Thailand Secure Travel Bags & Tips

travel luggage security devices Thailand is a very safe country so far as personal safety is concerned. Random violent crimes against strangers are few. But pick-pocketing and theft are different issues. Most are crimes of opportunity. Avoiding those opportunities helps keep your valuables safe.

Preventing Property Loss in Thailand

  • Don't travel lazy. Buy securable luggage and use security devices.
  • Don't leave bags unattended in vehicles, restaurants, pubs or shops. It only takes a moment for a day pack or travel wallet to disappear.
  • Wear a travel wallet under your clothing. Most important are your travel documents, credit cards and cash / travelers' checks.
  • Buy quality padlocks and use them diligently. Deterrence is one key to avoiding crimes of opportunity.
  • Don't help pickpockets by carrying cash in hip pockets. Wallets in rear pockets are prime targets for pickpockets.
  • Waist travel bag. If you wear one, position it in front. Travel bags worn in the rear are easy targets.

Pack strategically. Keep clothing at the top of your bag and valuables deeper inside. Most theft is opportunistic and quick. So something as simple making it more difficult to reach your iPod may keep your player and all your music safe

Transit Thefts in Thailand

A significant number of property thefts in Thailand occur during transit. Baggage stored in the cargo bays of buses is especially vulnerable. That vulnerability includes pilferage and loss of bags. Sometimes the loss of a bag is accidental, but the result can be just as devastating.

Theft during taxi rides is less relevant. Losses can usually be attributed to laziness. If you store your bag in the luggage compartment / trunk, make sure you close it yourself.

A friend who has been living in Thailand for many years lost a significant sum of money during a taxi ride in Bangkok. He was lazy on two counts.

  1. He chose to carry a large sum of cash in his suitcase rather than on his person.
  2. His upright wheeled travel bag had no lock whatsoever

When the taxi driver loaded the suitcase in the trunk he saw that the case didn't have a lock. Then he used the excuse "trunk not close" to go back to check. It only took a moment to open the bag and grab what was on top, a small bank bag with US$ 3,000.

Bus Travel Security Tips

There seems to be a correlation between quality of bus companies and theft. And the length of trip and theft. Opportunistic pilfering can happen while you're asleep.

  • Use locks and zipper locks on every compartment
  • Opt for the quality bus companies like V.I.P
  • Keep your bag in the overhead rack rather than the cargo hold
  • If possible, thread a carry strap around some part of the overhead rack
  • If you leave the bus temporarily, take you bag.

Hotel and Guest House Security

Hotels and guest houses provide ample opportunity for organized as well as opportunistic theft. Too often, the crimes are "inside jobs" by staff.

rubber doorstop
  • Stay at accommodations that have double-key safety boxes or good in-room safes
  • Avoid places with bad reputations for theft. Accommodation reviews.
  • Travel with a securable tote bag or day pack that you can take along
  • Computer - consider a small netbook and don't leave it in the room when you go out.
  • Carry a small rubber "doorstop" wedge for blocking your door at night.
  • Make sure any valuables are out of sight when any staff is in the room.
  • Even when going the office or restaurant, follow these same security precautions. Anyone can be watching your room.
  • Carry a moderately sized padlock for use on guest house and hotel rooms that have hasps.

Planning Your Luggage Purchases

  • Will travel alone or in a group? Who will watch your day pack when you slip into the delicious tropical waters of the Andaman Sea? Your significant other may not enjoy being watchdog while you're frolicking in the surf
  • Modularize. Leaving a heavy backpack in your room is more acceptable if all your valuables are in a day pack that you are carrying in front.
  • Accessorize. Use cut proof and lockable tether cables to secure tamper resistant bags to stationary objects. Think, plumbing, window grates, etc.
  • Locks. Buy one or two extras in case you lose one.

Buy Quality Travel Luggage

That means luggage that is well designed and made. Cheaply constructed bags fall apart. Zippers break, seams burst and closures fail. An unnoticed hand slipping in to you bag because a fastener failed might find your camcorder.

Buy luggage that has secure locks or features to use good padlocks. Then buy good padlocks and use them. Every time!