With our summer holidays just around the corner this is a very exciting time of the year for Australians, but wait, because without the right precautions, everything can fall in a heap if you become the subject of a holiday theft, with our good friends at Paklite wanting to provide our subscribers with a Christmas gift of some hot tips on how not to become a crime statistic these holidays.
We all look forward to trips to see family and friends, or overseas holidays, all filled with fun and relaxation, but the real spoiler is when something goes wrong and amongst the worse is having important and valuable belongings stolen while far from home.
Many people don’t realise that many standard suitcases with standard zippers can be broken into very easily, using something as simple as a pen, which can penetrate and split open the zipper and as quick as a flash your belongings are stolen, so go for cases with high quality zippers.
Also, if your case doesn’t have a TSA lock, the opened zipper can be closed up again to look good as new, so you may not even realise your case has been broken into, so make sure you always have a TSA lock on your case so the perpetrator can’t re-zip it. Another tip from me is that I also always have a strap around my checked baggage, so that if the strap has been moved I can tell and also it makes it easier to spot on the carousel.
Even scarier is when you think of the things that could be put into your suitcase without your knowledge, until discovered by security at the airport and none of us want that to happen!
Adding to this concern, with new technology comes the need for increased awareness on how to keep your most important belongings safe, like passports and credit cards, but also we are not just talking about physical theft, but also criminals can steal your digital information and create fraudulent documents and cards, with RFID skimmers and worse.
Pam Weston Paklite’s Brand Manager for Paklite, one of Australia’s leading luggage designers, explains that Aussies have ongoing concerns about theft while travelling, saying, “At Paklite we’ve heard our customers express concern about how easy it can be to break into a standard suitcase, or have their identity stolen with the latest tech in RFID skimming” and “We decided to address those concerns in our latest collection, Slide Safe, which features a TSA lock, an anti-theft twin zip on all main compartments, and a quality RFID blocking pocket on the cabin sizes for personal documents.”
“As a bonus it also has detachable wheels to protect the case from wheel damage by careless luggage handling … you simply detach them before checking your bag, then reattach which you pick it up. It’s the smart choice for travellers to ensure peace of mind.”.
Also, here we go with Paklite’s 6 tips to avoid theft while travelling overseas: –
- Tell your bank that you intend to travel. Your financial institution will register your trip destinations so that your overseas transactions don’t get flagged as fraudulent – if this happens they will put your funds on hold and this can be extremely inconvenient. Conversely, they will also be on alert for any suspicious activity on your credit cards outside of your trip schedule and destinations. If you encounter a security problem, they can cut off your funds before too much damage is done;
- Book hotel rooms with a safe. Carrying all your valuables with you when you’re out and about is no fun, but you shouldn’t risk leaving them in your room either – even expensive hotels can have questionable staff or security. Leaving your belongings in the safe at reception is not always convenient, so it’s best to just check your room has a safe before you book. Divide up some of your cash and your cards so that you have access to money in different locations – in case of theft, you don’t want to lose everything in one hit;
- Keep calm and carry on. Keep all of your sensitive documents close at hand in your carry on – never check it in at airports. Most of us carry our driver’s licence and credit cards in our wallets or handbags, but if you can’t keep everything on your person then choose a high security cabin bag such as Paklite’s Slide Safe with its RFID blocking pocket for your passport, in addition to tickets, itineraries, and insurance details;
- Choose a case with a twin zip. When you don’t have a safe in your room, make sure you’ve got a secure case. Using a case with a combination or padlock doesn’t ensure the safety of your belongings if it can still be broken into via the zipper. Choose a case like Paklite’s Slide Safe;
- Don’t draw attention as a tourist. If your outfit and demeanour scream “tourist” when you’re out and about exploring some of the riskier destinations overseas, then you’re setting yourself up to be targeted for theft. Safety in numbers, don’t walk around on your own holding a paper map and making a puzzled face, or have an expensive camera dangling around your neck in problem areas. Learn a little of the local language to get by rather than stand out, and don’t stray too far off the beaten path unless you are travelling with the safety of a group; and
- Research the risks of your destination. Be smart and do some research about your specific travel destinations so that you know the lay of the land, and what to safeguard against. Some places are notorious for pickpocketing, others for organised bar scams – information is the best way to keep your wits about you to avoid falling victim to theft overseas.
And to top those up, here are a few from me:
- Rental Car. When you rent a car do not leave valuables in the car;
- Passport. Leave your passport in your room safe when cruising the streets, but carry a copy in your pocket or bag;
- Back up. Back up any valuable information on your computer, iPad or tablet to a hard drive at home before you leave or to the cloud and also while you are travelling and place the hard drive in the room safe;
- Medical. Have your doctor load your medical records on to a memory stick – it will save time if you are ill or involved in an accident and keep the memory stick in the safe;
- Credit Cards. Keep your credit in sight at all times, especially in restaurants to avoid it being taken to the back and swiped several times!
My thanks to Paklite with their new Paklite Slide Safe luggage collection, made up of the small trolley case, medium trolley case and large trolley case, all available in stores now, in Deep Purple, Desert Storm and Black.
For more information visit www.paklite.com.au
Written by John Alwyn-Jones