Whether you are planning a vacation to a different country or to a neighboring state, remaining aware of possible theft could save you time and money later. Here is a list of ten pointers to keep in mind on your vacation this summer:
Always be aware of the things you are carrying. Whether that be the wallet in your pocket, or the purse on your shoulder, stay conscious of your items. Purses are easy targets for pick pocketing so make sure it is in front, and not behind you. Don’t forget about the wallet in your back pocket. If you are in a particularly crowded area, put it in your front pocket.
Separate your sources of money. In the case of theft, carrying all your money in one place would leave you empty handed. Leave your cash in one pocket, and debit and/or credit cards in another.
Scan your travel documents. By scanning your travel documents, including your driver’s license and passport, the process of obtaining new ones in the case of theft is much simpler. By scanning the documents, you can travel around your destination with the copies, leaving the original in a secure place like a safe in your hotel room.
Don’t talk to strangers. Just like mom always told you, talking to strangers is not a good idea. It is important to be aware, and remain skeptical of the people you talk to, especially in foreign countries. Although they may not seem suspicious, pick pockets are good at what they do. Be careful not to flaunt your belongings, and be aware of where they are on your person.
Don’t flaunt your possessions. Keep money and other important possessions in as hidden a location on your person as possible when traveling around your vacation destination. By being discrete a thief or pick pocket may not know where your possessions are located.
Make sure your smartphone is backed up to another location. By backing up your pictures, contacts, apps, notes, and more to a different location you are able to easily regain all of the information lost if your smartphone is stolen. Be sure to immediately change all passwords to apps and websites obtainable on the stolen smart phone to prevent further stolen information.
Be wary of internet cafes and free WiFi. Using unsecured networks can leave your digital information susceptible to hackers and scammers. Tasks as simple as online shopping or checking your email can allow a hacker to obtain your financial information. If you do use WiFi make sure it is secure and the correct information. Scammers have been known to set up similarly named networks or hotspots around hotels and cafes.
If it is too good to be true, it probably is. There may be times in which you are offered deals or discounts for activities and meals that sound too good to be true, and that’s because they probably are. Accepting these deals may lead to fraud or theft. Be aware of when you use your debit and/or credit card, and be aware anything you are offered may not be legitimate.
Don’t leave anything of value out in the open in your hotel room. In many hotel rooms there is a safe provided, anything of value should be left in there while you are gone. If there is no safe available to you, leave it in a hidden location.
Never travel with anything you can’t bear to lose. Taking your grandmother’s ring, or anything of monetary or sentimental value, on a trip to Europe could lead to a devastating theft. If you cannot imagine your life without an item, or if it is not replaceable, leave it at home where it is safe.
Contributed by Maddie Mitchell, Communications Strategist
Maddie Mitchell is a junior studying public relations and international studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, and a graduate of Yukon High School. She enjoys writing about tips and tricks for all occasions, and the books she can frequently be found reading.