Probably one of the biggest senior travel tips that I can give outside of having proper health insurance is to safeguard your items. I have been extremely lucky to have never been robbed during over 30 years of traveling.
However, there has been an occasion where someone removed some items from my checked baggage. Someone also stole my passport out of my back pocket, but it was later recovered after I offered a small reward (Small in comparison to paying for a new U.S. passport).
Senior citizens and other adults might not realize it, but there are pickpockets and other thieves at nearly every tourist destination in the world, and that includes the United States. Some of them are professionals who can easily relieve you of some of your valuables unless you learn to avoid making it easy for them to take.
Theft doesn’t only occur on the streets, but it also happens at the airport, bus or train stations, and even during the trip.
In this article, I will offer some field tested ways to help seniors avoid losing their valuables to criminals.
Senior Travel Tips – How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off
Many locations are different, but some of the same methods are used to remove valuables from tourists in any country. You can practically eliminate most of these methods by following these practical senior travel tips:
• Keep Most Valuables in Your Hotel Room – If you are not walking around with your valuables, you are less likely to have them stolen from you. Leave them in your hotel room, or better, don’t bring them with you during your trip. Instead of taking your expensive watch, buy a cheap digital one that keeps time. Instead of wearing expensive jewelry, you should keep some nice imitation jewelry to wear at your hotel, or to a nice restaurant or other event. When you are walking on the streets, you should dumb down your dressing. There’s nothing wrong with walking around and looking poor at a popular tourist destination.
• Money Belts – It is a good idea to keep your money and credit cards inside a money belt. However, use the thin kind that slips around your waist and underneath your shirt. Not the ones that hang on the outside with an imaginary sign, “Hey, I’ve got my valuables in here.”
• Special Inserts – There are some specially designed pants or shirts that have hidden pockets or zipped areas where you can also hide your money and valuables. It’s a good idea to keep your bigger bills in such places, and only keep a few smaller bills in your pocket for when you need to pay for something quickly.
• Wallets – For those seniors who still feel the need to carry a wallet, there are a couple of ideas to lessen the possibility of someone lifting it. First, you should always keep it in one of your front pockets. Second, it’s a good idea to place a couple of rubber bands around your wallet before putting it in your pocket because it is more difficult for someone to remove it. It also makes it more difficult for your wallet to bounce out of your pocket while you are walking.
• Avoid Crowded Areas – Another one of the simple senior travel tips is to avoid crowded areas. Crowded areas are the perfect spot for pickpockets and thieves. When people are pushing against each other on the street, an elevator, or on a busy subway, professionals are quickly working their targets. If you must go to a crowded place, keep your eyes and hands close to your valuables at all times.
• Create a Checklist – Many forget their items on tables, in drawers, pillow cases, or under mattresses in hotels. Sometimes, creating these extra hiding places are the reasons that seniors don’t remember them later. It’s enough to keep your mind on all of your suitcases and other travel bags. Always go through your entire hotel room and check everyplace to make sure you have left nothing behind. The same goes for rental cars, planes, buses and other transportation.
Senior Travel Tips – Conclusion
Thieves will always thrive where there is money. If you ever get your things ripped off (Or, nicked, like the Brits like to say), immediately file a police report in case your items are returned or recovered from the thieves. You will also need your police report for insurance companies if you have travel theft insurance.
If someone steals from you, the only thing you can do is be more careful next time. Don’t allow a theft to ruin your holiday and try to prevent becoming a victim in the first place. Follow these senior travel tips for a safer trip.