Here at Go! Girl Guides, we do not believe that people are inherently thieves, but when the opportunity presents itself to take, say, an iPhone, iPod, laptop, or something else of value, sometimes, people steal.
It’s unfortunate, but also the reality of staying in a hostel.
Which brings us to a very important point – ALWAYS lock up your valuables. Even if everyone sharing your dorm room is very friendly and open. Even if other people leave out their belongings. Even if you’re only going upstairs for an hour – don’t risk it. Chances are you don’t know everyone staying in the building, and just because you wouldn’t take something that didn’t belong to you, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t.
Seems like common sense, right? You’d be surprised how many times we heard that someone got something stolen throughout our travels in Mexico, and it was always because the traveler left something out in the open for an extended period of time. Don’t let this be you!
Some tips on keeping your belongings safe:
- Stay in a hostels with big lockers.
- Pack a lock and use it!
- Only leave electronics to charge when you’re in the room
- Split up large sums of money into different compartments of your carry on and backpack. That way, if someone comes upon some cash, it won’t be all of it.
- If something doesn’t fit in your locker that you wouldn’t want stolen, store it out of sight, like under your pillow, or between the sheets.
- If you’re passing through a tourist destination for the day on your way to somewhere else (like Chichen Itza, for example) and have all of your stuff, you’ll probably have to store them at a bag check. If there are no lockers and only an attendant, keep everything with you that you wouldn’t want taken, like credit cards, passport, computer, etc.
Don’t be paranoid – be cautious! Common sense is the most powerful weapon you have against theft.
** This post will also be part of our upcoming Go! Girl Guides: Mexico; A Girl’s Guide to Traveling in Mexico which will be out in July of 2011. Stay tuned! **