Happy Trails: 10 Best Anti-Theft Travel Essentials

If you’ve gone through all the trouble of buying tickets, booking hotels, and doing research on where you’re going to go and what you’ll do — it isn’t unreasonable to do a bit of homework on how you can best protect your personal belongings. In fact, you’d be remiss if you didn’t. Tourists are targets, and petty criminals will do their best to try and relieve you of your expensive or valuable items. Whether by slicing a bag to steal a laptop, picking your pocket, or finding their way into your AirBnB to snatch the stuff you’ve left behind for the day – they’re eager to get theirs.

That being said, getting robbed while traveling isn’t a foregone conclusion. In fact, there is a whole lot you can do to guard against this. First and foremost, you should understand what parts of the cities or towns you are visiting to avoid. Secondly, you should use your instincts. If you feel that something isn’t right or someone is acting suspiciously, listen to yourself and skedaddle. And finally, carry gear that is built to withstand or thwart thieves. We’re talking hard-to-pick locks, tough backpacks, and sneaky ways to hide your emergency cash. Not familiar? Do yourself a favor and take a scroll through our rundown of the best anti-theft gear out there.

Forge Cable Luggage Locks

Sometimes the best security solutions are the most simple. Luggage locks have been around for ages, and for good reason. They’re simple, cheap, and effective. This pair of TSA approved combination locks feature a cable that is easy to thread through the zippers of your backpack or suitcase. And thanks to the special design on the lock, TSA has to re-lock these locks in order to remove their universal key – so your bag will make its trip safe and secure.

Purchase: $10

Master Lock 5900D Portable Safe

If you want to store important documents or smaller tech gadgets like your phone or headphones, Masterlock’s 5900D portable safe is a solid pick. It features a combination lock on the front and a long chord along the side that can be used to secure it to your desk, the inside of your backpack, or the leg of a table. What really sets this safe apart from others on the market is the fact that it is water resistant – making it ideal for storing water sensitive items.

Purchase: $18

Zero Grid Travel Security Belt

You can’t have your cash stolen if pickpockets don’t know where it is. That, in short, is why this unique belt featuring a hidden money pouch is so brilliant. It functions just like a normal belt, but it features a small hidden zippered compartment on the interior for stowing away bills. And not to worry. This belt is TSA approved so it is good to travel on planes with you.

Purchase: $22

Victorinox Delux Concealed Security Pouch

Nothing sucks more than having your passport stolen while out on a trip. Not only does it leave you with an awful combination of shame, regret, and hurt – but it means that you’ll be spending hours getting reissued a new one rather than enjoying your hard-earned vacation. One way to try and prevent from all of this happening is by setting yourself up with a security pouch like this one from Victorinox. Made in the USA, it features RFID protection, nd a large compartment for storing everything from your passport to tickets and phone.

Purchase: $26

DoorJammer Portable Door Lock

In a lot of ways, the sharing economy is really great. Thanks to service like AirBnB or Lyft, you can easily stay in great neighborhoods in far flung parts of the world for less than what you’d otherwise be charged. And yet, with all that being said, there is something inherently weird about the whole thing. Staying in someone else’s house with the assumption they’ll simply respect your space and your stuff is a high-stakes expectation. So, instead of just taking your host’s word for it (or the word of the hotel, for that matter) it is worth buying yourself a little bit of extra protection with something like this door jammer. It is compatible with tile, wood, carpet, and laminate floors – and only takes seconds to setup. Once installed, it’ll keep your door braced even when someone is trying to force their way in.

Purchase: $30

Tile Sport

Not everything you lose while traveling will have been stolen. In fact, you may have a higher chance of misplacing your valuables than having them snatched by some punk. Thankfully, there are things you can do to mitigate that embarrassing fate. Namely, equipping your valuables with a Tile Sport. Not only does this little tracking device allow you to ‘call’ missing items with your phone, but it alerts you if you end up walking away from your wallet or bag. And to top it all off? It’s waterproof.

Purchase: $35

Bobby Anti Theft Backpack

Folks on the subway or metro put their bags in front of them for a reason. They’re afraid of getting their travel backpack slashed or zipped open. With something like the Bobby Backpack from XD Design – you don’t have to worry about would-be thieves snatching your laptop or favorite headphones. The sleek, city-ready backpack is purpose-built to thwart pickpockets thanks to a combination of security features like a rear-open structure, hidden zippers, and an amalgam of lightweight but dense fabrics.

Purchase: $67

Pacsafe Slingsafe Anti-Theft Backpack

If futuristic looking anti-theft backpacks aren’t really your style, you may want to consider this pick from Pacsafe. Despite looking like a common backpack, it is equipped with stainless steel wire mesh that makes it nearly impossible to slash. Along with this tough material, the bag protects from RFID theft and features a removable front pocket for when you want to venture out without a big, heavy backpack on your shoulders.

Purchase: $80

Pacsafe Travelsafe

Made from a super tough 600D poly canvas and featuring an embedded 360 degree exomesh wire built into the fabric, this soft safe is built to make it incredibly difficult for a thief to nab your valuables. Thanks to the soft design and drawstring closure with combination lock, this portable safe is easy to pack in your backpack or suitcase and can easily hold more than one item. In fact, the 12-liter model of the safe can store a 13-inch laptop while the 5-liter can store an iPad – making the safe perfect for those wanting to bring their tech with them on the trip.

Purchase: $88

Ridge Carbon Fiber Wallet

A rising tide lifts all boats. Unfortunately, as technology has gotten more complex, so have the methods thieves use to steal your cash. One of the more common forms of stealing your money is called RFID theft. Lots of debit and credit cards (along with I.D.’s) now have embedded in them a small radio frequency chip that allows users to simply tap their cards to pay. Unfortunately that also means that a hacker can use radio waves to ‘swipe’ your card without consent. Wallets like the Ridge Carbon Fiber Cash Strap use materials that protect your cards from this type of theft. Thanks to the unique design of the wallet, it can carry up to 12 cards and can be totally disassembled for maintenance.

Purchase: $105

15 Best Travel Backpaks

Want a few more options when it comes to solid backpacks for traveling? Take a look at our rundown of what we think are the best travel backpacks on the market.

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