Travel Tips February 12, 2018
Follow These 6 Rules To Keep Your Stuff Safe In A Hostel
Staying in a hostel can be a great way to see amazing locations without emptying your wallet, but they do have a reputation for being places where someone might, well…empty your wallet. Don’t fret though – there are steps you can take to reduce the odds of your stuff getting stolen while staying in a hostel.
1. Check the hostel reviews for red flags.
While hostels these days are far safer and less sketchy than the hostels of yore, it still makes sense to do some research before you book. Comb through hostel reviews to see if any previous guests mention theft or lax security levels. That beautiful hostel with free breakfast won’t seem like such a bargain if your phone disappears overnight.
2. Put your stuff in the hostel lockers.
This one is just common sense. Just like most hotels provide in-room safes, most hostels nowadays have lockers where you can stash your valuables. Because they don’t usually provide padlocks, you should plan on picking one up before you check in. Use the lockers to secure things like your license, passport, tablet, camera and cash.
3. Sleep on your stuff.
If for some reason you don’t want to stow your valuables in a locker (or your hostel doesn’t provide them), sleeping with your phone, keys, passport, etc. is a good way to get some peace of mind. Slipping flat valuables like cash or your phone in your pillowcase means that any would-be thieves have to literally lift your head to get at them, which isn’t too sneaky.
4. Make things just a little more difficult for thieves.
It may not be obvious to law-abiding citizens, but adding just the smallest amount of hassle between your stuff and someone’s sticky fingers could make all the difference. A thief isn’t looking to spend an hour searching your bunk for your cash – he’ll likely swipe the phone left on top of a bed rather than root through your zippered and locked suitcase. Don’t make things easy for thieves. Zipper, button and tie up whatever your can. At the very least, stow your valuables out of sight when you leave your room.
5. Don’t flaunt your stuff.
Avoid tempting thy neighbor and keep your valuables out of sight. Don’t lounge in the common areas with thousands of dollars worth of computer or camera equipment on your lap. You might even want to put an old, beat-up case on your phone or stick some duct tape over that glowing apple on your laptop to hide the true value of your electronics.
6. Use a portable safe or DIY something similar.
Portable safes are made from lightweight, slash-proof fabric and can be padlocked. If you can’t afford one (they normally run between $60-$100), padlock your backpack and loop it under your bedpost to keep it from being easily plucked. Chances are, this level of bother will deter most casual thieves.
Essentially, making things just that little bit harder for thieves will usually go a long way towards keeping your stuff secure when you’re staying in a hostel. Though hostels these days are far cleaner, safer and generally nicer than they were 15 or 20 years ago, it still pays to use common sense and stay alert when traveling.