As Australians enter the holiday season, many will be looking forward to trips to see family and friends, or overseas holidays filled with fun and relaxation. However the biggest spoiler for a holiday is when something goes wrong – such as having important belongings stolen whilst far from home. Many people don’t realise that many standard suitcases can be broken into very easily via standard zippers – and using something as simple as a pen. The zipper is penetrated and split open, belongings are stolen, and if it doesn’t have a TSA lock, then the zipper can be closed up again to look good as new. You may not even realise your case was broken into. This thought becomes even scarier when you think of the possible things that can be put into your suitcase without your knowledge – until discovered by security at the airport.
Adding to this concern, with new technology comes the need for increased awareness on how to keep your most important belongings safe, like passports and credit cards. It’s not just physical theft – these days there are RFID skimmers that criminals can use to steal your digital information and create fraudulent documents and cards.
Brand Manager for one of Australia’s leading luggage designers, Paklite, explains that Aussies have ongoing concerns about theft while travelling. “At Paklite we’ve heard our customers express concern about how easy it can be to break into a standard suitcase, or have their identity stolen with the latest tech in RFID skimming. “We decided to address those concerns in our latest collection, Slide Safe, which features a TSA lock, an anti-theft twin zip on all main compartments, and a quality RFID blocking pocket on the cabin sizes for personal documents. As a bonus it has detachable wheels to protect the case from wheel damage by careless luggage handling – you simply detach them before checking your bag, then reattach which you pick it up. It’s the smart choice for travellers to ensure peace of mind,” says Weston.
Paklite’s 6 tips to avoid theft while travelling overseas
Tell your bank that you intend to travel. Your financial institution will register your trip destinations so that your overseas transactions don’t get flagged as fraudulent – if this happens they will put your funds on hold and this can be extremely inconvenient. Conversely, they will also be on alert for any suspicious activity on your credit cards outside of your trip schedule and destinations. If you encounter a security problem, they can cut off your funds before too much damage is done.
Book hotel rooms with a safe. Carrying all your valuables with you when you’re out and about is no fun, but you shouldn’t risk leaving them in your room either – even expensive hotels can have questionable staff or security. Leaving your belongings in the safe at reception is not always convenient, so it’s best to just check your room has a safe before you book. Divide up some of your cash and your cards so that you have access to money in different locations – in case of theft, you don’t want to lose everything in one hit.
Keep calm and carry on. Keep all of your sensitive documents close at hand in your carry on – never check it in at airports. Most of us carry our driver’s licence and credit cards in our wallets or handbags, but if you can’t keep everything on your person then choose a high security cabin bag such as Paklite’s Slide Safe with its RFID blocking pocket for your passport, in addition to tickets, itineraries, and insurance details.
Choose a case with a twin zip. When you don’t have a safe in your room, make sure you’ve got a secure case. Using a case with a combination or padlock doesn’t ensure the safety of your belongings if it can still be broken into via the zipper.
Don’t draw attention as a tourist. If your outfit and demeanour scream “tourist” when you’re out and about exploring some of the riskier destinations overseas, then you’re setting yourself up to be targeted for theft. Safety in numbers, don’t walk around on your own holding a paper map and making a puzzled face, or have an expensive camera dangling around your neck in problem areas. Learn a little of the local language to get by rather than stand out, and don’t stray too far off the beaten path unless you are travelling with the safety of a group.
Research the risks of your destination. Be smart and do some research about your specific travel destinations so that you know the lay of the land, and what to safeguard against. Some places are notorious for pickpocketing, others for organised bar scams – information is the best way to keep your wits about you to avoid falling victim to theft overseas.
Paklite’s Slide Safe luggage collection is available in stores now, in all sizes with a recommended retail price of $269 for the small trolley case, $299 for the medium trolley case, and $339 for the large trolley case.
Colours available are Deep Purple, Desert Storm and Black.
Stockists: Visit www.paklite.com.au or call 1300 30 30 21.