Don’t be a holiday target – how to minimize the risks

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?

Travel Insurance:

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:

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.

 

Just Too Good at Goodbye

We are somewhat experts at the art of Goodbye. Although these past few years have brought this even more into the forefront of the life we lead, it has been the case for a very long time.

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Earn Money Whilst You Travel

Packing up and jetting off somewhere can seem like a seriously unrealistic dream, but more and more people are managing to make it a reality. A lot of people may be fooled into thinking that you need to be rich to be able to take some time off to travel, but this really isn’t the case. Nearly anywhere you go in the world has wifi now and there are plenty of ways to earn money for traveling on the internet. So as long as you have a laptop and an idea of what projects you could undertake to earn enough cash to keep you traveling for as long as possible.

Learn how to trade online

Learning to trade online can seem like an incredibly daunting task for someone who has no previous experience with the stock market – but it really doesn’t have to be. There are many online trading websites like CMC markets that will allow you to get started more or less straight away. Once you have signed up you will be able to trade in instruments like stocks and shares, forex, CFD’s and spreadbetting. Before you travel it may be worth opening up a practice account with an online stockbroker so that you can get used to the markets before you actually invest any cash. You can register online for trading accounts without having to make an initial deposit. Many of the online trading websites actually have mobile apps as well. This is vital for you to keep track of investments when you are unable to get to a laptop. Before you leave for your travels it is also worth learning how to set up stop losses and automatic buy orders. This will help you minimise losses if you are going to go off of the beaten track for a few days and you won’t be able keep checking on your investments.

Pick up some paid writing work

A lot of people don’t know this – but you don’t actually have to be an English graduate to pick up freelance writing work. If you are competent in English and able to write well thought out articles then you can easily pick up some writing work online. The two main broker websites that allow you to do this are Textbroker and Greatcontent. The way it works is that you register with them and you are then given a sample article to write. Once you have done this you will be given a rating. Each piece of work you write is rated, but it is common for you to keep the rating you were given at your initial assessment. You will then be able to log on and select any of the articles within your rating range. Once you have completed the article the client will either accept, reject or send back for revisions. You can easily build up relationships through the website with different clients who may give you private work – which can earn you a little bit extra.

Sell photos online

Chances are you looked up a few websites on your destination before you traveled there and the big secret to these websites is that the photos probably were not taken by the person who owns the website. Stock photos can be big business for some people and if you are traveling and snapping away any way you might as well make some money from your pictures. Websites like Shutterstock and Fotalia allow users to register and sell their pictures online to people looking to use them for their websites and blogs. Once you establish yourself and sell a few pictures you could even sell them privately by making a social media page or a quick website. As long as you take quality, clear pictures there will always be a market for them. You will need to remember that if you are going to sell your pictures onto a third party you will not be able to use them yourself. Along with the picture you are also selling the rights to use the picture so if you also share it on any of your social media channels you may be challenged to take it down.

 

Changes Afoot

In just a few days we will, once again, hit the road. For as is our life, changes are always afoot. This time around it’s a known entity, trading the ever-changing day-to-day life at camp for a road trip of discovery.

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The Universe Speaks~

For those readers who also follow us on social media you already know that this blog is behind in news. As in unprecedentedly behind. In nearly ten years of blogging and two years living a nomadic lifestyle and spending time traveling extensively I was always only a week or two behind on the blog. Well, let’s just say 2017 threw us into a tailspin in which the universe spoke to us in a fully unexpected way. And when the universe speaks- you listen!

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Taking a New Look at Mazatlan

If I’m being honest, Mazatlan has never been our favorite city. It is widely popular and does offer long, stunning beaches, but for a variety of reasons, we have never embraced this Pacific coastal town.

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New Years and New Plans

We left our stunning lakeside retreat at Lagos de Colon and headed for San Cristobal for Christmas. New Years called for new plans, but we had fallen in love with this city on the way south, and heading north found her no less magical. That is other than the fireworks Christmas Eve that went on for nearly seven hours straight.

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Textile Heaven ~ San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala

While we loved our home base of San Marcos, one village that stole our heart at Lake Atitlan was the textile heaven of San Juan la Laguna. It is really impossible to spend time in the entire country of Guatemala without becoming more than a bit obsessed with the stunning, hand done textiles.

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