There is a lot of waiting around that happens at the airport after you’ve checked your luggage and gone through TSA. Most people take that time to research activities in their destination town, check in with the house sitter, and let their family know they made it to their gate on time. But just because you don’t plan on ever interacting with the people at your gate again doesn’t mean that they don’t plan on interacting with you on some level.
Indeed, buying the cheapest airline ticket available to gain access to the gate area can definitely be worth the effort to some thieves. Gate areas are filled with cash, passports, and pricey gifts in suitcases. Gate areas are also filled with people speaking loudly about their travel plans. Be smart and be alert; don’t have these conversations at the gate.
For Your Safety – Avoid These Topics at the Airport
The Hidden Key
If you have a dog or house sitter stopping by your house, don’t tell them the location of the hidden key over the phone. Remember; your address is likely on one of your luggage tags. If someone overhears your phone call and reads your luggage tag, they could easily have access to your home while you’re away.
Mentioning When the House Will Be Vacant
If your flight gets in at 4 p.m., but your house sitter needs to leave that day at 2 p.m., your home will likely be okay for a couple of hours. But do not say over a phone call, “We’ll be home after you leave, but I’m sure the house will be fine for a few hours.” Stating that out loud may have just ensured the house will not be fine. Make sure nobody knows when your home will be empty and activate your home-automated system for those vacant hours.
This is more of a concern when you are in the gate area, departing the plane at your destination. Don’t speak too loudly about your itinerary on your trip, or the hotel where you will be staying. Simply saying, “The tour starts at nine tomorrow morning” can tell someone who is listening that your hotel room will be vacant for a couple of hours tomorrow morning. If you also mentioned which hotel you’re staying in, you could be an easy target for a thief, who can use the name on your luggage tag to gain access to your room.
Renting a Safe
Some hotels offer safes for rent, for guests who’d like to secure valuables. If you plan on renting one of these, don’t talk about it in public. Letting strangers know you need a safe also tells them that you’re in possession of valuable items. Since most for-rent safes at hotels are portable, a thief would have no problem taking the entire thing to another location to open it.
Packages You’re Expecting
If you are expecting a package of some value to be delivered while you’re away, arrange for a trusted friend or neighbor to pick it up from your home. Don’t talk to your travel mate about the item being delivered, or the date it’s expected. It’s easy for a thief to loiter outside of your home, waiting for the UPS truck to arrive, and then claim to be you when the packages gets there. For added safety, activate the motion sensor alarms around your home for the hours leading up to the delivery.
You may need to take out cash at your destination, or exchange money at a bank for the local currency. Keep conversations about this quiet. If someone overhears you saying you’re going to a certain bank to take out cash, they may follow you there, in the hopes of robbing you after. If you already took out cash, never talk about how much you’re carrying on your person.
Airports can create an illusion of anonymity because there are crowds of people rushing around us. But it only takes one person to key in on your conversation to find out your address, schedule, and personal information, so be careful what you say during your holiday travels.