So last weekend my wallet was stolen.
Nothing violent, my girlfriend had her bag taken from the back of her bike whilst we were cycling in Copenhagen and in it was her phone, wallet and my wallet, etc.
Anyway, this isn’t a sympathy cause, but instead an opportunity to reflect on what measures one can take to prevent such a situation turning into a logistical nightmare.
Below are some thoughts. The idea is ever we never think about this sort of stuff until it’s too late, and so by taking 30-60 minutes this weekend, you can ensure you at least have some things covered.
I should note that the great irony here is that literally that morning I’d been in conversation with a good friend who had some things stolen and was saying how, now that he mentioned it, I was not that well prepared. Oh, karma.
Include numbers to call on your lock screen
If an honest person finds your phone they can easily see who to dial in case of emergency. Also, consider including email address/ Facebook name
Turn on “find my phone” feature
Google has Find My Device app. Apple has it in-built, I believe
Have back up cards at home
To avoid not being able to withdraw money whilst your bank cards are being replaced. Consider even opening a separate bank account (obv with no fees) for such a purpose.
Hide cash money in your bag
If only your purse is pinched, then at least you have some back up there to get home
Save copies of your important docs “in the cloud”
Handy if you need to know your bank account number or ID information. The key is for it not just be saved locally on your phone, but somewhere where you can access it wherever there’s an internet connection.
I have a devoted folder in Evernote, though Google Drive/ Dropbox works too
Examples of “important docs”
- Bank account numbers
- Passport/ driving license copies
- Record of vaccinations
- National ID number
- Screenshot of the About section of your phone with all the manufacture information (for if you need to disable it)
Have Whatsapp chat automatically back up
It’s in the Settings. It’ll auto-sync to Google Drive. Means you don’t lose all of your chats when switching phone.
Keep your phone number when replacing your SIM card
When you get a new one you can switch the default number to your old one. Easier to slip back into things.
Use Google Drive/ Dropbox as your default place to store files
More of a laptop thing. Rather than saving in My Documents, be in the habit of computer stuff being in the cloud. Means it won’t be lost forever.
Sounds simple, but can be overlooked.
At the more extreme end of the spectrum (mainly if you’re travelling in areas with a high chance of getting mugged) you could also consider:
- Having a “throwaway wallet” to give said muggers. Include a bit of cash and a few credit-card-looking store cards so it looks legit
- Have a “safety phrase” to say to someone to communicate you’re in danger/ under duress
- Hiding cash in your shoes
If you have any others, please do share and I’ll then collate it together into a blog post next week.
In other news…
I’m now back in Kenya. Very nice to be back and looking forward to getting back in the swing of things. More updates to follow.
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