Although Bali is relatively safe in terms of theft and personal safety, it’s a common knowledge that pickpockets and theft from hotel rooms are not unknown.
To this date, there have been cases of breaking and entering into hotel rooms where victims were fortunate to escape unscathed, though we sadly can’t say the same about their belongings.
Now that we’re on the same page in regard of tourists’ safety in Bali, let’s look deeper into what precautions we can do to avoid getting mugged and how we can keep our belongings safe during a holiday here. There are actually some steps that you can do to prevent being robbed while you are staying for a retreat in the island.
- Keep doors and windows securely locked when away from your hotel room, or at night.
This one may sound like ABC, but, the reality is, people, especially they who came from first-world countries, often think that the whole world is as safe as their place back home. Well, sorry to break the news, but it’s really not.
If you feel it is safe enough for you to keep your doors and windows while you sleep in your country, then please, for your own sake, do not do that in Bali. Even if you are staying in a considerably luxurious establishments, it is always better to prepare for the worst.
Never forget to lock the doors and windows when you are leaving your room, even if it’s for a short time. Like any other tourist destinations, there is always a chance that some people are working together in an attempt to take your belongings. If you are being targeted, they may have their eyes on you and your belongings ever since you got into the room for the first time. It’s better to be overly-protective of your things than be sorry when you lost them, isn’t it?
- Carry only copies of your passports and travel documents; leave the originals locked up in your hotel room.
As a person who live in a digital era, it is also recommended to take pictures of your legal documents and send it to your own email so you can still have access to them even if your gadgets are stolen and you lost the copies, too.
To make it even safer, remember to lock them in the small safe provided in your room and don’t forget to change the passcode. Of course, you still then have to lock the doors and windows just as suggested in the first point above. If you are travelling with a significant other or someone that you can absolutely trust, we also recommend you to keep a copy of each other’s documents just in case one of you lost or misplaced them.
Another way to keep copies of these important documents is to have them scanned and emailed to your parents or any other trusted person that you can memorize the email address of.
- Use the hotel’s safe or security box when available.
Women tend to be a little careless about their jewelries and other valuables when they are on holiday, mostly due to them being a bit more intoxicated or overly tired when they get back to their hotel. As a result, they will just take their valuables off and put them on the table or any other place that is within reach as they are getting ready to go to bed. If you happen to forgot locking the windows or the doors too (hey, it happens), these are the number one things that will be taken by the thieves since they are literally laid out before their eyes. Be it jewelries, documents, or money, always try to keep them in the safe before you go to bed –and don’t forget to check on them in the morning– to save yourself from time-and-energy-consuming police report making procedure in a foreign country that can’t speak your language very good.
- When exploring Bali, keep your valuables in a front-carry pouch.
Although this one is really applicable to any other countries, you can definitely implement the habit here in Bali. It’s a very good idea to wear fanny-packs, especially now that they are making a sweet and successful comeback among travelers and fashionistas alike, since they are cool and make it safer for us to keep an eye of our belongings when we are strolling on the street.
If you have not realized, it is easier for pickpockets to raid our purses when we carry it behind or beside our bodies, compared to when we wear it in front of us. With the lightning speed and skill of their hands, it literally takes only seconds for a professional pickpocket (is it really a profession, though?) to snatch something from your purse or pocket and put them in their own.
- Never leave your purse in a vehicle.
This one can also sound a bit unbelievable as it should be common knowledge, but we are talking about tour buses or even hotel transports. Since they tend to seem to be more trustworthy, sometime people think that it is safe to leave their purse on the seats during a short stop. Unless someone you can trust is staying in the vehicle, we really recommend you to take any belongings with you, even if you’re only going to the restroom. It’s much better to do this rather than regretting it later when you lost them.
- Never leave your vehicles with the keys in their ignition.
Speaking of vehicles, bike thefts is sadly also not unheard of in this beautiful island. While most locals will never take something that is not theirs since they strongly believe in Karma, please remember that they are people from all around the country, too. People that don’t care about Karma and will do anything to stay alive, even if it means taking other people’s belongings. Despite the island’s reputation of being safe and truthful in the past, sadly, we have to let you know that things are different now.
Don’t keep your vehicles on during a stop, even if there’s someone in them, since these bad people can go in anyway and take the vehicle along with the people in it, making it an even more dangerous situation to be in. Turn off the engine and take the key from the ignition to make sure you don’t lose them, and also, never put any documents and papers in the vehicle.
Although there has been some cases of organized gang of snatchers that targeted solo-travelling female foreigners in the past year, it has been much safer this year after it has become the main agenda for the local police to solve. However, it is still a good idea to do those things we listed above to prevent getting mugged and keep your belongings safe when you are travelling in Bali. Please keep in mind that it is necessary to keep an eye of our belongings in any time we spend in a foreign place and country, not just in Bali.
We hope this article will help you keep track of your valuables and have a safe trip in this beautiful island we call home. Happy travelling and always stay safe, people!