5 Safety Tips to Keep Your Valuables at a Hostel May 28 2013, 0 Comments
For some travelers, staying in hostels is a way of life when exploring new places. Hostels do serve as an excellent budget accommodation and allow travelers who don’t need all the amenities and luxurious some extra money to spend on the fun part of traveling. However, because of the communal and low-income nature of hostels, they can also be a hotbed for petty theft. Here are 5 tips to stay at a hostel and walk away with all of your valuables:
1. Always check the security features & location. As you are browsing through the hostel listings and conducting online research, make sure to pay attention to the overall security of the accommodation. Often times on a review-based website, like Hostels.com, you will even find a security rating compiled by previous guests. Heed their warning, especially if the location is in an area known for crime. Security features to look for include a 24 hour front desk, secured lockers and a separate lock and key for your hostel room.
2. Double check the security of your locker. Because a hostel is a budget accommodation, some owners will attempt to cut back on expenses in any way possible. In some cases, it may be at the cost of your personal possessions. Before you set out for the day or night, take a moment to ensure the security of your locker. Check underneath the locker and behind it to make sure all sides are actually secure. Then, give the door a good tug to make sure that the lock holds into place without a key. Most of the time, the lockers are safe but it could be as simple as a broken lock.
3. Spread your valuables out. While it’s best to be proactive and positive about your safety when traveling, it’s also not a bad idea to consider options should you become the victim of petty theft. If a thief gets into a piece of luggage, perhaps the thief only comes away with some cash and a few personal items. If a thief snatches your purse, perhaps all the thief ends up with is your lipstick and one of your major credit cards. You can avoid losing all of your stuff by simply spreading your valuables out so that no one piece of luggage or pocket holds everything. Keep your most important valuables, ie your passport and credit cards, in your secure, zippered pockets in your tank, tee or underwear that no one can get to and keep money for everyday things in a purse or regular pocket.
4. Sleep with your valuables on you. You may think nothing gets passed you even when you’re sleeping, but that’s just not true -- especially after a long day of sightseeing or other travel itineraries. A general rule of thumb: make sure your valuables are put away in your locker and sleep with the key under your pillow or in your hand. For added security, turn your sleepwear into a secret locker with comfortable long johns outfitted with special zippered pockets.
5. Don’t overly trust your fellow travelers. For a lot of people, staying in hostels is one of the fastest ways to meet a new travel companion. All of a sudden you have someone to share stories with over a meal or explore new parts of the city. While meeting new people is a fantastic way to spend time travelling, be careful not to overly trust people you’ve only just met. You may enjoy spending time with that person, but that doesn’t mean they won’t take advantage of your personal possessions when you run out for just a moment or take a quick shower. Most people are completely reliable, but some professional thieves modus operandi is to make friends with unsuspecting travelers and then rip them off when they least expect it.