Know Risk is a community education program designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to improve our understanding of insurance and how it relates to managing the many risks we all face in life.
Do you really need that money belt?
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Before you hit the road, jump on a plane and head off on an adventure, you will pack your backpack (or your wheelie-suitcase) and your whole life will suddenly be in a bag. Everything you need for your trip – your clothes, iPod, camera, toiletries, first aid… So what happens if that bag gets lost or even stolen?
Everyone has a friend or a friend of a friend who has had something crazy happen or had their stuff stolen when travelling. I’ve heard all kinds of stories, many of which would make you reconsider leaving your hotel room. Ever. But in reality, most places you go to you have little to fear. It is really just about taking a bit of extra care with your stuff.
Sometimes it does happen though. A friend of mine spent 3 months travelling solo in India and had no issues. Until the last week of her trip. Standing outside a train station arguing with a taxi driver about the additional ‘fare’ he had decided to charge, she turned around for only a moment, and in that moment her backpack was whisked away.
All her belongings, all the presents she had bought her friends and family, her camera, all her trip photos… Luckily she was carrying her passport and her bankcards on her. But it just goes to show how quickly it can happen and it’s particularly difficult when travelling alone - you can’t always keep an eye on things.
Perhaps to start with, you wear that money belt judiciously, you hold onto your bag carefully when walking around, your wallet buried somewhere well out of reach and your excess cash hidden away in your spare socks. But as time passes you tend to get more and more relaxed about your belongings. It is easy to become complacent, and this is when you might start to lose things.
Without being totally paranoid (because that’s not going to make for a fun trip) there are some easy ways you can keep your stuff a little safer along the way, and make sure you return home with your backpack, your belongings and your peace of mind intact. Mainly, it’s just about common sense.
Have any of your valuables been lost or stolen when travelling?
If you are looking at heading off on a holiday, you can read on here for some easy tips on keeping your stuff safe.