Insurance Blog

Posted: 09/13/20234,623 Views

Even if you’re a generally careful person in day-to-day life, it’s easy to get lost in the moment when traveling abroad. One minute you’re admiring the Eiffel Tower, and the next moment you realize your wallet is gone, along with your cash and credit cards. 

Robbery and petty theft is a scourge on tourists around the globe. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting Houston, Hangzhou or Helsinki, you can become a victim if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to minimize your chances of being a victim of robbery while outside your home country. 

Don’t Carry a Lot of Cash

The best way not to lose a bunch of money to a pickpocket is to avoid carrying too much in the first place. You probably don’t need $1,000 in cash for an afternoon out in San Francisco, so only carry enough to cover your expected expenses, plus a little extra. If you’ve exchanged a lot of extra cash ahead of time, keep the rest securely locked up in your hotel safe. Remember, a stolen credit card can be replaced, but stolen bills are likely gone for good. Cash may be king, but it won’t do you a bit of good if all you have is stolen in one fell swoop.

Invest in a Money Belt

Pickpockets are experts at removing your wallet from your pocket without you knowing. The solution is to keep your valuables somewhere more secure. A money belt is a snug-fitting belt that attaches around your waist, underneath your shirt. They have pockets to hold cash, credit cards, a passport, and maybe more depending on the model. They make your valuables much more difficult to access for thieves, and thus safer in crowds. Of course, they’re more difficult to access for you as well. Since you don’t want to be reaching in your shirt whenever you buy something, remove the small amount of cash you need for a purchase in a private place such as a bathroom ahead of time. 

Get a Cable Lock

A small cable lock is an ideal way to securely attach a purse or bag to a park bench, chair, bus seat, etc. Once the bag is secured with a lock, no one will be able to quickly snatch it away. However, keep in mind that a committed thief can easily cut or pick one of these locks in less than a minute, so never leave valuables unattended even when locked. They will only help prevent crimes of opportunity.

Dress Modestly

You may enjoy wearing fancy jewelry or an expensive watch and fine tailored clothes, but a vacation isn’t the right time to put them on. Flaunting pricey valuables makes you a beacon to thieves, and much more likely to be targeted. Stick to wearing understated items that don’t convey vast amounts of wealth. If you insist on bringing your bling, reserve it for special occasions where you won’t be in large, unpredictable crowds. Thieves love to hide in seas of people. 

Take Out Your Earbuds

An unaware tourist makes for an easy target. So, as tempting as it may be to cue up your favorite song while seeing the sights, it’s best to leave them out. You need to have all of your senses available to detect a potential threat, and earbuds block one of your most important senses out. Save your music for when you’re back in your hotel room.

How Travel Insurance Can Help

Depending on the coverage you select, many travel insurance plans can help you if you’re a victim of robbery. They may be able to provide services such as emergency cash transfer, passport replacement, and of course emergency medical coverage if the robbery results in an injury. Just remember that different plans have different benefits, so you’ll need to read the policy certificate prior to making any purchase.

What type of travel insurance should you choose?

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