Travelling, be it just across provinces or to another country is always a great experience. But there are incidents such as losing your passport or luggage or having valuables stolen that can easily be avoided with some simple planning and preparation.
Your passport should be nearby at all times preferably in a small handbag, purse or money belt for easy accessibility. If it is possible, memorize your passport number or email yourself a scan of your passport in case for some reason it gets lost.
Removing old destination tags is a good habit to get into to avoid confusion at airports etc. Get yourself a lock for luggage that contains valuable items and have it labeled both inside and outside the bag to avoid having another traveler from getting the luggage by mistake.
Bring only enough bags that you can carry on your own. Taking such precautions will make you feel comfortable and not helpless or immobilized when waiting for a taxi or a bus. Having too much luggage will make it difficult to keep an eye on all your bags and can make you an easy target for thieves.
Be careful and aware of your surroundings. Never let a stranger look after your luggage and keep it within eyesight at all times. If you do need to leave luggage unattended have a travel companion watch it or use a luggage locker.
Always choose a hotel located on a well-traveled street and usually, the more expensive the hotel, the better the security. When entering a hotel room for the first time, check the windows, sliding doors and connecting rooms (if there are any) and make sure they are all secure. You can also request a room on a higher floor to avoid the chances of thieves getting into a ground floor room.
Many security experts advise the use of credit cards while on vacation as opposed to debit or cash. Credit cards are insured for purchases that you didn’t make and can be suspended immediately. If someone can access your debit card or steals your cash, that money cannot be recovered.
If you are traveling by car never leave anything in your vehicle even if the hotel has a secure garage. The same rule applies if you are driving to destinations in the city you are visiting. Take anything valuable with you or leave it in your hotel room.
Most hotels have a small vault in the room and safety deposit box, which are complimentary. And while safes are a great way to store jewelry etc, the best way to protect your valuables is to leave your most expensive items at home.
When leaving the hotel, it is also advisable to leave your room key with the front desk and claim it when returning to the hotel. Hotel room keys can be cloned and are very easy to steal, so keep an eye on them in pool areas or common areas of the hotel.
Do not answer the hotel room door before verifying who it is. If someone claims to be a hotel employee and you do not recall making any request from the hotel, it is best to call the front desk person first to verify.
Most importantly, make sure the hotel room door is locked at all times. Even if you are running down the hall to get ice, or use the vending machine, make sure your room is either locked or a travel companion is in the room during your absence.