4 Ways To Protect Your Valuables While Travelling

The jet setter's guide to a stress-free trip

Team LemonadeTeam Lemonade

Let’s be honest; travelling today isn’t like it was 20 years ago. Now, we can hail rides and spend the night in cool places for a fraction of the cost, thanks to the sharing economy. Budget airlines also connect us to destinations at unbeatable prices.

The next time you set out exploring, you’ll probably bring some valuable items with you, like your jewellery, camera, phone, and laptop. Unless, of course, you’re going for a rustic excursion to detox from your electronics (kudos if you are!).

Truth is, these things tend to go missing during international travel. Here’s a shocking stat: Over 900 laptops are lost every week at Heathrow airport. 

The good news is protecting your valuables isn’t that hard. We’ll break down a few of our favourite, simple hacks that’ll help you keep your valuables safe and sound while you travel.

Whether you’re jetting off to Coachella or an off-the-grid hike in Nepal, here are the 4 steps you can take to help protect your stuff while you’re abroad.

1. Get insured

Here’s a secret: One of the most unknown perks of contents insurance is that if you’ve included the Theft & Loss add-on, it covers your stuff—not just inside your home—but also anywhere in the world.

So, if your laptop’s swiped from your hotel room, or you’re at an international music festival and your phone is stolen, you’re covered. The Theft and Loss add-on will only tack on a few pounds to your premium each month, and help you destress knowing your valuables are more protected.

Get Your Quote

Before you leave on your trip, make sure your stuff is covered. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Pre-trip check

Before you leave, make sure everything you plan to bring is covered under your policy. Check how much contents insurance cover you have—this is the max amount of money your insurer will pay you if something bad happens.

For example, your basic Lemonade Contents insurance policy covers your personal property from  £10,000 up to £100,000. But it’s worth noting that some valuable items (jewellery, watches, etc.) are only covered up to £2,000.

So, if you’re bringing jewellery, camera gear, or other pricey high-value items along on your trip, in addition to Theft + Loss Cover, you’ll want to add a little additional cover for those items. It’s easy—all you have to do is apply for some high-value item cover, which takes just a few minutes with Lemonade’s app. 

To be extra cautious, keep a list of the things you’re bringing (make and model), how much they cost, and any receipts or email confirmations you have. They’ll come in handy in case you need to file a claim.

Prepare for those ‘oh s*$#’ moments

We all know how Sod’s law goes (if you don’t, get out from under your rock). While we hope nothing bad happens to us while travelling, it’s important to note what steps you should take if you have to file a claim from abroad.

If something’s lost, stolen, or damaged, document what happened as quickly and accurately as possible. Gavin Blair, Lemonade’s Head of Claims Experience, points out that getting a police report is one of the most important things to do in case of theft:

“We had a case where a policyholder was travelling in Europe and had his iPhone stolen. He was able to get a police report and submit it with his claim. The claim was so well-prepared that we got him the money that same day, and he actually went out and bought himself a new iPhone while travelling abroad!”

We understand that heading downtown to talk to the police after a theft isn’t always possible when you’re abroad: You’re alone in a new city in the middle of the night, for example. We wouldn’t want you to compromise your safety to file the report. 

In that case, try to alert a nearby authority of what happened, and note down the contact info of the person you spoke to.

Now, let’s say something’s stolen from your hotel room, but you need to catch a flight.

In this case, you should notify hotel security or the front desk, ASAP. This will help Lemonade’s claims team process and verify your claim faster.

2. Implement digital safeguards

Physical objects aside, losing the data you have stored on your devices is a real bummer, especially while travelling. If you’ve ever lost important pics, contacts, or documents, you know what we’re talking about.

Here are some ways to protect your privacy and data on your devices while you’re abroad:

  • Put passwords and lock codes on every device you plan to travel with. No, 0000 is not a strong iPhone password.
  • Implement two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication on all your accounts, like your email, bank account, social profiles, etc. That way, if someone steals your password, they still can’t access your data.
  • Backup everything before you leave, while you’re travelling, and when you come home. BTW, Google Photos will automatically back up the photos you take on your smartphone, and you can easily include those taken on your camera by uploading them online, just remember to make sure you have enough iCloud storage!
  • Keep digital and physical copies of important docs like your passport, driver’s licence, and credit cards. If any of these get lost or stolen, you’ll have the info you need to replace them.

3. Invest in the right gear

The right supplies will help keep your stuff safe.  Here are a few pieces to invest in that’ll help your stuff stay secure, and give you some peace of mind:

  • Backpacks that lock. And if you’re travelling with cameras, look for a backpack with holding compartments for digital cameras and lenses. This’ll help prevent damage to your pricey gear from bumps, scrapes, or drops.
  • Money belts. They’re not just for gramps—they’re a comfortable and discreet way to protect your valuables. Because let’s face it: pickpockets flock to tourist destinations. Newer belts even offer RFID protection so your credit card and passport info can’t be stolen wirelessly.
  • TSA locks. These are crucial if you’re travelling with checked baggage. TSA can open these locks with a universal key. If you travel with a non-TSA lock, you run the risk of having the lock cut off the bag if it’s chosen for closer scrutiny.

4. Carry, don’t store

One last piece of advice: Carry your valuables on you, always! This includes electronics, jewellery, credit cards, and passports.

Leaving items in your Airbnb, or checking them in your suitcase may be tempting, but hold back. It’s never a good idea to leave anything valuable in your room, because you’re probably not the only one with a key (unless the location has a private safe).

If you need another reason to carry your valuables with you, take note that your contents insurance doesn’t cover your stuff if they’re in the possession of any third party (including an airline).

Pro tip: take a pic of the inside and outside of your packed suitcase before you check it. That way, in case it’s lost, you can show the airline what to look for.

Get up and go!

Our last piece of advice: go somewhere new! Explore outside your comfort zone. Nothing beats the excitement of a trip to an unfamiliar place, no matter how long or short it may be.

Whenever you may decide to go, don’t forget these quick hacks (and your contents insurance)—they’ll help you keep your valuables in tow, no matter where you set foot.


Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.