How to keep money and valuables safe when you travel

Keeping your valuables safe while travelling is very important. Travel documentation—particularly your passport—is one of your most critical possessions when you are outside of your home country. While keeping credit cards and cash secure should be a priority, jewelry and other high-value items such as custom golf clubs, or unique prototypes for business reasons are close to irreplaceable.

Protecting your valuables while travelling will make for a much more pleasant experience so keep your belongings safe with these savvy traveller tips.

Money and travel documents are your most important items to keep safe while travelling. Before you go, it’s a good idea to make copies of your passport and other documents. Keep one copy at home with a trusted relative or friend, and bring another with you. Always keep your money and passport as close as possible. Today, there are lots of options for hiding your loot on your body with various travel valuables pouches; money belt (that looks like a real belt), money socks, and even money undies and bras are available. 

Many of these options are somewhat more subtle than the traditional undercover money belt so you don’t have to untuck and lift up your shirt to hunt around for your cash. Remember too, that most baggage protection coverage excludes lost currency, so keep cash to an absolute minimum when travelling.

When you are in transit don’t ever let your valuables out of your sight. If you have important items in your hand luggage stow it beneath the seat in front of you instead of overhead where it can be moved or opened without you noticing. When on trains, don’t leave valuables behind on your seat when going to the dining car, and if you tend to fall asleep on long bus rides you need to keep your backpack safe when travelling. Make sure it is attached to you so that no one can lift anything while you doze. It’s also a really good idea to take a picture of your valuables ahead of time so that if they go missing you can provide accurate information and descriptions to local law enforcement, as well as proof of belongings should you be required to submit a travel insurance claim for lost or stolen baggage . Also, make sure that your home bank knows you are travelling so that they are aware if unusual charges come through on your account.

Be aware if you are in a high-risk area for pickpockets and thieves, or avoid them if possible. Refer to the Government of Canada advisories for location-specific advice. . No matter how dazzled you are by the food or art, keep your wits about you and make sure that you know where your valuables are at all times. And, when you need to have a credit card, just take one out with you and leave another in the hotel safe for emergencies. Same goes for your passport: bring along a photocopy but leave the original at the hotel for day trips.

It’s always easier to not worry about safeguarding valuables while travelling if you don’t have them; expensive rings, watches and other cherished items are often best left at home or in a bank safe deposit box. And if you have to bring them, spread your valuable items around—hide your passport in the pocket of a suit jacket and put your jewelry in a sock roll.

You might do everything right and still wind up the victim of theft. But the good news is that certain travel insurance options offered by Allianz Global Assistance include benefits for reimbursement if your luggage is lost or stolen while travelling and supports you with getting your travel documents back or replaced. Other types of insurances, like homeowners’ policies, might also include coverage for valuables while travelling, so be sure to review all your policies before leaving to ensure you have adequate protection in place. And, if the worst does actually happen, your travel insurance advisors will support you with arranging emergency cash transfers from family, passport replacement and claims for stolen items. In short, keep your valuables close… and your travel insurance policy with baggage protection benefits closer!
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