How to avoid getting your stuff stolen?

Hey guys,
My question might be blunt ahah but … how do you get your stuff stolen?
Do you stay in hostels, or shady hotels? Or do you get robbed?
I stopped using hostel with outsiders and I pretty much only use budget hotel now.
I have heard about an app that take screenshots of your room and send it to you if it detects movement too so you can alert the hotel staff.
I don’t want to make everybody paranoiac too ;).

That would be assuming that a) the staff would care and b) the staff aren’t the ones doing the stealing.

scroll down a bit to the thread about where to buy a laptop to read about the guy who had his stolen from his hotel room. hotel rooms aren’t automatically safer. you just have to do what you can and take your chances. I do have prey set up on all of my devices but who knows if it’ll work if something gets taken.

Hi matthew

I think there are some obvious tricks. Don’t show around that you have an iPhone (also avoid white earphones…) . Don’t sit around with your laptop in public places. But still that doesn’t make it totally safe. As wanderingdev just mentioned my laptop just got stolen out of my hotelroom. It was a really nice B&B and no hostel. Then two years ago my camera was stolen in a restaurant in Cochabamba…

The best thing you actually can do is to be prepared:

  1. check with your inssurance that they will pay
  2. set up tracking software like “find my iphone”
  3. make backups
  4. carry on copies of your passport and important numbers (e.g. embassy…)
  5. adapt your mindset: for some places in this world theft is just part of the deal when you decide to go there

If data security is a concern, whole disk encryption on the laptop is a must. While traveling in Brazil I setup whole disk encryption on my laptop, so if the laptop is stolen, all the data is encrypted. So they’d have to completely wipe the hard drive for the laptop to be used again. Without the boot up password, the laptop will not turn on since the data isn’t read-able.

I bought one of these - Pacsafe 5l travel safe (they also do them in other sizes, but this is perfect size for a Macbook Air 11’, small digital camera, passport, cash etc - and find it gives me peace of mind locking stuff up in my apartment, hotel or hostel. I actually didn’t use it and simply locked my stuff in a hostel locker in April and someone stole my Macbook! I dont think it would have happened if I used this as you’d need a saw/bolt cutters to get in to this, not indestructable, but deters unprepared thieves for sure.

If you did buy one you might want to swap the combination lock it comes with for a good quality key lock instead though.

I’ve been travelling for almost three years now, and have spent 75% of that time in hostels, and have not had anything stolen from the hostel. So long as you use a bit of common sense, you should be able to minimise any risks of things being stolen from your hostel.

  • Most hostels include free lockers, so make use of them
  • Don’t go flashing your expensive stuff around more than you have to
  • Read the reviews/ratings of the hostel on HostelWorld, etc
  • Get to know the people you’re sharing the room with, 99% of people are really nice and aren’t out to rob you
  • Password/encrypt everything
  • Anticipate being robbed: do regular online/offsite backups (don’t back up to a hard drive that you store with your laptop, because they’ll probably steal them both)
  • Get travel insurance, so if/when something is stolen, you’re covered

I had serious concerns about theft before I began my travels, but I have not had any issues to date, and I don’t anticipate any future issues. But, if anything ever happens, I know I will not lose any data, and my travel insurance has got me covered.

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Who do you use for travel insurance?