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Protect Yourself While Traveling Abroad

By Expert Author: Steve Robinson

The last thing you want to deal with on a trip overseas that started off right with an in-depth examination of cheap travel options, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages, is theft.

The following are steps you can take to protect your belongings (and your body) while traveling abroad, according to Smarter Travel:

• Keep small denominations of local currency easily accessible. Each day before leaving your hotel, make certain you have a variety of small bills and coins handy for purchases such as food and attraction entry fees. Place larger bills in your under clothing money pouch or hide them in a secure part of your wallet or bag.

• Divide your travel cash and credit cards into multiple safe spots. You do not want a thief to totally wipe you out in a single incident. When carrying a bag that contains money always make certain to carry some cash in your clothing.

• If you will be packing something really valuable, ask your airline about purchasing excess valuation (EV) so that you are not limited to the airlines’ liability cap (which is $3,300 on domestic flights). By doing so you will increase your airline’s liability limit.

• Keep your phone out of sight to avoid unwanted attention from would be muggers. Before leaving where you are staying, map out the route to the next destination in your head or write it out on paper. If you prefer a map, circle your destination, and fold the map into a small square that fits in one hand. Spreading out a full size map marks you as a potential target.

• Change your phone’s lock screen to an image that displays your emergency contact information, including your email address and an alternate phone number. That way if your phone gets misplaced you have a chance of a Good Samaritan contacting you.

• Add to your level of security in a hotel room when going to sleep by wedging a doorstop, often provided at hotels (or brought from home) under a bolted door.

• Instead of traveling with a handbag which you have to watch to avoid pickpockets and may make your shoulder ache after a long day, invest in a Scottevest trench coat that looks like a normal coat but has 18 hidden pockets. This coat is designed not to show bulges and is lightweight and water resistant.

• Aerosol hair spray can be used just as effectively for self-defense as pepper spray, which is illegal in many countries. Carry a small bottle (under 3.4 ounces if packed in your carry-on) in your purse if you are traveling alone or are in a questionable area.

• Purchase a colorful unique luggage strap to make it less likely that someone will accidentally grab your bag by mistake in the baggage claim area.

• Prepare a digital backup with your smartphone to protect you in the event your identification is lost or stolen. After taking photos of your ID email them to yourself. Also consider taking a photo of the contents of your checked bag which comes in handy if the airline later loses your bag. Photos of things such as your hotel room number and parking lot spot can also be helpful.

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