What is a good way to keep valuables safe while travelling? I don't want to be burdened down with many bags or totes.
Papers * (prescriptions, receipts, maps), credit cards, phones, jewellry (wedding ring), medicines that can't get warm......
I have always traveled with my wedding ring. It stays on my finger when I am outside my hotel room.
Receipts can go into an envelope back in your hotel room.
Maps should stay with you, since you'll be using them. If there are maps for sites yet to see, leave them in your room. Nobody takes maps.
Credit cards should be split up - like cash - and not all carried/stored in one place. Make sure that you have a separate space just for the paper where you have the cc# + the toll free number to call if there's an issue.
Your cell phone can go into a pocket/purse. Use the same precautions you would use in any major city. I was in San Francisco two weeks ago when a guy stole a phone from a girl. She left it sitting beside her, and he took off with it. Do not rest your phone out of your hand/bag in the US or Europe.
Prescriptions - well, this varies. I travel with Rx eye drops. I could live if someone took them, although - honestly - they wouldn't do anything for anyone else who hadn't had my type of eye surgery.
If you have prescriptions that require specific temps, check with your pharmacy before you travel. They can tell you if it's 100% necessary to maintain a certain temp. Some meds in the US that are stored in the fridge do not always require that temperature. (I used to work in a pharmacy. This varies widely, varying on the med.) If your med DOES require lower temps, you'll want to travel with ice packs on the plane and find a room with a refrigerator. You'll need to pack accordingly to go through TSA with cold pack meds.
If your Rx meds don't require certain temps but is likely to be tempting, you'll want to make sure that you don't wave this around in public. Store the meds in a safe in the hotel or double lock it (a locked bag INSIDE a locked suitcase) for maximum protection in your destination. Do not leave things around for people to see if you're really worried about this.
And just know that the 'they' who are out to take your American stuff probably don't give a flip unless you wave stuff around and say hey - look at me, the rich American with narcotics and expensive jewelry. People in Europe also wear wedding bands, engagement rings and take medication for conditions.
Hope you have a wonderful trip!!