While surveying the year's best travel–friendly gear for our holiday gift guide (watch for it here and in the December/January issue!), we came across the BookBook, a compact, combination–wallet–and–iPhone cover styled to look like a weathered leather book. In addition to incorporating clever features such as strategic cutouts for easier charging and headphone access and a bookmark–style ribbon tab that, when tugged, exposes just the iPhone's camera lens, it also might provide just enough camouflage to fool a pickpocket into passing you by. (They've also made versions for the iPad and MacBooks.)
That got us thinking about how far we've come since the days when a good old–fashioned money belt was the pinnacle of on–the–road theft protection. A slew of high–tech (and not so high–tech) gizmos have hit the scene in recent years, including Garmin's GTU 10, a card deck-sized GPS tracker you can use to locate lost luggage or a stolen purse, and the new Bluetooth Smart Key Fob from Tumi that sounds an alarm when your mobile phone strays beyond a 30–foot radius. Then there's the Vacation Vault, a portable combination–lock box perfect for protecting your valuables at the beach—or perhaps as an alternative to those not–so–reliable hotel room safes.
Of course, not every smart safety idea calls for pulling out the credit card. One of our favorite new tips just appeared in the story "8 Items You Never Pack…But Should:" using a screw–lid travel mug as an under–the–radar hiding place for small valuables—it's certainly not the first place a petty criminal would look for a score.
What are your favorite gadgets, habits, and strategies for keeping your stuff safe when you travel? Post your tips in the comments section!
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