One of the most stressful aspects of traveling is making sure your belongings arrive safely. It’s a terrible feeling when you discover your luggage has been tampered with or worse, lost.
And don’t forget your belongings at home! Traveling means your house is left empty and exposed, which is a problem because burglars often look for signs that a home has been empty for some time.
Your belongings at home and in the suitcase are two major things to worry about while traveling, but you can put your concerns to rest with careful planning and by paying attention. Here are 10 tips to help you keep your belongings safe during your summer travels.
- Keep your belongings close as possible. Don’t leave items unattended and be especially wary when arriving at security checkpoints. Hold onto your items until it’s your turn to go through the checkpoint.
- Be the first to the baggage claim. There’s always a chance somebody will get to the baggage carousel before you and take your bag either by mistake – or on purpose. Do not rely on the airport to match tags with baggage as not all airports follow this procedure.
- Secure your valuables and lock your luggage. Always lock your bags, but this might not be enough depending on your suitcase choice, as this video demonstrates. Consider a more secure suitcase. Don’t forget about smaller items you’re carrying, such as your phone, wallet and credit cards. Either keep them in secure pockets or bury them deep inside your carry-on bag.
- Place your carry-on bag in the overhead compartment across from you. This allows you to always have eye contact with your belongings. If you place the bag directly above, you can’t see it and would have no idea if someone accessed it.
- Lock your valuables in a safe. Hotels are not safe places to keep valuables, so you should keep them hidden or opt to use a safe. Many hotels offer safes in every room or behind the front desk.
Protecting the Home during a Trip
- Make sure all windows and doors are locked before you leave. It’s the most simple, yet most effective way to keep someone out of your home. As many as 40 percent of burglaries occur through unlocked doors and windows.
- Don’t announce your travel plans on social media. Burglars are now using social media as a tool to choose their targets. Announcing your vacation is essentially the same as announcing your home is open for the taking.
- Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to make it appear like your home is still occupied. This can be done by picking up mail/packages, mowing the lawn and turning on lights – all things a burglar notices while canvassing a home.
- Light up the home. Turning on the lights is an effective way to deter a burglar, and it’s easy to do even if you’re not home. You can ask a neighbor or friend to do it every night, or you can consider a device that allows you to automate lighting.
- Invest in a home security system and remember to arm it. There is no better way to protect your home than with a home security system, but it needs to be armed to be of any use. If you’re the forgetful type, think about a system that allows for remote access so you’ll have access 24/7 at any time, from anywhere.
Rest easy during your summer travels this year. Use these tips to keep all of your belongings safe and let your biggest concern be about what to eat off of a delicious menu.