FREE How to Fill Your Travel Fund course! 

Get 7 days of money-saving and cost-cutting lessons sent straight to your inbox, so you can learn how to save up money to go study abroad or travel the world.


How to Protect Your Valuables While Studying Abroad

how to keep your backpack safe while traveling, prevent theft while you're abroad, keep your stuff safe while studying abroad

What’s one of the worst feelings in the world? The one you get when you realize that your wallet’s been stolen. And another? The feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you see that your iPhone screen cracked. Ugh. The worst.

Unfortunately, as a study abroad student, you’re vulnerable to damage and theft of your belongings, as you’re constantly traveling and in unfamiliar situations. But if you make sure that your valuables are well protected and you take a few precautionary steps, your chances of getting the awful “I just got robbed” feeling will be slim.

how to protect valuables during study abroad, how to keep valuables safe when traveling, keep electronics safe abroad

Hide it away
If thieves can’t find it, then they can’t steal it. Tuck away your stuff as much as you can and the chance the it will get stolen will greatly decrease. It may be ugly and uncomfortable, but a money belt is a great way to make sure your money and passport never leave your body. If you really just can’t deal with the belt, try hiding your cash in these stash boxers or in a padded bra — just take the pads out. For even more money-hiding ideas, check out this post on Twenty-Something Travel.

Obviously, you can’t really tuck away something as large as an iPad or laptop, and those items are easy to spot when in your bag or sitting in your hostel room. So disguise it as something else! Try this case that makes your laptop look like a boring manilla folder, or this case that looks like a book.

Keep it protected
Don’t travel anywhere without protecting your valuables, especially your electronics. A broken laptop is even more of a headache than usual when you’re living in a foreign country. Don’t take any chances and invest in a Lifeproof or OtterBox case for your iPad, Smartphone, and anything else you’ll be taking with you. Your electronics will be able to withstand extreme temperatures, vodka spills, and rough plane rides.

Keep ’em out
Hotel and hostel rooms may have locks on them, but you never know who can get access to a key. Put this door wedge that has a built-in alarm under your door when you go to bed, and if anyone tries to get into your room, you and the surrounding rooms will hear the alarm. Use it in your apartment too, both at home and abroad.


how to keep your stuff safe while studying abroad, how to prevent theft while abroad, how to stay safe in a hostel

Lock it up
Anytime you stay in a hostel, bring a lock with you and always put all of your stuff in a locker, even if you know everyone who’s staying in your room. Try a strong combo lock or padlock (just don’t lose the key!)  Are you also worried about someone snagging your bags while you’re on the bus or train? Here’s a trick– use a couple of carabiners to hook your bags to the luggage rack above you. If you fall asleep, it will be much harder for someone to silently grab your bag.

Insure it
Sometimes, you just can’t prevent theft or damage, no matter how many preventative measures you take. Insure your valuables so that you’re not stuck with having to shell out $1,000 when your laptop gets nicked. Some travel insurance covers theft and damage abroad, so if you have it already, check your plan to see if you’re covered. If not, your parents may be able to add contents onto their home insurance, so ask them to look into it.

How do you plan on protecting your valuables while you’re abroad? Have you ever had anything break or get stolen from you while you were traveling? Let us know in the comments!

Photo sources: FastPhive via Flickr, AmazonOriol Salvador via Flickr

Jess is the Editor-in-Chief of The Abroad Guide. After studying abroad in Belgium during her junior year of college, she caught the travel bug. Her experiences include volunteering in Nicaragua, backpacking through Europe, and a year-long adventure in Italy, and she's now settled in London.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *