What about security and safety for your stuff while you travel (money, credit cards, camera, laptop, e-reader/tablet, etc.)? Any tips would be really useful!


In general, I'd say, don't worry too much about it.

Before this answer get's shut down, let me explain.

Firstly, let's talk about the physical items that you want to protect. If you've worked hard for these and value them, then more than likely, you are going to protect them with the same diligence as you would in your home country.

Coming from Pakistan, you may find that the majority of destinations will be much less interested in these physical items.

Money and credit cards are a little different. Firstly, make sure that all of your credit cards are chip and pin, and have MasterCard SecureCode or Verified By Visa enabled - talk to your bank about this before you travel. If your cards are stolen, then these systems go a long way to prevent your card being used online or in a physical store. In the event that they are used, you stand a very high chance of winning a dispute and getting a full refund of any fraudulent charges, should your card fall into malicious hands.

As for cash, carry only what you need. Ensure that you have overseas ATM privileges with your bank, and only carry on your person what you need for the next 24 hours. Now, banks are terrible and withdrawals overseas may be expensive, so in such cases, making a single withdrawal and keeping cash in a hotel safe, may be an option. Many international hotels have ATMs inside which are safe and secure. If you have to withdraw outside of the hotel, then choose a time and location where you can safely make a withdrawal without attracting too much attention.

But my main advice would be - don't sweat it! Travel is a gift - the opportunity to see and experience new places, new cultures, new food, and new perspectives is unrivalled by any other. Enjoy it, immerse yourself in the experience, and let common sense take care of your material possessions - especially the ones that can be insured and replaced.

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Very broad question. Fortunately we've never had a serious incident (in 100s of trips through 30+ countries).

  1. Phone/wallet: I by and large do the same thing as I do at home. Jacket or pant pocket with zipper or Velcro. Not so much for theft protection, but for preventing them to fall out or get lost.
  2. Passport: In a special pocket in my backpack or hotel safe. My wife likes to keep them in a money belt. Doesn't seem to make a difference.
  3. Electronics: Backpack or hotel room. I sometimes throw the smaller stuff (phones, tablets) in the hotel safe, but it's about 50/50.
  4. Cash: avoid using as much as possible. In many countries these days you can get by with plastic quite well. That has the added benefit that it's much easier to track a budget (if you care). Use ATMs to get cash locally in smaller amounts (2-3 day's worth). ATMs these days are very widely available. Use a Debit card, not a credit card.
  5. Credit/Debit Cards: make sure always have two or three different ones and keep them in two different places. Most issues that we had were related to the bank being stupid (shutting off the card, despite setting a travel alert), so redundancy here is a good idea
  6. Frequent checks: whenever I leave somewhere I quickly pat myself down for wallet and phone (if passport, if applicable). Not because I'm particularly worried about safety but because I'm scatterbrained and prone to lose stuff. Doesn't harm though
  7. Keys: Card keys wherever it's convenient. If you lose them, they will just give you a new one. Physical hotel keys at the lobby/reception. Car keys: same as home.
  8. Checked luggage: I couldn't care less. If someone gets a thrill out of my old underwear, knock yourself out.
  9. Boarding passes, reservations etc.: No special treatment. They can always be reprinted or recovered. I make sure that I have the airline/hotel/booking app on the phone and I sometimes have electronic copies as PDFs as well.
  10. Don't be stupid: Do a bit of research up front. Figure out what may be a risk and keep an eye on your surroundings. If you go into a place that's famous for pick pocketing, just take a small amount of cash or one piece of plastic. If it looks sketchy to you, avoid it. Chances are it's not sketchy at all and I had wonderful experiences in sketchy looking areas, but its always good to err on the side of caution.

So in general we found, that whenever works at home tends to work in other countries as well. The "risks" associated are often over stated by the media.

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