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Your blood runs cold. Your heart beats faster. You begin to panic. That moment when you realise one of your possessions has gone missing while on holiday is never pleasant. Here’s how to protect the items that - statistically - are most likely to go walkabout. 

The results of our recent travel survey revealed that 14% of claims our readers made after they last purchased travel insurance related to the loss or theft of money or possessions. And the things most likely to go missing are clothes, electrical items and cash.

Here are some tips for keeping them safe.

Clothes

33% of those who claimed for loss of possessions claimed for clothes.

• 3 million bags are lost across Europe every year. Protect and track checked-in baggage with one of these highly-rated, airline-approved luggage tracker tags. If your bag is lost, your airline will be able to locate it and return it to you rapidly.

• To prevent the theft of contents from your checked-in baggage, buy a good lock for your bag or suitcase. (Combination locks are better than padlocks as there’s no key to lose.) The best option is a TSA-approved lock as it means airport security staff will be able to open your bag without damaging your lock if they need to take a look.

• Once on holiday ensure your room (and windows) are locked each time you go out.

• Dress for the weather. Needlessly carrying extra layers increases the risk of putting a jumper down somewhere and forgetting it.

Electrical items

25% of those who claimed for loss of possessions claimed for electrical items. And it’s little wonder. We seem to be taking more and more gadgets away with us. 78% of our travel-lovers took a camera away with them on their last holiday. 86% took a phone. 61% took a tablet. 36% took a Kindle or e-reader. You get the idea. Holiday gadgets are a hit. But they are also a target for thieves too.

• At the airport, carry your gadgets in your hand luggage so you can keep a close eye on them.

• While out and about, only take the gadgets you really need. Keep the rest in your bedroom safe. (There should be a safe at reception that you can ask to use if your room doesn’t have one.)

• Your laptop may be too big for your safe. In that case take a laptop cable lock away with you.

>> UK flight gadget ban: everything you need to know about the new security measures

Cash

Money, money, money. Not funny when you lose it or it’s stolen. 17% of those who claimed for loss of possessions claimed for cash.

• You can use most debit and credit cards abroad with minimal charges - check with your bank for more. And remember to tell your card issuer that you are going away to prevent your card being blocked.

• An RFID wallet is a cheap way to prevent skimmers from stealing your card details.

• If you must carry cash, only carry as much as you need. Watch out for holes in the lining of your pockets that cash could fall through.

• Be discreet with your cash in public.

• Never leave your wallet or purse exposed on a restaurant or café table - especially if you are sitting outside. It takes seconds for thieves to make off with it.

• Make use of technology like TrackR to locate and recover lost wallets via your smartphone.

• Keep your cash in separate stashes, rather than one chunky wad. Losing one bunch of cash is possible, losing four separate lumps is highly unlikely. Put some in the safe. Keep some locked in your suitcase. How about some under the bed? You decide.

Get yourself covered...

All World First policies cover the theft or loss of baggage, clothes and cash. You can also add £1,000 worth of gadget cover as an optional extra. Visit www.world-first.co.uk for an instant quote.

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