Tips to keep yourself and your possessions safe on holiday

Harriet Meyer / 02 December 2015

Don't get caught out by criminals and pickpockets abroad.

You want to relax and enjoy your holiday without worrying about a thing – including the valuables you might have stashed in your bag and hotel room. 

Worrying about becoming a target for thieves can make it hard to unwind.

Confused by conversion rates and commission? Read Paul Lewis' guide to spending money abroad.

Here are some top tips for staying safe:

Only carry what you need

When you’re out exploring, make sure to only take essentials with you. This includes cash, maybe one card, and if you have an expensive camera keep it hidden away when not in use.

Take photocopies of your passport and other documents

This includes your insurance details, basic contacts and flight information. Keep these separately from the originals. 

In the event of a loss or theft, these copies can make it much easier to get replacements or cancel stolen bank cards.

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Leave copies with a trusted friend or relative

Holidaymakers should always take several copies of vital documents. One set can be left at home with someone who’s easily contactable in an emergency.

Tell your bank you’re going away

You don’t want to find yourself stuck in a strange location, and unable to draw cash or use your cards. Banks have vital security processes in place that could mean your card is blocked if you’re using it abroad. 

If you’re going to several countries, tell your bank your travel dates and where you’ll be during your trip.

Use a wallet or money belt

There are plenty of ways to keep valuables on your person that don’t include an easy-to-snatch shoulder bag or similar. 

Check out the options online, and consider which is most appropriate for your needs. Even if this will only fit the basics – such as cash and passport – it could be worth purchasing.

Don't get caught by these travel insurance traps.

Use safes in hotels

Ok, so you want to dash to the pool – but before you do so, suss out the safe. Sometimes these can prove fiddly to use, but if you struggle ask a staff member for help. It’ll be worth leaving any valuable items you don’t need there for peace of mind.

Store valuables in empty bottles

If you want to take extra precautions, say, while spending a day at the beach, keep your valuables out of sight. There are various inventive means of doing so, such as storing cash in an empty sunscreen bottle. This could be used to store keys or anything else small you might want for a day out.

Keep your bank cards and passport separate

If you manage to lose one, then you’ve still got the other. This could avoid the panic of having everything stolen at once – which can prove a nightmare when you’re away from home. 

Stay safe with our guide to personal safety when abroad. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.