How to Protect Your Belongings While On the Road

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when they feel a need to let everything go and be free. Free from school, work, family, and whatever else might be tying them down. The solution, for many, is to travel. Travelling is awesome but it can be expensive, especially if you’ve just graduated or have just left your retail job at the mall. Fortunately, someone invented hostels to help you save big on those expenses.

However something to be aware of when on the road is keeping your belongings safe, as not everyone staying in your dorm may be trustworthy with your possessions. Here’s how you can keep your belongings safe when you travel and stay in hostels.

Brush up before hand

Always plan your trip ahead of time so you know where you’ll be staying. Before booking, check the ratings for hostels to see what others have to say about the security and safety of all the options. Check online for extra amenities as well, such as lockers and ID cards for access. Hostels that ask to show a Passport for ID on check-in are good as well. Hostels in busy locations that have a security guard is good for peace of mind.

It’s key to find a place that will provide as many barriers to entry for non-patrons as possible. Know ahead of time that the place you’re going to stay does its part to keep its guests safe.

Use what the hostel offers

Most hostels offer, at the very least, a locker to keep your belongings. And since it’s there… use it! Don’t keep your belongings lying around the room when you’re not there, and don’t keep them nicely tucked inside your backpack, either. Lock them up. It’ll give you peace of mind while you’re out exploring or asleep.  This also helps housekeeping keep your room clean!

Keep a low profile

When travelling to a foreign country and meeting new people, you might be tempted to throw some cash around at the hostel pub, or to show off the new laptop you bought “just for this trip”. Guess what? You’re much more likely to attract thieves and predators than you would otherwise. Keep a low profile and don’t call attention to any electronics or valuables you might have with you.

Hide and hopefully they don’t seek

You may feel you have to keep your phone with you at night to act as an alarm clock, which is perfectly understandable. What isn’t smart is having it sit on a table next to your bed out in the open. Put your phone under your pillow. Also, keep your shoes close by since they tend to get stolen as well.(watch for spiders too, a tap upside down before you put them on)

When using communal areas like the kitchen, do not leave your phone / laptop on the table this is the highest method of theft in hostels, due to carelessness.

Keep your wallet empty

The simple fact is if you don’t have it, then they can’t steal is. Similarly to not showing off your valuables, don’t have a wallet so thick you tilt to one side when you’re sitting on your barstool. Empty it of all the unnecessary junk you won’t need on your trip, and keep the cash content small. It may be annoying to have to search for ATMs or to pay bank fees, but it’s much better than having all of your travelling money nicked after you’ve paid for your first drink of the trip.

Invest in locks

First of all, bring your own padlock on your trip with you, and keep the key somewhere safe at all times. Some hostels will provide locks of have lockers that already have them installed, but it’s always good to have your own. That way, you can lock things down even if they’re not in your locker. For instance, if you can’t fit all of your stuff into your locker, you can always lock your backpack to your bed. If you invest in mini-locks, you can even lock the zipper on your pack as well. You can even buy specialized locks for certain items. Investing in a laptop lock, for instance, isn’t a bad idea. It works like a bike lock, in that you can lock your laptop to a bedframe, a desk, or something else immovable to keep it safe.

Carry it with you

If you feel uncomfortable leaving something valuable at the hostel, even in a locker, then just take it with you while you’re out for the day. Make sure that you have it secured safely in some way. That might mean having a hidden protective pouch strapped around your body, or locked to your belt. There is certainly a risk to carrying valuables out in public, but there is also peace of mind from knowing that something is with you at all times.

So there you have it. Just use some common sense, and the tips above, and you’ll be able to keep your stuff safe and concentrate on the amazing experiences you’re sure to have.