How To Keep Your Valuables Safe When Traveling Abroad

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Traveling around the world can be an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experience that not many people take. That is why you want to make sure that your global adventure is not ruined by becoming a victim and having your personal belongings, including money, credit cards and passports, stolen while traveling. Here are some tips for keeping your belongings safe while traveling around the world.

Money Belt

Use a money belt to secure your money, passport, credit cards and memory cards for the camera. This will keep your items concealed and less accessible for someone to steal from you should you fall asleep on a train, bus or any other public area. It is also a good idea to keep half of your money tucked away in a hidden spot in your bag when it is secure in your hotel room. That way you still have money if you are robbed and they take your money belt.

Other concealed accessories similar to the money belt include neck wallets, bra stash and hidden pockets.

Related: Tips for Traveling Alone Safely

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Carry On

Keep your valuables with you at all times. Do not allow the taxi driver to put them in the trunk, check them in when flying or put them under the bus. Keep everything such as camera, laptop or anything else you do not want to go missing in a carry-on and with you at all times.

Use locks to secure your carry on and other luggage when using luggage racks on trains and buses. This reduces the chance of falling victim to a grab and go.


When flying, keep everything in one place. Put all of your passports, documents and other important items in a zip locking bag before placing it in your carry-on. That way you can easily open the top of the bag and see everything is still there without having to dig around and take things out.

If possible, place your carry-on under the seat in front of you. This will keep it in your sights at all times and avoid the possibility of anyone going through it in the overhead compartment as they act like they are getting something out of their own bag. This is only if you want to have a visual that all of your valuables are still there.

You could also bury those items deep in your carry-on, making it more obvious that someone is searching through your bag.

Always keep at least your identification card and a credit card on your person at all times. This way if someone does take your bag, you still have these two items to help get you food and transportation to the nearest embassy for help getting a new passport.

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Hotel Rooms

Verify the hotel or hostel has good reviews when it comes to safety. Also, choose a place to stay that offers a locker or in-room safe for you to secure your valuables while you are out sightseeing. Keep all luggage closed and secure in a single area of the room when not there.

Consider not having the room cleaned while there, unless you absolutely need it. You can request this at the front desk, or at most hotels you just have to keep the "Do not disturb" sign hanging on the door your entire stay.

Bring tape and envelopes with you while traveling. This way you can put items you do not want to go missing in the envelope and tape it somewhere hidden in the room. Suggested hiding spots include under drawers, behind furniture and behind pictures.

Pay Attention

Of course you do not want to walk around fearing everyone is out to steal your stuff. That would not be a lot of fun. However, you do want to pay attention to your surroundings, keeping an eye out for anyone looking or acting suspicious. Also, pay close attention to anyone trying to act like your best friend. They are just trying to get you to put your guard down.

Related: Five Travel Scams to Avoid

Items To Leave At Home

If it is not something you need during your trip, you will want to leave it at home. This includes any type of electronics you may bring with you. For example, if you do not think you will use your laptop during the trip, leave it home. It is also a good idea to leave any expensive jewelry or family heirlooms at home, too.

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Rental Cars

Do not leave anything valuable in the car. This includes when parking the car at the hotel, in a valet-only lot or on the street while touring the city. This way no one is tempted to break into the car, and if someone steals your car keys they do not have easy access to your valuable.

Travel Insurance

Protect yourself while traveling by purchasing additional travel insurance before you leave on your trip. Depending upon the coverage, the items that get stolen or lost will be covered. Of course you cannot get the items back, but you will be compensated a little to help repurchase similar items.

Protecting your personal items while traveling is mostly a matter of staying organized, keeping track of what you have with you and paying attention to those around you. Always remember to trust your gut no matter what situation you are in. Nine times out of ten it is correct.

Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions - writing and travel - to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at

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