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During my travel in the past years, I’ve learned a lot about staying safe – especially because people actually tried to rob me and I had my stuff stolen a lot of times.
Even in my own home city. The place where I usually feel safe and confident.
But sh*t happens and lessons learned!
In this video and article I show you my 5 tips how I prevent myself from getting stuff stolen while hitchhiking, traveling solo and staying in hostels or doing Couchsurfing.
Especially when traveling with a laptop or filming gear.
1. Get a secure anti-theft backpack (e.g. from RiutBag)
I usually don’t give product recommendations, but I think for this article it’s very useful to mention my favorite things that I really trust when it comes to safety.
And the RiutBag backpack is just the best thing ever. It totally changed my life and made everything just so much easier.
You wonder why? I’ll tell you.
The best thing about this backpack is that it has no outer openings.
It means all the zips are hidden against the back.
So it’s impossible. Impossible. to open it while it’s on your back.
It’s waterproof and It has enough space for my laptop and camera gear.
And the best part: It just makes me feel comfortable wherever I go. Because I know that everything is really safe. Nobody can open it from the outside.
And isn’t it the most frustrating thing when you realize that you got something stolen because someone opened your bag while you were in a crowded place?
This happened to me a lot of times in the past.
I think not only everyone should have a backpack like this one, but every backpack should be designed like this.
So no matter if you’re traveling to a foreign country or if you’re commuting to work every day: Having a secure backpack is the most important thing!
You can find different versions of the RiutBag on their website here.
2. Wear a thin belt bag to store your emergency cash
Another thing that I always use when I’m traveling is a belt bag.
But not a big one, it’s important that it’s small and not visible to other people while you’re wearing it.
There I’m hiding a part of my money, an emergency credit card, my keys or whatever.
The most secure place is our body and we should always make use of it.
This belt bag is so thin that other people won’t even notice it when I’m wearing a dress over it or a T-Shirt.
And I really just use it for the most important things.
When I’m sleeping outside or in a train, it also has space to fit my phone in there.
And this belt bag really makes me feel relaxed while sleeping in a public space or just having it on me all times.
So if you don’t have a belt bag yet – get one!
3. Lock up your valuables with lockers
I learned the importance of locking up my valuables just on my recent trip.
Not only ask a lot of hostels for a separate lock or charge an extra fee for that.
The locks you get in hostels are also not necessarily that secure and can be easily opened by thieves.
So that’s why I usually carry a simple but secure lock with me which is also useful to no only lock up storage, but also doors, your bags, your camera gear, drones and your pacsafes.
There are thousand different kinds of locks available on the market but I think choosing one that is not too heavy but also not too simple to open is a good choice and carrying it around won’t feel like a waste of weight.
I know that people who really wanna open a lock will be able to open the lock. So keep that in mind but most of the thieves usually don’t plan to steal your stuff.
It mostly just happens randomly by strangers who see that your stuff is not secured and easily accessible.
So a lock will definitely prevent people from touching your stuff.
4. Prepare a dummy wallet and take it with you wherever you go
Everybody should carry a dummy wallet while traveling for mainly two reasons.
First: It is never a good idea to keep all your cash in one place.
So having a second wallet makes real sense if you just keep a small amount of cash in there.
So whenever you need change you know that you have this wallet and small notes are available. In some places where corruption is still a thing, it might help you as well to have a dummy wallet.
So if a police officer stops you and wants some money from you for whatever reason, you can show him your wallet and he will maybe leave you with a smaller fine because you have not that much cash on you.
For instance, this happened to me in Vietnam and Turkey and both times the officers didn’t want to make big trouble either and let me go.
Second: The second reason why traveling with a dummy wallet is a good idea is because if someone tries to steal your wallet or even wants to rob you.
You can hand this wallet over and it won’t be that big of a deal.
You won’t lose that much money and it maybe saves your life to cooperate with someone trying to rob you.
5. Secure your laptop in a portable safe
This is something I don’t own yet but it’s definitely on my list.
I was looking for something to lock up my laptop or camera gear while going out at night or when there is no locker available and you don’t wanna carry your laptop with you all the time.
The idea is to have a small bag that is as secure as a safe.
So I stumbled upon this website and I read really good recommendations about their products.
What’s definitely on my list is the Travelsafe which is basically a portable safe but it doesn’t necessarily look like one.
I think this will be very useful when traveling in hostels that do not have safes.
On my last trip, I was a little bit worried about my laptop sometimes because it happened that there was no storage available and I had to hide it under my pillow.
Anyway, this travelsafe is Almost like a small backpack and you can just lock it on the bed, around a tree or wherever and it’s really really hard to open it even with the right tools.
I can imagine that it’s so solid that It will add weight to your bag but I think definitely worth it in my opinion.”
Traveling is fun and life-changing. But it doesn’t mean that travel can’t be frustrating, or that accidents can’t happen.
You always need to be careful when it comes to your safety and your money. Which is exactly why I wrote this article and why I made this video. So I hope your next travel will be safe and see you next time!