Hi guys, fairly new to the forum, off to Oz for a year in Jan2010, just me and my backpack.
What I am worrying about is what you do with your pack all day/night, if say you are out on the town having a drink, or going swimming and sunbathing at the beach... Where do you leave your pack? Do you take it with you? Do you have a constant bed at one hostel for your stay and chain it to the bed and lock it up???
Also, I have a money belt for safekeeping passport and whatnot, but if you are going swimming... can't exactly keep that on... What would you do with it? Bury it in the sand and hope a crab doesn't eat it?
Any info, tips and pointers you can give me would be a big help! Cheers!
Most good backpackers in Australia and other parts of the world will have lockers in the room, under bunks or in unit to the side. When you decide on which backpackers to use, this is important consideration. Hostelworld.com is pretty good for checking out backpackers. Make sure you take a good combination or padlock lock, and not a small one, preferably larger, stronger one.
So organise your swims, nights on the town around 2 nights in backpackers etc. Dont go travelling with your passport, better to leave somewhere secure and certainly dont leave it on the beach.
Enjoy your tripping.
My advice is to always keep your backpack locked - Australia's a safe country but, hey, better safe than sorry. The combination locks are best - then you don't have to carry a key around for those pesky crabs to munch on. Those mesh pack covers are excellent but heavy so depends on how much room you've got in your pack.
All backpackers will have a facility to keep valuables secure, whether thats personal safe or a safe behind the front desk.
You'll find you'll get in to the swing of things as you speak to travellers like yourself when you're on the road but grab the Australian Lonely Planet and read the safety section to get a heads up.
You'll have a blast
Personally I'm opposed to money belts as I think they paint a bigger target on your back than not having one on, but I know people that swear by them. Like Angus mentioned, it's way safer leaving your passport etc. in your room's locker (or the one at the front desk if it's a hostel without lockers in the rooms). I'd also recommend never having too much actual cash on you. Get an Australian bank account and transfer funds over to that one so you can just use an Aussie bank card.
Enjoy the trip!!
Thanks guys, I wasn't aware that hostels sometimes have lockers in the dorms (having never travelled before), that's good to know.
Yes, Skye, I'm getting a lonely planet guide for Xmas from my uncle I think. So that's that sorted!!!
SamIam, I don't really understand how wearing a moneybelt under your clothes would paint a target on your back... as it is under your clothes, and therefore unnoticable.
It's not like wearing a brightly coloured "bumbag" over the top of your shorts with all your details and cash in... More like keeping your passport and bank card in your underwear (but not actually in there) haha.
Money belts have become more recognised as some travellers just pull their money out of them in broad daylight so certain types of people expect you to be wearing one. I just sew an extra pocket inside my trousers and keep all my documents in there and just spread my money across my other pockets!
If you just pull your money out of your money belt (being your SECRET HIDING PLACE) in public, you pretty much deserve to have it stolen. Yeesh. Some people are dense.
Yep, it's the continuous going in and out of the money belt that does it. Plus, one quick slit with a knife to the 'belt' and the entire thing is property of a thief. But if hidden well, it can work
For one year in NZ and Oz I traveled with a pac safe brand lightweight reinforced bag that I put my camera/wallet/etc into and locked to a metal bed frame or something else immovable with the built-in cable and lock.
For a second year in South America I upgraded my security to a backpack safe (a wire mesh that encases the pack, and then secures to a bed). A bit heavier but worth it in when falling asleep in bus terminals, etc. Just lock the pack to a chair and doze without worry.
And a few other thoughts - I'm a writer and traveled for a year throughout South America with a very small laptop. Key to not losing it? No one knew I had it. I never took it out in public, and would get a single room once a week where I used it the room to catch up - again, no one knew I had it. Not a practical solution for camera and wallets, but just a reminder that discression really is a good ally.
Good luck, it's a great world out there.
I travel with a money belt but hardly wear it. Its a useful place to keep most of my valuables, then I hide it down in a secret pocket on my day pack. In an emergency or when I really have to leave all my bags in a public place I then have the option to put the money belt on for the day.
You can never lock anything up safely enough to stop a thief, so I never bother with locks, but prepare myself for the day when it will happen, by spreading a few important documents and cash and a credit card all in different places. If i get robbed I'm hoping they wont get everything, so I'll have some sort of back up.
P.S ive been traveling around south East asia for nearly 2 years now and the only place I got robbed was a hostel in New Zealand. The only other people in the room was an English guy and a Aussie. Just shows you never know when its going to happen and by who.
[ Edit: Edited on 16-Dec-2009, at 16:32 by Dodger ]