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Valuables + airb&b

Hi all,

My wife and I travel to Italy in a week. We are going to several cities and are primarily using airb&b for the trip.

While we'll leave most valuables at home we'll have some items that have to accompany us. Like a laptop.

My question is ... Can anyone think of a way to store valuables while traveling for short periods of time between locations? For example passports and other valuables at a local bank or a secure storage locker for a few days and then on to the next city.

The idea of leaving valuables in the airb&b location is a little nerve racking...guess we should have thought about that!

Posted by
18541 posts

I wouldn't be that concerned, just put things out of sight. If you are really worried I guess you could put them in a suitcase and then chain it to a chair. My favorite AirBnb has a safe in it; but not large enough for a lap top.

Posted by
5258 posts

Here is something to think about...

Do you really need your laptop?

On my most recent trip, my daughter had her laptop, because she had just completed her study abroad semester, otherwise we wouldn't have considered taking it along.

So... We would always lock it up in her suitcase.

I always carried our passports, along with other valuables (debit & credit cards, extra cash) in my money belt.

Posted by
3772 posts

As Priscilla said, if you find it nerve wracking to leave your things in the apartment, then keep your passport etc. in a money belt on your person everyday. The local bank thing is not go to work in Italy or anywhere else for that matter. I don't use a money belt but I keep my passport and important inside a zippered inner pocket that is inside another pocket of my purse or I leave it in my accomodations. I have to travel with a laptop because I am always on call for work and I leave it charging when I go out. Assuming that you tried to choose a decent place, you are not likely to be robbed. If you are worried about it, unplug the laptop and hide it and the charger in your luggage or under the bed or in the hidden pocket of your luggage or under a pillow or anyplace where it is not easily visible because much of theft prevention is keeping items out of the sight of opportunistic thieves.

Posted by
33130 posts

Most of airbnb locations are either a room in a property where the owner also lives, or a stand alone apartment.

In both cases the owner has researched your score and comments about you, and expects you to do the same. There then becomes a level of trust.

They are trusting you to let you in - often unaccompanied - into their house where they have computers, maybe art on the walls, china and glassware, perhaps valuable sculptures or ceramics or porcelain - everything you would expect in a house.

Unless you are in a large B&B or small hotel which advertises through airbnb it is likely that the only other people there will be the owners. They may have a contracted cleaner who comes in.

So it is probably good that you learn to trust them. It is likely that you could steal more from them than they could from you.

If you read all the words in reviews left by your fellow guests, and make sure that wherever you stay has enough reviews (I don't like fewer than 10, and won't use anywhere with less than 5) you should be able to tell if they appear trustworthy.

Posted by
11613 posts

As JHK said, you cannot leave things in bank lockers, and I don't know of public lockers anywhere.

It's been ten years since I lugged a laptop to Europe - iPad mini comes with me everywhere.

Posted by
364 posts

Ask your host. Our last 2 airbnb apartments in Portugal came with key lock on the bedroom door. Otherwise we lock valuables in our suitcase or keep it with us.

Posted by
3941 posts

What Nigel said - we've used airbnb so many times since 2011 (25 by my count). These hosts are also trusting you not to steal anything from them - the trust works both ways. Goodness - our host in San Fran even had an ipad in the room for her guests to use and take with them for the day if need be - that's really trusting.

Things like our ipad mini and passports and money of course come with us. But I've left the iPad air in our room without a second thought. Some rooms will have locks on the door, some don't. If a host is stealing things, they'd soon have many negative reviews and most likely be booted off airbnb. That's why it's good to a) - pick a place with at least a half dozen reviews if possible and b) - I always like to contact the host first before booking - get a 'feel' for them so to speak.

We host couchsurfers in our home since 2008 (just hosted our 60th time and have 2 more in the next week!) and I had a friend who was like - someone is gonna steal your stuff. Never happened. Nothing has ever gone missing - and I leave my - albeit, mostly empty - purse sitting on the counter.

Of course, there are always a few that may not be trustworthy. If you show up at a place and really get the heebie-jeebies, then make sure to secure your laptop - even just lock it in your suitcase. If you are really worried about it, check out PacSafe Travelsafe gear. Tho with only a week before you go, unless you have a store nearby or can select fast shipping, may be too late. They have a slash proof mesh and handle and will lock to something secure in the room so no one can get into it. The largest will hold a 15" MacBook air.

Posted by
3941 posts

Just a quick add - if your host rents out more than one room, then you may have to worry about the other guests. In that case, make sure to keep anything valuable out of sight. We've only stayed in one place in New Jersey that had more than one room. They had number pad locks on the door of each room. I think you would find if someone is renting multiple rooms, they will have some kind of lock on your room that you would lock when you leave - because as much as you can trust the host, the other guests could be an issue (just like in a hostel). If you are renting whole apartments or someone only rents out one room, it shouldn't be a concern. (Oh, also just now remembering the place we stayed at in Niagara Falls that had two rooms - no one was in the other room when we were there, but there were locking doors with a key provided).

Posted by
1625 posts

Who are you worried will steal your stuff? Certainly not the owners, they want to maintain a good rating and continue to rent out their place, trust is a huge deal breaker. We found that the Apartments we rented in Italy all had HUGE locks on the door that required the key to be put in just so and we were given demonstrations in all places by the owners because some of them could be tricky. So up to you to properly lock the place up when you leave. I have rented apartments in London, Paris and Rome and it has never crossed my mind to be worried about leaving my valuables, it's a non-issue.

Posted by
18541 posts

There are crooks and thieves everywhere. Some AirBnbs are rooms in an otherwise occupied home, most I believe, are apartments purchased for the sole purpose of rental to tourists. You shouldn't trust these guys any more or any less than any other form of accommodation. The concept that there is some equal trust is romantic, but I don't know how accurate. Do you need your lap top? I do, I work on vacation. Do what you have to do to be relaxed and enjoy the trip. That could be a little or a lot. Up to your own sensibilities.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks all.
I'm taking advice from all of you. Seriously thanks to all of you for making this a fun safe (and prepared) adventure!