2 Safety Tips For Your Protecting Your Possessions When Traveling Overseas

9-11-23 Bucharest, Romania

When I was doing research for this five-month trip, safety was at the back of my mind. But now that I’ve been to 5 cities, traveled on buses, and spent time in hotels and bus stations, I have come to two new conclusions. First…

Having a money belt is a must.

When you think about it, the most valuable possession you’ll have as a traveler is a passport. Without it, you can’t buy a bus ticket, get on a plane, or register at a hotel. And you can’t cross borders. In other words, you are dead in the water.

You will have to find a United States Embassy and prove your citizenship. Assuming there is an embassy in the country you’re in. And you can get to the embassy from the city you’re in. This may be impossible to do when you’re traveling.

Which doesn’t even take into account, the flights you might miss, or the money you could lose from being unable to get to your next destination. Which is why I’m glad I have a money belt.

If you’ve never seen or owned a money belt let me explain. It is a small flat pouch, that is connected to an elastic belt, which goes around your waist. I wear mine under my pants. It’s like having an extra belt under your belt. Surprisingly, the one I have is very comfortable. The first couple of times I wore it, I kept checking to make sure it wasn’t gone. Thinking I could have somehow lost it. (See Picture Above)

Inside, I carry my passport along with some cash. This way, if my luggage is lost or stolen, or I am robbed or mugged, I can continue my trip. Not only that, it allows you to sleep comfortably on a bus. Which is nice, considering a lot of bus lines travel overnight. For example, last week. The bus left Sofia at 10:30 p.m. and arrived at the Bucharest bus station at 6 a.m.

And here’s a tip from someone who wears one regularly. Wear it for a couple of days before you travel. This way you’ll make sure it’s comfortable under your pants. And more importantly, you’ll learn where to wear it. Because the first time you have to go to the bathroom, your money belt might be in the way. And second…

Make Sure Your Hotel Has a Safe Available.

Which is now something I look for when looking at hotels. In fact, I have canceled two hotel reservations, one in Bucharest, Romania, and one in Skopje, North Macedonia. Because the hotels I originally booked didn’t have safes. And now I feel it’s essential for traveling long term.

So far, I’ve had two different types of safes. The first was one in my hotel room. And second, there was a safe at the front desk.

The hotel room safe has you enter your own code when you close it. (Mine was four digits long). Then, only that code will open it again. You can change the code every day or every time you lock it if you want.

It was large enough to hold my laptop, camera, and almost anything valuable I was carrying with me.

The second safe I used was at the hotel’s front desk. I paid an extra charge, about $10.00, for five days. The front desk safe operated like a safety deposit box. They put my stuff in the safe, turned two keys, and removed one, and gave it to me. Then, when I wanted my stuff out, I would give them my key. And they would open it and give me my possessions. Warning: Losing your key could be costly.

Both these are great options. You can lock your passport, laptop computer, or any other valuables you may have, and walk around without worrying. Unfortunately, I’ve had to walk around two cities wearing my money belt and carrying my laptop in a backpack, because it would become a problem if I lost either.

So as a fixed-income nomad, or any traveling nomad, these are my two big safety tips, for securing your possessions. And also, providing a little piece of mind. Especially when traveling long-term.

I hope these suggestions helped. And remember, any tips or comments are appreciated. Travel safe, and…

Till next week, enjoy life’s journey.

Joe O’Brien

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