One of the biggest concerns people usually have when studying abroad is the safety not only of themselves, but of their belongings as well. Things like passports, money, keys to lodging, and phones are imperative for getting around and having a pleasant experience. That being said, these valuables can sometimes be a hassle to keep track of all at once. The feeling of being in a new place, as well as the anxieties and fears that come with it can make this seem stressful. Losing a credit card or passport could really put you in a world of hurt. Here are a few tips to reduce stress and hassle when it comes to keeping your valuables safe and secure while abroad.
1. Check, check, check again!
Tip number one is very simple. When traveling, and especially abroad, double check and even triple check that you have all of your belongings with you. When traveling it is better to be safe than sorry. When traveling with luggage, especially carryon, make sure it is always in your view or easily accessible. If you must leave your luggage to go to the restroom or get food in the airport, make sure someone trustworthy is watching your possessions for you. When it comes to items on your person, be sure to put it in a specific pocket of place. You should frequently check you pockets to make sure that all of you important items, like phones, wallets, and passports are secure and on you. It is extremely important that you keep track of your possessions, so checking yourself is always a good idea.
2. Only bring what you need!
Tip number two is very important. While in a foreign country, different situations warrant different things to bring. When going to class, you do not need to bring your passport or a large amount of money. Avoid keeping absurdly large amounts of cash on person. For example losing $20 is definitely preferred to losing $200. Be smart about what you bring with you. If you do not need to have your passport on you, leave it at your place of residence in a secure location. This way, it is way less likely to be lost. Only bringing what is necessary is a great way to reduce the consequences of losing your valuables.
3. Security is key
Housing is a huge part of the Study Abroad Experience. It is your home away form home. That being said, you should be able to feel that your housing is safe and secure. Make sure to listen to and ask for all information regarding the safety and security aspects of your housing. When storing valuables in your housing, designate a specific spot or spots to put them. This will make them easier to find when they are needed. When you leave your apartment, make sure all of your valuables are stowed away in a secure location and remember to always lock your doors. This way you will know that your possessions are safe and can go about enjoying your day.
4. Alternative to wallets and purses
When storing your valuables on yourself, it is easy to just put them in your pockets or a purse. Unfortunately pickpockets know how easy it is to store these items in these places, as well as how to easily get them from you without you even noticing! Personally, instead of taking my wallet and passport separately everywhere together, I got a Travel Pouch. This is also called a neck pouch or passport holder if you look for it on Amazon. This pouch can easily hold all of you valuables such as your keys, passport, ID’s, cash, and even your phone. It is worn around your neck so you know all of your belongings are on you securely. It can be worn outside or under you clothes. It also has an adjustable strap to adjust where the bag is on your body. Personally, I wear mine under my clothes and have it adjusted to its loosest setting. This way, the strap is around my neck, but I can tuck the pouch in to my pants so it is almost completely unnoticeable. They are also pretty cheap, as mine was only around $12. I will include the link below as well as a picture.