For many of us, travel gives life meaning. It broadens our horizons, exposing us to new experiences and diverse people. We gain perspective on our lives while having a great time. However, it also comes with a lot of stress.
Aside from the stress of packing, making bookings, getting to the airport, and so on, there is the fear of what will happen to your most valuable items when your home is empty. The presence of insurance to replace your favorite possessions is only reassuring when those items have no sentimental value or meaning.
The alternative is to take them with you. But is this any better or does it actually make things worse? You can get excellent travelers coverage in your rental insurance and homeowners insurance, so at the very least you have the same level of security. Right?
Actually, there are some very poignant reasons not to take your valuables on vacation.
Crime Is Different Everywhere
In many ways, crime might seem the same no matter where you go. However, there are always differences. This is true whether you go to a country with high crime levels or a country with almost no crime. In some cities, you are most at risk when you get back to your hotel or Airbnb at night. In others, you are at risk on the streets in the middle of the day.
You can read up on what crime is like in your destination before you go there, but only locals will be truly savvy when it comes to security. Your valuables are therefore likely to be at higher risk than if you left them at home.
Avoid Foreign Bureaucracy
If your valuables are stolen, you need to get a police report to submit to your insurer. This is a hassle even at home, but you know exactly where to go and what to do. In a foreign country, this is often not the case. You may struggle to communicate with the police, and getting a document that satisfies your insurer can ruin your entire vacation.
This is especially true in beach towns, where the police infrastructure may be very rudimentary. The police office may be closed a lot of the time and finding a police officer who gives you time of day can be a huge struggle.
A Different Healthcare System
Another risk of taking valuables with you is that of bodily harm. This is true for those who are carrying around expensive cameras or wearing expensive jewelry. Criminals may use violence to get what they want, even if you comply with their demands. This is a terrible thing to happen anywhere in the world, but when you are not used to the local healthcare system, it can be particularly troubling.
Many small tourist towns are ill-equipped to treat injuries, and you may have to be taken to another town hours away. The healthcare infrastructure in the country may not be great either, and you may end up getting care that does not measure up to what you expect back home.
You also have to deal with the admin of insurance for medical services provided in a foreign country. Rather do not risk being attacked for the sake of material possessions.
Trusting Your Hosts
When you leave your valuables in your home, you at least know that thieves will have to break in to try and get them. This is not necessarily the case when you are on vacation. You can put your valuables in the safe they provide, but you will have to trust that they do not have a way of gaining entry to that safe.
It is unlikely that an Airbnb host or the owner of a hotel will risk their business to steal from you, but an employee may risk their job. This is especially true if they know you have extremely valuable possessions that are easy to carry.
Taking your valuables on vacation will give you the peace of mind that they are not left unattended. However, it opens you up to a host of new threats. If they do get stolen on vacation, the admin alone is going to be enough to cause you major regret. Rather leave them at home, taking care to ensure your home is as secure as possible.