Travelling is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, especially if you are going for pleasure and not business. Unfortunately, something could go wrong on the trip, including having your valuables stolen from you. In fact, room theft is among the most prevalent ways of travelers losing their valuables.
Getting your items back is more of a pain than a joy, as with every situation you find yourself in. it does not really matter where you stay exactly, as theft can occur even in the most secure buildings, as home security reviews will sometimes reveal. However, you are at a significant risk if you do not take care of your valuables, which unfortunately happens even to the best of us. Here are some extra precautions you can take and make your travelling experience a worthwhile one.
Use the lockers that the hotel/hostels provide
Every hostel and hotel must have lockers for their guests, to allow them to keep their valuables and other items inside. In the case you come across a place that lacks these facilities, it is better to go somewhere else.
For all the valuables or money you do not want to carry around as you move, use the provided lockers to store them safely. This can be for instance when you go to the bathroom, when you visit another room, or when you go to sleep at night.
Hotels tend to have three kinds of lockers. They can have ones with in-built locks (you have to pay a small amount for the key), and those that can be locked using a separate padlock, which is more common in smaller hostels.
Whenever you travel, ensure you have carried a spare padlock, just in case the hostel will not provide one (which is mostly the case). Again, it is a good idea to choose a locker with a heavy traffic area so that chances are higher opportunistic thieves will be deterred by the presence of people.
Hide the locker key when you go to sleep
If you have cash or valuables locked up within the allocated lockers, you might remember that someone may get a hold of your key, use it to open the locker, and steal your items. That is the reason you need to have a safe spot to hide your key while you sleep or step out.
The best option would be to tie a cord to the key and wear it as you would a necklace. Another choice would be keeping the key in your pocket (if your pocket is deep enough) or burying it within your suitcase or bag. Whatever option you choose, just remember to be creative and locate a good place for hiding.
Avoid leaving your devices unattended (even while they charge)
Leaving your electronic devices unattended in a hotel room is a no-no. You need to stay careful with them, as they can be stolen very easily.
Sometimes, the power outlets will be far from your bed, unfortunately – and you will need to leave your electronic device unattended as it charges. In whatever circumstance, always keep an eye on your devices – do not be distracted by other things or activities as they charge. You never know who will seize the opportunity when you are distracted, even if you are doing an activity like reading a book or watching the TV.
Use your own padlock
In many developing countries, you will find that padlocks are the most common system of securing one’s belongings, which is a good choice. However, you can choose to use your own padlock instead of the one the hostel provides.
Not all padlocks are created equal, and there are certain factors to consider when purchasing a padlock. However, when you do choose the right one, it will make things easier for you in terms of security, instead of relying on an old, rusty padlock that you were supplied with.
It is also important to remember that the front desk (where the keys to the rooms are) is sometimes unattended to, so it is important to be mindful of your belongings and enhance their security.
Make it seem like your room is always occupied
Many burglaries and robberies that occur happen during the daylight hours – the perception is that the property is vacant. At the same time, your room is likely to become more attractive to a thief once they see you are not in the vicinity, because they have the time to steal.
This should not cause you a scare though. You cannot stay trapped in your room the whole day just because of some thieves – after all, you are travelling. However, you can utilize some tricks that make it seem you are always there, even when you are not.
For instance, you can leave the radio or TV on, and make sure the volume is audible enough to be heard from outside. If the room has windows, you can leave your lights on. Keeping curtains drawn over the windows will make it challenging for outsiders to enter or peep inside, and you can also leave a ‘Do not disturb’ sign outside your door.
Keep your profile low
It is very rare to see random outsiders breaking into rooms and stealing items. Most of the time, the thieves are either employees of that hostel or fellow guests. This is because they can get information about you as much as they can, and then they wait patiently for the best moment to strike.
Make their investigation on you more difficult by choosing to keep a low profile as you are there. Do not give them information about yourself – do not be naïve in your dealings. For instance, avoid mentioning the times you will vacate the room, do not give them your room number, and always change things up as frequently as you can.
Travelling safely does not just mean getting safely to your destination; it involves taking precautions with your belongings as well. Being ahead of any moves that a thief may make is key here – so you need to ensure that you are alert and taking active measures to keep your things safely.