Last updated 2 April 2020
Keeping ourselves and our belongings safe is the number one priority of travelling. More and more, there are increasing risks to our safety and security, particularly as they relate to technology . Cyber crime is a significant and growing global crime, and travellers can be impacted by this. General theft can also be a problem.
In more recent times, changes have been made to the way in which we fly with our valuable equipment. Flying to the US and UK via a handful of Middle Eastern and North African countries will now see travellers forced to put their video and photographic equipment, dvd players and cameras in the cargo hold of aircraft.
Placing such equipment in the hold opens travellers up to a myriad of issues, specifically as they relate to potential damage and theft of their items. Note: it is important to check with your travel insurer with regard to their general exclusions. Most insurers, at this point in time, specifically exclude coverage of any such items once they are placed in the hold of any carrier.
There are many ways in which placing this equipment in the hold can be avoided, but for now, this will involve re-routing of flights, taking stopovers so that you can retrieve your luggage, and then re-checking it back in etc.
The great thing about technology is that there are always new products being developed to keep your luggage safe. Here’s some of the best selling and most useful products on the market today.
Best travel security products to keep yourself safe when travelling
Click on any of the images below for further information on the products.
Keep your passport, credit and debit cards safe with RFID protection. As a victim of credit card skimming many years ago, products offering RFID protection minimise this risk.
Luggage straps have several purposes. Firstly, they identify your luggage, setting it apart from others as you wait at the end of a flight. Black and silver suitcases are the most common colour, and placing a bright strap on it will make it easily identifiable. Straps can also help keep your luggage together, assisting stability. For added security, straps now also come with combination locks, adding another level of protection for your belongings.
Using one of these devices means you should be able to track the whereabouts of your luggage.
SECURE TRAVEL ACCESSORIES
For obvious reasons, hard suitcases can stand up to the” tough love” they usually encounter when being thrown around on airport carousels or by baggage handlers. For more emerging reasons as noted above, hard cased suitcases will provide a greater level of protection for your equipment, should you need to place it into check in luggage.
Locks are an easy accessory to buy and use, and may be used on all your luggage. We use locks on everything we travel with, keeping them locked even when they are in our possession. Thieves are clever and can easily open your bag whilst you are not looking. Putting a lock on it will make them look for an easier target. There are many locks available, but the best are TSA approved, with a four number combination. Cable locks are also becoming more popular.
PROTECTION FOR VALUABLE EQUIPMENT
Travelling with expensive equipment can be terrifying. For added protection for laptops, video and photographic equipment, consider buying purpose-built cases for it.
These are some of my favourite travel security products, and using them has meant I have definitely minimised my risk when travelling. Another way of protecting myself and my possessions is by ensuring I am adequately covered by travel insurance wherever I go.
Tips for travel insurance
Get it! Sounds simple but the percentage of travellers who don’t insure is excessively high. These are then usually the people who get caught because of a situation they couldn’t have forecast and have to rely on crowdfunding to get them home or pay for expensive hospital bills.
Buy it the moment you book and pay for your flights, cruise, train tickets etc. Whilst the actual policy doesn’t start until the first day of your travel, buying a policy upfront covers incidents that you cannot predict BEFORE you travel eg cancellation of flight, tours, sickness etc.
Cover yourself as comprehensively as you can, especially when it relates to medical evacuations, emergencies and repatriations.
Read the PDS! I know it’s boring and there are lots of little words (that’s why it’s called the fine print). It’s amazing what interesting facts you find in here and it’s where you will find the things that you ARE NOT covered for.
Look for friends and family who may have used a company before to get referrals. They may even have discount codes for you to use.
Consider your excess. Many policies have $0, $100 and $200 excesses.
Take a copy of your insurance certificate. Many insurers now have apps so you always have the details with you. Whatever your style, make sure you have the details, including important phone numbers close by.
Take photos of your belongings – suitcases, clothing etc. Photos are great supporting evidence in the case of an issue.
Take photos of what you buy progressively as you travel. In the event of lost or stolen luggage, these will be priceless.
In the unfortunate situation of an incident, consult your insurer as soon as possible. Make sure you also know the process for contacting police etc. Know the claim process to ensure that you don’t miss anything that could void a potential claim.
If you are a regular traveller, consider purchasing annual cover.