When traveling for either work/business or leisure, there’s always the risk of you losing your personal belongings or having them stolen during your travel. Your handbag, purse, knapsack, and even suitcase is pretty much free game for petty thieves, which is why you need to take necessary precaution to avoid this, or at least minimize losses if it ever occurs.
Spread Out Your Cash
Do you know that saying about eggs and baskets? It applies to you when bringing cash for the trip. Don’t just put all your hard-earned money in a single bag or purse, distribute it to your wallet, suitcase, laptop bag, and so on so that if it ever gets stolen, you’d still have some money left behind. Try using two separate wallets, with each carrying different cards (credit cards, ATMs, IDs). And, if you’re staying a night or more during your travels, keep some of the money inside a bag or safe in your hotel room (or wherever you’re staying) and only bring enough for the day. Additionally, avoid bringing huge amounts of cash and make use of ATMs and banks in the area instead.
Use Secure and Nondescript Bags
Sometimes, thieves would prefer taking a few items from your bags instead of stealing the entire thing. That said, invest in luggage that has lockable and anti-theft zippers (as some thieves use a knife or pen to open locked bags). If you can’t afford or you don’t have time to go shopping for new bags, at least use ones that are in working condition, and avoid bringing designer bags as their prime target for thieves.
Bring A Cable Lock
People often let their guard down when they’re in cafes, bars, and restaurants, and leave their bags on an extra chair beside them. However, you have to consider the fact that if someone snatches and runs off with your bag, you may not be able to catch up — and that they may not be working alone, and would have someone block you off. That said, if you’re about to travel in an area that’s notorious for theft, or if you’re carrying very valuable items, consider buying a cable lock that would lock your bag on a chair, stool, or even the leg of your dining table.
Carry Your Bag In Front
It may look awkward, but if you’re carrying valuables in your backpack, it’s best to wear it in front, especially if you’re about to travel in a crowded area. Alternatively, you can wear one of those anti-theft backpacks that can’t be opened unless you take it off.
When traveling in a crowded area, avoid getting distracted, and avoid talking to people you don’t have to talk to. Many thieves work in groups, and some of them may drop objects in front of you, or engage in conversation while their accomplice steals your items.
Minimize Use of Public Transportation
If you’re traveling to a crowded city like Manila and you’re bringing valuables, it’s best to avoid public transportation, especially when you’re still bringing along all your bags. Try booking a hotel that offers pickup and drop-off services, or better yet rent a sedan or similar car in Manila that can accommodate all your belongings (as well as your group, if you’re traveling with them). This is a safer, more comfortable, and more convenient means of transportation instead of having to ride a bus and walk (with your bags) to the nearest bus or train station. You can use public transportation later on, once you’ve unloaded most of your bags and valuables at the hotel room or wherever you’re staying.
It’s best to follow these travel safety tips because if your personal belongings are stolen, it can be stressful and potentially ruin your entire trip.