Picture it: you’re in a place you’ve never been before. While moving through a crowd you spy an interesting shop from the corner of your eye. You make your way there and find the perfect souvenir to commemorate your travels. Then you reach for your wallet and…

Uh-oh.

Many people only take financial safety precautions when traveling abroad, but the truth is that pickpockets—or your own carelessness—can strike anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re backpacking across Europe or just taking a day trip to New York to scout out Albany houses for sale. When you’re on the move with valuable belongings, it’s alarmingly easy to lose track of them and even easier to find yourself a victim of theft.

Protect yourself by following these simple guidelines.

Lock ‘Em Up!

Most hotels equip their rooms with safes you can use to lock away your most valuable possessions, so take advantage of that. If you’re staying somewhere overnight and you’re transporting jewelry, collectibles, expensive equipment, or large sums of money, any time those items are out of your sight they’re in danger of disappearing like Criss Angel.

Unlike Criss Angel, though, they probably won’t reappear. If you don’t trust the hotel safe, that’s okay. Bring your own. If what you have is too big to fit in a safe, then at least try to keep it in a secure container with a sturdy lock. And if that’s not possible…

Keep ‘Em Close!

If you can’t ensure that your valuables are protected while you’re away from them, the answer is simple: don’t ever be “away from them.” Either you stay where they are or, if possible, bring them along with you.

That means when you’re getting on an airplane, don’t leave your jewelry in your luggage. Keep it in your carry-on bag instead. Proximity is key here. If you’re out and about, even keeping your wallet in your back pocket or a knapsack can be dangerous. You’re better off keeping it in your front pocket or in a waist pouch. And even better than that…

Leave ‘Em Home!

Traveling is fun, but it’s also risky. If there’s not a good reason for you to bring something valuable along with you, avoid the danger entirely by leaving it at home, locked away and safe. Take a moment to seriously consider how much you need to bring that pricey laptop or those diamond earrings.

Even such items as cash and credit cards don’t need to come along for the ride. Lose the former and it’s gone forever. Lose the latter and you open yourself up to fraudulent purchases and identity theft. As an alternative, try dividing your travel budget into a few prepaid debit cards. These are a great way of protecting your bank account, and carrying multiple smaller amounts means losing one hurts less.

Be Sociable, Share!