Whether you are a nomadic traveler, living a life on the road commuting from state to state to visit the landmarks, monuments, and attractions of the US, or flying to a European destination for that holiday of a lifetime, the risk of theft of your valuables is very real. Wherever there are large numbers of people, from a crowded beach to a music concert, there will be those who want to relieve you of your prized possessions – and they’re very good at it. So how do you minimise the chance of becoming another statistic?
It’s surprising how many travelers, especially the younger set, don’t bother to buy any form of travel insurance, and live to regret it. Hopefully, everyone’s holiday will go smoothly without any mishap, medical emergency or criminal activity, but unfortunately, annual figures tell us otherwise. Travel insurance can be tailored to suit your requirements. If you have a number of expensive digital products, paying a little extra and buying insurance to cover replacement of same is well worth considering.
Hotel security has improved enormously in the hotspots and big cities of Europe. Most rooms will have a safe, but if they don’t, the hotel usually has a secure safe in the reception area. Nonetheless, don’t just walk into the reception with a handful of valuables and cash. Put it all in a bag, tape it up and put your name and room number on the package.
Don’t leave valuable items lying around in your hotel room. Even if you’re taking a shower, put mobile phone, tablet or cash in drawers or under cushions. Out of sight out of mind minimises the risk of opportunist theft by anyone who has the authority to enter the room.
Holiday Apartment Complexes:
If you’re staying in an apartment complex, security may not be as high as that in hotels, although apartment security is improving. Apartment theft makes up a large proportion of insurance claims, yet the majority of these could so easily be avoided. In most of Europe’s hotspots, with daytime temperatures often in the mid/the high 30s, and nighttime temperatures in the upper 20s, travelers walk into their rooms and throw open every window and door they can find.
Unfortunately, they often choose to leave patio doors and windows open to cool the apartment when they go to the pool or out for a meal. The fact your apartment is on the fifth floor is no guarantee you won’t get a visit from our light-fingered friends if you leave them an open invitation. The same applies when you retire for the night. Having enjoyed a gourmet meal with a few glasses of wine you’re sure of a good night’s sleep. Your unwanted visitors rely on that. As you sleep, they creep in through the open patio doors and tip-toe around the apartment relieving you of everything of value. Lock your apartment as you would lock up at home.
Round the Pool or on the Beach:
If you intend to spend a day around the pool or beach take with you the minimum you’ll need. Okay, so the mobile phone and Kindle are a must, and enough cash to get a baguette and drink. If you are holidaying with friends or family make sure someone stays with the valuables while the others go for a swim. Don’t heap everything together and throw a towel over them. Hidden eyes will be watching for you to do just that. By the time you come out of the water and manage to find your sunbeds, they will be minus your valuables. The same with bags and rucksacks; never leave them unattended.
Out and About:
Whether doing a little sightseeing, or out on a bar crawl, don’t wear the family jewels. Nothing attracts your friendly local bag snatcher than all that bling sparkling in the sunshine.
It’s difficult for the ladies to go out without a bag. If you can’t make do with a money belt or bumbag, choose a shoulder bag, and put the strap over the head. Never leave it unattended; anywhere. For men, leave the wallet and cards hidden in the apartment, they’re a pickpocket’s favorite item. Spread the cash about, fifty each in two or three pockets and maybe fifty in a sock.
It all sounds very melodramatic, but really it’s just common sense and being a little streetwise. A little forethought will ensure you’re not the ones spending precious holiday time arranging replacement funds to get home.