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Thread: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

  1. #1
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    As usual, inputs and suggestions here will be compiled to help other photographers on travel.

    We have an unfortunate incident from tan131 who's got his stuff stolen through the window and having unconcerned policemen trying to avoid responsibilities.

    Quoted from tan131
    okie, i think i need to add to this thread. I am in Laos now, but unfortunately something terrible happened. My I was robbed through the window when asleep at night in the guest house. Insider job or outside ppl I do not know. Things were placed in the middle of the room far away from the window but the bugger used a pole like device to hook things out. Do NOT trust that the guesthouse may be locked or whatsoever. I dunno where's safe to place things when things like that can happened. Lost more then $1.5k in cash and valuables But what pissed me off is not the crime. Whatever happened has happened. Its the police report....

    Went to the station (Lauprabang tourist police beside the tourist bureau) the police soon came to the guesthouse. Found the pole like device and claimed it was too short to reach.. had to explain to him that the person stretched his hand in (they should realli watch CSI!!) went back to station and request that they search 2nd market cos of ipod or money changer cos of Sing dollar which is not common.. claim they can't... fine... asked for copy of report to claim insurance.. they said i cannot indicate cash lost.. said i had a choice.. file report which they said they will investigate but cannot indicate cash.. or file a sheet which i can keep but they will not endorse..and best of all they will NOT investigate... i wonder whats the police for then?! before i sign the report.. said i remember something else stolen and wanted to add... they claimed cannot change!!! WTF!! Lastly, they made me sign a form saying i had taken the report and they will not investigate!! WTF!!

    The place is good but this experience has left a super sour taste in my mouth.. if there are Laotian ppl here, i apologise first but the police force sucks n I dun think I will ever return to the country.. this is barely a week into my trip and I have 2 weeks more to go.. am disgusted, broke and pissed....one word of advice.. check the laws of the country to know what kind of protection u are having as tourists...

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    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    i'll start the ball rolling, although i have little else to put

    1. using pacsafe to lock up the backpack on vulnerable periods to theft, e.g. sleeping on the train

    2. keep items of values far from the window (avoid theft by using long poles)

    3. using cable cord to lock door from inside to add to security (but not useful when going out)

    4. travel with partners when shooting in less safe locations and avoid going alone into alleys which is out of sight to the general public

    5. get a knowledge of who to ask for help and the next level available in a certain location, so that if one level is useless, you know you can tell them you are going up the next level to get assistance.

    6. equipment insurance. (problem: so far i only see such policies from UK, but i do not know what the local insurance agencies can do for us in terms of that, anyone can give an overview?)

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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    1. travel in groups, or with tour agencies. no pt acting garang sometimes and explore, esp if you dun speak the language

    2. use film + rf =P

    3. dun carry any bags with flashly logos

    4. change to local currency and use them. carry US dollars as backup.

    5. dress simply. slacks and plains tees are best. jeans can be a killer at times.

    6. make use of any safes located in hotels or hostels.

    as for the insurance bit. local agencies do offer but is seldom taken. the premium is too high and the payout is not that good. was quoted abt 400++ for a camera and laptop for a week. unless u are heading to some remote region and carrying some really exp equipment, dun bother with the insurance bit. also, the admin work to justify the insurance is heck of a lot. got to take pics and sent equipment for inspection. to claim also is another big hassle, as i was told then that have to prove is not my fault.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by tribal.snake View Post
    as for the insurance bit. local agencies do offer but is seldom taken. the premium is too high and the payout is not that good. was quoted abt 400++ for a camera and laptop for a week. unless u are heading to some remote region and carrying some really exp equipment, dun bother with the insurance bit. also, the admin work to justify the insurance is heck of a lot. got to take pics and sent equipment for inspection. to claim also is another big hassle, as i was told then that have to prove is not my fault.
    The Americans like to cover their cameras + accessories under homeowners insurance, do we have something similar?

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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    Well if you were in JB or worse Indonesia, the crooks will not just steal when you are asleep.

    You may be robbed by parang wielding robbers in broad daylight on a side street and no onlookers will help you.

    If the robber is not happy with the value of things you got, they will slash you many times with the parang anyway. To show his unhappiness that the loot is so little.

    Therefore, Laotians are much gentler in comparison.

    I don't blame their police as they are shorthanded and unable to trace your lost item in such a large country.

    Still want to invest in the Iskandar DR?

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    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ricohflex View Post
    I don't blame their police as they are shorthanded and unable to trace your lost item in such a large country.
    i dun think that is true. Laos is different from vietnam, thailand or indonesia. their towns (no cities) is so small and those things that are stolen which is virtually not seen in the whole country, will stick out like sore thumbs. besides, they can always start taking care of the guesthouse than the local market. and becos transport medium is bad in the country, the item may not go away too fast to the next location, so if the report is done fast, the likelihood of finding it will be much faster in this country than any other countries in southeast asia.

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    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    bump up to get more inputs.

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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    money and passport will 24/7 on my body when i travel.
    if going to less developed places, i suggest not bringing expensive equipments like dslrs etc.... just use an acceptable quality pns.

    ipod those things, if possbile and can be done with, dun bring them. hp can also listen to music rite?

    in short, for the less developed places, bring the barest minimum to safeguard urself..
    09 Oct 09 officially marks the date I become a canon convert.

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    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by kcuf2 View Post
    money and passport will 24/7 on my body when i travel.
    that is what i do also. but i suggest having a smaller amt to sustain return kept on a separate location.

    Quote Originally Posted by kcuf2 View Post
    if going to less developed places, i suggest not bringing expensive equipments like dslrs etc.... just use an acceptable quality pns.
    that is quite impossible for travel photographers whose primary aims is to get the best out of travel. for those with photography not as a primary aim, that may be possible though.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    stay in a hotel with in-room safe... and keep valuables in it... plan on spending abit more for better hotel that's more secure...

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    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    if I am travelling to a country that I don't feel safe...

    I will first prepare a colour photocopy of my passport, kept separately from my passport of course,

    when I am on the streets..
    1) Spread risk, keep your money and valueables at different places of your body, or eg. different pockets. If really feel unsafe, consider keeping some money in your underwear(I am not joking).

    2) keep small amount of money in every pocket, avoid taking out wallet for purchase thereby attracting unwanted attention.

    3) avoid hanging your expensive camera around your neck unnecessarily, know what you want to shoot, plan ahead, shoot and keep your camera.

    4) avoid using bags with very 'loud' prints, for eg. like a big 'Nikon' printed on it.

    when I am in hotel room,

    1) avoid ground floor rooms as it provides easy access to intruders, unless no choice.

    2) ok, set 'traps' in your room. I know I sound paranoid, but if I don't feel safe, I will do a little bit of furniture shifting, block the door and window areas so that it is impossible not to make some noise if someone attempts to break in.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What would you suggest to add security during travel?

    Just to add one more point. Have some small cash, say US$20.00 available at your easily accessable pocket or a seperate wallet. If you are really bad luck and get robbed, give the guy the 20 bucks. This happened to two of my friends. One was robbed in France, the guy got away with 20 euros; another friend was day-light 'robbed' by the Mexico traffic police, he asked for ALL the money in my friend's wallet! and he got away with US$150.00.
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