Best Portable Travel Safe Options for Valuables

When we travel, we take out most valuable of possessions money, credit card, passport, phone and laptops.  But when we travel, we become more vulnerable to theft; we are in a foreign place without our usual levels of security that we would have at home.  You may wonder, how to keep your valuables safe while travelling?

To help keep your belongings safe we are going to go through the best theft proof bags for travel, portable travel safes and how to prevent luggage theft. 

In this Article You Will Learn About the Best Anti-Theft Travel Bags and Gadgets

camera and ipad in travel luggage should not be here to prevent luggage theft
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What are Portable Travel Safes

Portable travel safes are designed to keep your most valuable items safe when your travel; things like your passport, travel documents, credit cards, laptop or iPad, phone and jewellery all safe from would-be petty thieves.

These safes are compact theft-proof bags for travel that are made of strong materials that cannot be opened, broken or slashed through.  They generally also include a strong wire that is used to attach the safe to the furniture within your accommodation.

How to Protect Luggage from Theft

But before you even get to your accommodation it is also important to protect your luggage and valuables.


The first step in how to prevent luggage theft is by NOT putting any valuables in your checked luggage when flying.  If you are taking a flight all valuables should be kept in your hand luggage.  This includes:

  • Passport
  • Money
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Jewellery
  • Keys

Discover what other essentials to pack in your hand luggage with this…

Protecting Your Travel Bags

It is also important to note that airlines will not cover the theft of valuables from checked-in luggage.  But even if you haven’t put any valuables in your bags, you still don’t want slippery little fingers rifling through your belongings. 

Start by ensuring you use a TSA-approved luggage lock* to secure your bags.  You could use plastic numbered security zip ties* but these are not TSA approved and therefore if security wishes to open and check inside your luggage the tie will be removed and not replaced.

If you are backpacking, then keeping your bag safe extends to all the time, like when you leave it at the hostel or up on a luggage rack on a train.  I found that the PacSafe* was the best anti-theft device for large backpacks.  It comes with a TSA-approved lock; the wire mesh prevents your pack from being slashed open and there is an extra-long wire cord to tie your bag to luggage racks on trains or bedposts in hostels.


If you are road-tripping, keep valuables out of sight and preferably in the boot of the car.  When you get out of the car take the valuables with you and always lock your vehicle.

Top Trip Tip: During travel transits, valuables should be kept with you at all times

Hotel Room Safety for All Types of Accommodation

Once you arrive at your accommodation it is time to unpack and organise your valuables.  Many hotels, holiday apartments and pensiones have a hotel room safe.  They are usually big enough for your wallet, passport, some jewellery and maybe an iPad.

hotel room safe inside the wardrobe
Hotel room safe

But I’m not that keen on them.  Sometimes the hotel safe will not re-open – not good if you are in a hurry to get going. I also don’t like the fact that hotel security is then called to open the safe.  This means that hotel staff can access the safe at any time – thereby rendering it useless if you are trying to prevent your valuables from being stolen by dodgy hotel staff.

So what to do?  You can create your own little hidden space in the hotel room.  I have done this many items and essentially have been lucky that they have not found my items hidden inside a bag, inside a bag, inside a bag that has a TSA lock.  This system is also really laborious for retrieving valuables when you want to use them.

But now you can buy your own portable safe for travel*.  My favourite brand PacSafe has developed travel safes large enough to hold two laptops, passports, travel documents and money.  But there are small travel-safe versions as well if you don’t have as much stuff.  The PacSafe travel safe is slash-proof that can be tied and locked to hotel room furniture.

Learn how to keep your hotel room neat and tidy with these…

Best Way to Carry Passport and Money while Travelling

With your valuables secure in your room it is time to head out and explore.  Start by only taking what you need.  If you are planning on exchanging money or booking tours you may need your passport, if not leave it in your room – in the travel safe.

Keeping your valuables safe as you wonder is all about preventing pickpocketers, grab-and-run assailants and credit card skimmers.

To start with your travel wallet, handbag or day bag should have RFID technology to prevent credit card skimmers from encrypting your details.  Or you can use RFID blocking sleeves* to slip your credit card into and then pop it back into your existing wallet or bag.

The easiest way to prevent pickpocketers is to use a hidden travel wallet*.  Though these aren’t always the most practical to use.  So I would suggest adding your wallet or purse to a crossbody bag or small day pack.

Both the crossbody bag* and daypack are difficult for would-be grab and run thieves to take off with your bag as it is strapped across both sides of your body.  Choose a bag that is made up of mesh to prevent your bag from being slashed open or the straps cut.

If you’ve chosen a day pack ensure the zips can be locked* to prevent them from being opened when you are in crowded places and you cannot see your pack on your back.

Top Trip Tip: When walking along the street keep your bag or wallet inside the footpath

How to Keep Valuables Safe at the Beach or Pool

However, when you are at the beach or the pool it is difficult to keep everything with you.

To start with, reduce the risk of what can be stolen only take what you need, for example, take a small amount of cash, not your credit card; if $50 of cash is taken it is not the end of the world, annoying yes, but if your credit card is stolen then it is not only the large amount of cash that a would-be thief can tap and go, but also the inconvenience of being without your credit card whilst you wait for a replacement.

Then there is your mobile phone.  Most phones come with built-in security like fingerprint or code access, ensure you have activated these features.  However, you really don’t want the phone stolen in the first place as they hold so much of our lives on them.

So to protect your cash, phone and keys there are small water-resistant versions* of the portable travel safe.  The locking beach bag is designed to attach to your deck chair or a secure item like a tree.

But what if you don’t have a deck chair?  Then a waterproof phone case* will protect your phone and you’ll be able to take photos whilst out in the water.  The only negative is the phone will be attached to you via a lanyard strapped around your neck.  As an alternative, you may prefer a waterproof money belt* that wraps around your waist offering you freer movement whilst in water.

Top Trip Tip: Only take what you need to the beach

When to Use Anti-Theft Travel Bags

There is no particular type of trip that a travel safe is more useful than another.  They come in handy whether you are camping, backpacking, or staying in a self-catering apartment or a hotel.

However, travel safes don’t have to be used just when you are travelling, they could be used on a picnic, a day at the beach, at the gym basically any time you are going out but may want to leave your bag and valuables to the side whilst you continue with an activity.

But choosing the best portable travel safe for you will all come down to the activity you intend to use the anti-theft bag for and how much you want to put into the bag.

Continue your search for the perfect Anti-Theft Travel Bags and Safes* for you with these suggestions.

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