I’m not generally a superstitious person but 2013 is shaping up to be a year of learning. As the saying goes, bad things usually happen in threes. With that, I should have well and truly paid my karma dues and be on to some safe and happy travels for the remainder of the year.
Since February 2013, I’ve had not one, not two but three cases of travel misfortune! As somebody that has travelled reasonably trouble-free for over ten years, such poor luck has been an eye-opener both educationally and (most painfully) financially.
- First up were my credit card details, stolen by duplicating the card and PIN number at a cash machine in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I only found out when a few weeks later my credit card statement arrived several 000’s overdrawn!
- Next up was my solo trip to New York and onwards to Jamaica where I hired a rental car from Eastern Car Rentals in Port Antonio and a few days later made my way to Mystic Mountain for a day out. I returned to a damaged vehicle and several items missing 😦
- Most recently, I had the misfortune of placing a suitcase on the luggage rack of a London bus whilst heading to the airport. My partner and I retrieved the case and were both angry and frustrated to realise that our laptop had been stolen from the locked bag. Another sum of cash down the drain.
With that, I needed to share some tips about travelling safely and ensuring that you avoid putting yourself at risk.
Travel insurance is essential with appropriate level of cover for your travel needs and any equipment that you may be taking with you. Always keep an emergency phone number to hand in case you need to contact them.
Lock your luggage
Keep your luggage within sight at all times, especially on public transport whether you’re home or abroad. Invest in a strong and sturdy lock on your luggage.
Use technology to your safety advantage
Travelling with a laptop or mobile phone? Think about installing a tracker application that is accessible remotely. That way, you can stay in control to ‘lock’ your belongings should they go missing. As an additional precaution, register your valuables on Immobilise.com, the world’s largest FREE register of ownership.
If you don’t need it, leave it at home
Exactly as it says… if you could do without bringing unnecessary valuables with you then leave them at home. Taking anything that isn’t needed will not only add to your luggage weight but also gives you one more thing to think about.
Even in a familiar location, remain observant of the surroundings and people. Look out for strange behaviour or anything that just doesn’t seem right. Trust your instincts.
What precautions do you take with your belongings when travelling?