented with a monitoring plan. Be sure to stop all mail while you are gone. Identity theft is a serious problem and an overstuffed mailbox is goldmine to the criminal mind.
With just a little forethought you can enjoy your moment in the sun, worry free.