There are a lot of things we carry when we are traveling. On the small trips we have things like money, jewelry, house keys, etc. On the big ones we carry things like passports, visas, etc. Apart from all this, there are the credit cards, debit cards, traveler's checks and other such things. While traveling can be a fun occasion, much looked forward to, it also brings a lot of responsibility; especially of carrying all the above things safely. The chances of us misplacing these things are high, especially when we are busy with other things. The two main reasons for this are - the excitement and anxiety of the journey, and being in a new place. In our houses, we have designated places where we keep our purses, wallets, keys etc., so that we become habituated to picking them up from the designated places every day. However, it takes time to get used to a new place; and most often it is time to leave by the time we get used to it! So how does one carry valuables safely while traveling?
Tips to Carry Valuables Safely While Traveling
1. Distribute the Money
Why? - So that if you lose it (knock on wood!) you don't lose it all
If you are traveling alone, distribute the money. Place most (or a major chunk) of it in a wallet and put the wallet in your main suitcase or bag. I assume your bag is equipped with some kind of lock-and-key system. Do not open your bar till your reach your destination. Make a rough estimate of how much money you will need on the journey, till you reach your destination. Add, say, $100 to that. Place this money in a different wallet and carry this in your pocket. Spend from this wallet till you get to your destination. If you are traveling with someone, distribute the money amongst yourselves. However, the best thing to do is to travel on a budget.
2. Avoid Wearing Jewelry
Why? - Well, it's pretty obvious 'why', right?
Instead of wearing your jewelry, you can carry your jewelry at the bottom of your suitcase or bag. DO NOT
carry it in your purse, just in case somebody is very quick in nicking your purse and stealing it; or in case you misplace your purse. A common tendency is to think that since the purse is always going to be in your hands, it will remain monitored and hence safe. But I assume other things like tickets, reservation details, phone numbers, keys, etc., are all going to go in there. So you are going to be frequently opening your purse for something or the other. What if you accidentally just drop it?
3. Hook the Keys
Why? - So that you do not misplace them
You get those really nice key chains these days that come with a big dog-hook, or a carabiner. Use one of these to carry your keys. You can hook the key chain to your jeans or your handbag. This way, you won't forget the keys in a restaurant or any other place. This is also a good way to carry the keys so that they are accessible. You don't have to turn your bag upside down and look through all your belongings to retrieve your keys! It's right there!
4. Go for a Mini Backpack Purse
Why? - They are so much easier to carry; they look stylish too!
Have you seen these? No? Google NOW! They look really chic, classy, and smart. Plus, they are really convenient to manage. The best thing to do is to sling the backpack purse in the front, like a baby carrier, instead of on your back. Two big advantages - one, your hands remain free to carry your luggage and other things; and two, your purse is always monitored, it is practically under your nose! Keep your passports, visas and other documents that you may have to produce frequently, in the backpack purse. They remain easily accessible and safe. Once you reach your destination, place the documents you are not going to need frequently in your suitcase. You risk losing the documents if you carry them around.
5. Prefer Hard Cash
Why? - Losing your credit card can be really risky!
Yes, credit cards are a boon in ways more than one. But suppose, just suppose, you misplace your credit card. Now, it is quite possible for someone else to find it and use it to his/her maximum benefit by the time you even figure out you have lost it! If you lose cash, you lose only that much cash as you were carrying. But a lost credit card means the money in your bank account is lost; so in fact, you are left
with only the cash you were carrying! Boy, oh boy, that hurts; especially losing your credit card overseas! Always prefer to use cash instead of using credit cards while traveling. Also prefer to withdraw money as and when you need, using your debit card, instead of using your credit card.
Some General Tips
One cannot be warned enough about thugs and scams, especially while traveling. Stories of travelers losing their money, having their passport and visa stolen, having rogues misuse their credit cards, are not uncommon. Here are some general safety tips that will help you keep valuables safe when traveling:
- Never leave your belongings unattended
- Always check your belonging before leaving your hotel room/place of residence, and also on reaching it
- Know your wallet well; that includes how many credit cards you are carrying, how much cash do you have on you, etc.
- While shopping, always check your belongings before leaving the billing counter; did you take the change? Did you take your card?
- Do not carry anything you don't NEED
Follow the above tips and you are good to go. Traveling should be easy and free of unnecessary hassles, or it loses its fun and enjoyment quotient. One of the surest ways to ensure your traveling is easy is to take the burden of keeping your valuables safe off your shoulders. I follow all the above tips while traveling, and they always help me; I am sure they will help you too.