How Secure is That Safe?
I admire people who can travel without a care in the world; I really do. It’s just not in my DNA. I get nervous about everything from unexpected traffic en route to the airport to cash falling out of my pocket. And, I suspect I’m not alone. After fairly heavy travel for the post dozen years, I’ve come up with a few coping mechanisms. If you’re a paranoid traveler, you’ll find them helpful:
Sneaky map-reading: Are you worried about getting targeted by a pickpocket because you stand out? Tourists are easy prey in some places, and even if you won’t blend in, there are steps you can take to look like you aren’t totally mystified. If you need to consult a map, the middle of the sidewalk probably isn’t your best bet. Duck into a bathroom stall, and plot your course there. You’ll have a certain degree of privacy that isn’t available on the street.
Only carry what you need: How many credit cards are really necessary when you leave the hotel? Is that full wad of cash doing you any favors? Don’t take it all with you. Instead, just grab what you’ll need for the day – and nothing more. If something happens, your losses will be limited.
Reinforce the safe in your hotel room: Do you believe that nothing is impenetrable, that no lock is truly secure? Check out belts that you can wrap around hotel safes in order to provide an extra dose of protection. When you go out on the town, carrying only the cash and one credit card you need, you’ll be able to relax a bit, knowing that your passport and the rest of your wallet are locked down.
Stash your cash: Even when it’s reinforced, you can’t really be sure your cash will be safe. Keep some in your shoe. Hide some in your bag. I’ve never tried a money belt, so that decision is up to you. In general, though, you’ll want to diversify: keep cash in different bags, on your body and in the safe. By not putting all your eggs in one basket, a theft may not be as impactful.
Always try something new: Translation: never take the same route twice! Mix it up, in case you’re being followed. It works for James Bond, and it will work for you.
So, what’s your advice? Share if you dare … just know that you’re revealing your secrets!