At Security Baron, we usually tell you to leave your valuables at home when you’re traveling. But what if you simply can’t?
What if you’re on your way to a gala in where you’ll want to wear that expensive diamond jewelry, or a trade show where you’ll want to show off those collector’s edition signed baseballs? You might need to carry a good bit of cash, especially if you’re going to a foreign country. You might be a dealer of rare coins. How do you get this stuff across the country — or across international lines? It might be as simple as safeguarding a Chanel bag you want to carry on your destination — but which costs upwards of several thousand dollars, enough that it’s not easily covered under TSA reimbursement guidelines.
It’s not easy. But there are ways to get your expensive stuff where you need to go while keeping your mind at ease.
Put It On Your Person
Pockets are great, but they’re not always enough — for size or safety reasons. Consider getting a money belt, which can be tucked under your clothes. It’s not just good for money — you can put all kinds of things in there, from cash and passports to jewelry to your signed baseball cards. If you can accept the fashion fallout, a fanny pack you keep strapped to you at all times may be a good idea as well.
Locked And Carried On
Unlike your checked luggage, TSA can’t break the locks on your carry-on luggage — as long as you open it when they ask you to. But in that case, it won’t be out of your hands and in the reach of some possibly sticky fingers. So stash valuables in a locked carry-on you open at security checkpoints, etc. when needed. Then, Travel Insurance Review recommends, lock your locked case to something when you get on your vehicle — like the overhead compartment of the plane or train. You can even, they say, lock small cases to the airline seat in front of you.
Make sure you get insurance that covers the total cost of the items you’re transporting. Make sure, meanwhile, that the insurance also costs the total cost of each item, says Compare Travel Insurance. Sure, $10,000 of insurance sounds great, but $10,000 of insurance is not awesome when it only plunks down $500 per item, and your Chanel purse is worth $2,500. So read the fine print, and find the insurance that works for you.
Travel Insurance Review notes that many mailing companies have stellar programs for mailing valuables, which include full insurance and require a signature upon delivery. You can even guarantee an arrival date in most cases.
At The Hotel
You’ve made it there. So now what? The hotel safe? Well, it’s better than keeping thousands of collars of jewelry in your room. However, no hotel safe is 100 percent safe. As Corporate Travel Safety says, “All hotels have a backdoor or “special way” so the staff can get into the safe in case a guest forgets the code, or loses the key to the safe. Some safes may use a master key, while others may have a special override code to open the door. If there is a theft, it’s almost impossible to prove, and with no proof, travel insurance won’t pony up. So consider…
Office Safe Availability
Some hotels have an office safe or safety deposit box that you can use. They are liable for the loss of the contents you put into it, which gives you an extra layer of protection. Make sure, as TripAdvisor says, that you get a receipt for your items from the front desk.
Use Your Luggage
Don’t want to go the “safe” route? Lock it up in your luggage. Chain the luggage to a piece of furniture in your hotel room (which you should never assume is secure, by the way) — there are all kinds of aftermarket products. But at this point, you’re just advertising that you’ve got some serious valuables in there. If you’re extremely concerned, you may be better off just Ubering it to a local bank and renting a safety deposit box. Or you can check out companies like Loomis with secure storage facilities.
Traveling with valuables can be a real pain. But it can be done, and can be done while coming home with your stuff intact. It’ll cost you — for locks, for money belts, for insurance — but those costs are small potatoes compared to the literal, or sentimental, cost of your stuff.