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Safeguard Your Valuables

Protecting valuables is critical for mission travelers, and there are plenty of ways for team members to safeguard the items they need in order to return home. Consider these suggestions to help secure money, passports, identification, and more in the field:

KEEP copies at home

If something happens to important documents like a passport or airline ticket, a friend or relative back home can fax a backup copy

ALERT credit card companies of your travel plans

Credit card companies may get suspicious of overseas purchases. If you’re traveling out of the country, tell credit card companies ahead of time, and give them a way to contact you in case they need to verify that the transactions are legitimate.

Take steps to stop skimmers

Did you know that thieves can steal credit card information without ever swiping the card? By using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, it’s possible. Check into wallets or card sleeves that block RFID devices.

Know your surroundings

Some places are safer than others. Ask your team leader if there are areas you should avoid.

Keep valuables close

A money belt worn under clothes is generally a safer option than a backpack or purse. While a bag can be forgotten (or quickly stolen by a passerby), a money belt is strapped to the body, under clothes, and out of plain view. Never leave bags, purses, and cell phones unattended.

Use multiple hiding places

When all valuables are hidden in one place, one incident can take it all away. Diversify with a series of discreet hiding places.

Report lost and stolen items immediately

If a theft or loss occurs, report it to local police, your insurer, and credit card companies as soon as possible. Getting a quick start to the recovery process may help to limit the damage a thief does.