Travel Safe: How To Protect Your Bags and Belongings While Traveling

Travel SafeIf you strategize for travel safety—and plan ahead—you can avoid becoming a victim of theft on the road. Keep these eight tips as you start packing up for your next getaway.

From Eagle Creek Blogger Jessica Festa

When traveling and exploring unfamiliar territory, your belongings become more vulnerable to being lost or stolen. That said, you don’t need to travel in fear: there are tactics you can employ to keep your things safe. To help you plan a strategy, here are Eagle Creek’s top suggestions.

1.  Leave Unnecessary Valuables at Home

If you can’t bear the thought of losing something, leave it at home. Of course, there are some things you may need to bring like your camera or cell phone for emergencies; however, do you really need to bring your high-end wristwatch, costume jewelry, laptop, tablet and your smartphone? Pack light, especially when it comes to valuables.

2.  Invest in Concealed Accessories

Instead of putting valuables in outer pockets and backpack pockets where they can be easily stolen, invest in accessories that allow you to keep your important items on the inside of your clothing and inside secret pouches.

ACK offers three different concealed accessories to help you travel safe. The Undercover Neck Wallet can be worn around your neck and tucked into your shirt. The Undercover Money Belt and the Undercover Hidden Pocket are two other options for keeping your valuables out of sight.

3.  Lock Up and Stay Alert in Crowds

Instead of just leaving your suitcase vulnerable to intruders, keep it locked up using a Signal Search TSA Lock or Mini-Key TSA Lock. This type of lock allows you to see when your belongings have been opened by TSA. You can also use one of these locks to secure purses and day bags to make it more difficult to get into your possessions both on the street and in the hotel. If you stay alert and are confident, you’ll avoid looking like a target.

4.  Don’t Let Your Guard Down In The Hotel

It’s easy to let your guard down once you’re off the city streets and back in your comfortable hotel room. Don’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying in a hostel or 5-star hotel, you need to be mindful of your belongings in order to travel safe. Lock up valuables, keep luggage closed and secure and, if you don’t need your room cleaned every single day, hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door to keep cleaning staff out of the room when you’re out exploring the city.

5.  Keep A Clear Head

While it may be tempting to sample every beer on the menu at the local bar when traveling, it’s not wise. When drinking, sip slowly and alternate with water to keep from becoming intoxicated — and putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Some thieves specifically target travelers they see leaving popular bars and coffeeshops as they make easy targets. The more clearly you can think, the more aware you will be or your surroundings and better equipped to handle potentially dangerous situations.

6.  Trust Your Gut

If something seems too good to be true or a situation just doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. Get in the habit of always taking your hotel’s business card and putting it immediately into your wallet. Late at night—or if you need to leave the scene quickly to avoid trouble—you’ll be able to hand the card to the driver, and know that he’ll be able to get you back to safety. You won’t have to remember addresses and directions or deal with language barriers.

7.  Be Mindful of Scams

There are some truly outrageous scams out there aimed at robbing tourists, so ask your hotel or travel agent which ones you should be aware of when you are touring around at your destination. One rule of thumb is to be wary of anyone trying to be overly helpful — helping you with your bags, wiping dirt from your shoulder, touching you in a flirty manner — as they may just want access to your pockets. In general, keep your bag closed tightly and close to your body.

8.  Stay Organized

The more organized you keep your luggage, the less likely you are to lose track of your valuables. Use Pack-It Specter Cubes  to save luggage space and keep clothing separated. Additionally, Pack-It Sacs can secure your important documents, credit cards, passport, money and receipts.

Jessica Festa, a New York native, is a world traveler who is always looking for a new adventure. She stays active through hiking, cycling, and dance and loves nothing more than her backpack. Follow her travels around the world at Jessie on a Journey and at Epicure & Culture.  

Packing Smart for Adventure Travel

Kelty Ascender Bag
Kelty’s Ascender Trunk

An extended adventure vacation can be a life changing event, so don’t let disorganization bring you down! Packing smart for adventure travel really means packing light, taking less and keeping things organized. Below are some useful packing tips to help you do just that.

Choose The Right Travel Bag

Whether it’s a rolling suitcase, big duffle or travel backpack, you need the right bag for your trip. Consider the length of your trip, mode of transportation and what all you will be bringing.

Shop our selection of travel bags here.

Where are you going?

When choosing the right bag, start by thinking about your destination and how you’ll need to transport your travel bag. Will you need to carry it around on your back because of the terrain or will you be able to roll it along flat surfaces? Thinking about your destination will help you narrow down your ideal travel bag from the three main options: a backpack, duffle bag, or bag on wheels (such as a rolling upright).

How long will you be there?

If you’re planning a short trip, then obviously you won’t need a very large bag. In fact, you’ll thank yourself for packing light. But if you’re going on vacation or planning a long excursion then you’ll need a larger bag that can fit several changes of clothes and other everyday essentials.

What will you need while you’re away?

Considering what you need to pack is helpful not only for choosing the size of your bag, but also selecting special features that offer packing efficiency and easy. For example, if you’re packing electronic gear, the bag should have waterproofing and extra compartments to secure your items within the bag (like Thule’s Crossover 38 Liter Rolling Upright).

Or you could just do it all with one bag…

Before you start searching for the bag that’s perfect to your specific trip, check out Kelty’s newest luggage system, the Ascender.  The Ascender is unique in that it is a modular system that includes an exterior chassis with various bag options including the expanding Ascender 22 which expands to 3 different bag sizes (40-liter carry on, 55 liter and 70 liter), the  Ascender Trunk which is 78 liters and chock full of internal organizers, and finally the Ascender Duffle which is a tough, water resistant duffle. Each bag can be worn as a backpack or attached to the external chassis to becoming a rolling upright.

Bring Along An Everyday Bag

You don’t want to have to lug around everything when you don’t need to. On longer trips when your travel bag is past the point of being comfortable to tote around daily, and you have the ability to leave it somewhere safely, bringing along an everyday bag keep things flexible. A good everyday bag will function as your airport carry-on and allow you to take along whatever you need on your daily adventures. Just like your travel bag, you should on the style of everyday bag that most fits your needs, as they come in a range of styles including lightweight backpacks, slings, lumbar packs and more.

Keeping organized with Eagle Creek's Pack-It Cubes.
Keeping organized with Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Cubes.

Keep Things Organized

An organized traveler is a happy one. When you’re on the road, there’s no better feeling than opening up your bag and knowing exactly where to find your favorite shirt or that specific power cord. Some travel bags come equipped with integrated organizers and pockets, however the most effective way to keep organized is by travel accessories made to do just that. Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes, Kelty’s Cache Boxes (intended for electronic storage), and Outdoor Research Ditty Sacks are all great items to prevent specific items from becoming one in your pack.  One of my personal favorite travel accessories is the North Face Base Camp Flat Dopp Kit which makes a perfect toiletry kit.

Check out all of our different travel accessories here.

Adventure Travel Packing Checklist:

Whether you’re escaping for a long weekend away or taking a month long excursion, it’s good to use a checklist. Create a list considering the following categories: travel documents, packs/luggage, clothing, footwear, travel gear, toiletries and other personal items.

Our friends at Eagle Creek have a very easy to use packing checklist builder that takes into account your specific type of trip and destination. Give it a try!