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Easy Ways to Keep Your Valuables Safe While Traveling

Nothing puts a damper on a vacation like being the victim of a robbery while traveling. But using common sense, checking the right resources if you're going abroad and using the following tips can help protect your valuables while you travel.

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1. Only bring what you need.

When packing for your trip, be frugal in terms of how many credit cards, electronic devices or expensive pieces of jewelry you bring along. You don't need huge sums of cash since ATMs are typically very easy to find. The last thing you want to do is make yourself an easy target by pulling out a big wad of cash in public or flaunting your jewelry.

Use the "don't take more with you than you're willing to lose" strategy when packing valuables to help you prioritize what you must have with you. If you're traveling internationally, remember to let your bank and credit card companies know your plans so your transactions abroad don't trigger suspicious activity alerts. You might even consider using a prepaid card to put a cap on the amount of funds available should your card fall into the wrong hands.

2. Use the hotel room safe.

Take only what you need for the day when you leave your hotel, cruise ship stateroom or vacation rental. If your accommodations provide an in-room safe, leave credit cards, extra cash and passports inside. If there is no safe or you need to store larger items, such as your laptop, tablet or camera accessories, consider purchasing a portable safe.

These foldable sacks can be stored flat in your suitcase and then cabled to furniture, fixtures or plumbing pipes in your room using a three-dial combination lock. They're often made of a nylon canvas fabric with embedded stainless-steel wire mesh to create a cut- and water-resistant storage compartment for your oversized valuables.

3. Protect your possessions by trading in your purse.

Deter would-be purse snatchers by wearing a crossbody bag designed for anti-theft while traveling. There are many fashionable options, and most provide ample storage space to keep your must-haves, such as a tablet, e-reader, camera and cell phone, safe and organized.

Look for a lightweight crossbody bag with an adjustable strap to ensure a comfortable fit. Other features to consider include the following:

  • RFID protection
  • Slash-proof construction
  • Multiple interior compartments with locks or heavy-duty, reinforced zippers
  • Exterior pockets for water bottles and umbrellas
  • Waterproof, scratch- and stain-resistant fabric

Another option that's also great for men is an anti-theft backpack with adjustable, padded shoulder straps, lockable zippers and cut-proof materials.

4. Opt for on-body storage when you're traveling light.

Keep thieves out of your back pants pockets by wearing slim-fit pickpocket-proof pants. Similar to cargo pants but with valuable-protecting features such as hidden pockets, zippers and buttons, these casual pants made for men and women are great for holding cash, credit cards, keys and your phone while you're out exploring.

Look for designs made from wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying fabric that are ideal for packing into suitcases and hand washing while traveling. Want a more feminine option? Check out a knee-length travel wrap skirt with several zippered pockets that keep your essentials secreted in style.

5. Copy your important documents.

Scan copies of your travel paperwork, including your passport, hotel reservations, flight tickets and insurance documents. You can then email the copies to yourself for quick access anywhere there's an internet connection should something happen to the original hard copies.

Perhaps one of the most valuable assets you can protect while traveling is your own health and safety. Be sure to share your itinerary with loved ones at home, and touch base while you're on the road just to say "Hi." If you're traveling abroad, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you research conditions at your destination in advance of your departure to learn what risks you are likely to face. This can help you come up with some proactive plans to mitigate those risks and enjoy your dream trip.

Your home or auto insurance policy may have provisions that cover travel-related losses. To ensure you're sufficiently protected, talk to your insurance agent before you schedule your next vacation.

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