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How safe will my bag be when left in hostels?

Travel Forums Asia How safe will my bag be when left in hostels?

1. Posted by wanderitch (Budding Member 81 posts) 8y

This will be one of the most likely places I will have things stolen during my trip.
I have bought a small combination lock for the zip on my rucksack but anyone with enough willpower could break it or alternately use a knife to cut open the bag. In the evenings I will take my digicam and not my Digital SLR camera out with me so it will have to be left in the bag. Also I will have an Ipod probably a small sum of cash etc.

How would you advise I maximise my security? Do many hostels have safes?

I do have insurance but to lose photos and all my music would be annoying.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Feb-2009, at 08:55 by wanderitch ]

2. Posted by HaadRinGuide (Travel Guru 542 posts) 8y

I've been backpacking every winter for the last seven years and I've stayed in hostels quite a lot of the time and I've never had anything stolen from a hostel. Well actually, I've had food taken from the kitchens a couple of times, but never anything from my backpack. I'm really careful, though. I met someone who had cash taken from a dorm once, but in general I'd say the vast majority of backpackers are honest.

Quite a few hostels have lockers but not all. But if you're travelling through South East Asia then they're aren't hostels in every place so depending on where you go you might have to stay in hotels occasionally anyway.

3. Posted by joey22 (Travel Guru 561 posts) 8y


With all due respect I would suggest you need to approach your impending travels with a little more optimism.

I too have travelled quite far and wide on numerous occasions and have not been robbed by a fellow traveller. I have heard of (very few) instances where it happens but wouldn't worry too much. Most people in your dorm will have a nice flashy digital camera too and an ipod of their own. Helping themselves to a dollop of your peanut butter from a hostel fridge is far more likely to happen than wandering off with your SD card!

I agree with Emmett that the majority of backpackers are honest - we are all in it together and most people will be friendly and helpful etc etc. I agree also that as you are posting in the Asia forum you are quite unlikely to stay in many hostels during your travels. You will find far more individual rooms in SE Asia and India from experience. Australia and New Zealand are the 'home' of the dorm room and in my travels in those countries I would stay almost exclusively in dorms to keep my accomm costs down.

In most dorms across the world you will have a locker that is pretty safe. I started off sleeping with my money belt inside my sleeping bag on my first backpacking trip - this lasted around a week. On several occasions since I have employed the same tactic, most recently in a Senegalese 'hotel' that was actually a rather active brothel. Another occasion was when camping by a small settlement in the middle of the Sahara desert in Mauritania. Even then I felt a bit silly doing it but it is better to be safe than sorry.

My overall opinion is this: travelling involves a certain amount of risk. If you are uncomfortable about a character in your dorm room then make a decision about your valuables accordingly. For the most part you will find that everybody else is as concerned about their stuff as you are and wouldn't in a million years dream of pinching from you.

A little combi lock is a good buy but more for when you are strolling along the street in any given city and there are unsavoury types with beady eyes lurking on every corner looking for a chance to make a quick buck. Kidding. They exist but just use common sense.

Go and have fun!!


4. Posted by wanderitch (Budding Member 81 posts) 8y

Oh I'm very optimistic I can't wait, it's just settling in that I don't have to come into work on Monday!!
As you may have noticed I can be a worrier. I tend to worry in advance and then not during the event. So I'm getting the worrying out of the way now then I'll chill when I'm there.
I wasn't actually referring to fellow travellers, I was more concerned with outsiders coming in. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything on the security front.

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Here is a product that will almost guarantee that nothing will be stolen from your bag. You have to decide if the cost is worth it. Should last a many years, so if you plan on many backpacking/hostel type trips, it might be worth the expense. Good luck with your planning.

6. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y

Pretty safe, I also have a Pacsaf but rarely use it.

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1734 posts) 8y

Quoting wanderitch

How would you advise I maximise my security? Do many hostels have safes?

I do have insurance but to lose photos and all my music would be annoying.

You could spend a few more baht and move up to a cheap hotel that has a security box for safety!

Lots of hotels have safety boxes at the front desk or a safe in the room.

Up to you.

8. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y

Personally one of my happiest sleeping situations was the odd room to myself, despite paying dorm rates, like in Sardinia, a resortin the Whitsundays, Australia, and in Thaialnd. I paid 50Baht, there was a rumour regarding cheapest place.

I loved it, it was merelt 3 50cm x 50cm torn bits of chip board put over a bed frame, ahh bliss! :)

9. Posted by boulderman (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y

Had my phone stolen in Key West :(

Wasn't much, $60 but darn handy as an alarm clock and calculator and sorting notes and tunes I was composing

Police did nothing, nor did insurance company.

Onl;y had a couple fo months left on my trip so it wasn't too bad. (Been to American 8 times now)