It’s a Good Time to Talk About a Crucial Element of Travel Safety

How to keep your possessions safe on the road in three easy steps

By now you’ve probably heard at least something about Kim Kardashian West’s unfortunate run-in with robbers in Paris this past weekend.

To summarize: She was visiting for Paris Fashion Week and was alone in her room at the Hotel de Pourtalès in the 8th Arrondisement when masked assailants burst in, held her at gunpoint, and made off with approximately $10 million in baubles before a bodyguard and police showed up. 

Whatever you think about Kim (and the rest of the Kardashians), nobody should have to endure this kind of trauma. Thankfully, the reality television star was not harmed in the robbery. Afterward, as USA Today reported, Kim cooperated with local police, then hightailed it out of France, hopping on a private plane back to New York and a veritable phalanx of armed bodyguards. 

Authorities (and gossip mags) are still investigating the incident. In the meantime, we figured now was a perfect time for a refresher on travel safety—especially regarding your personal belongings and whereabouts—and to offer these three tips.

1. Be smart on social media

Kardashian West has become a celebrity largely thanks to her social media savvy. But whatever she shares, she shares with at least 84 million Instagram followers. We don’t know if her assailants were among them, but we should all be conscientious about what we share and whom we share it with. And the consequences of revealing your location may affect more than just you.

2. Use the safe

If you’ve ever poked around a fancy hotel room, you have probably noticed a safe in the closet or one of the nightstand drawers. These safes are there for a reason: to protect your most valuable valuables. On your next trip, if you’ve got something you’d rather not lose—jewelry, iPad, passport—toss it in your safe when you don't need it and rest easy.

3. Pack wisely

Most of us don’t hit the road toting $10 million in jewelry. But the Kim K. heist should make us think long and hard about the expensive items we travel with. Unexpected things can happen when you’re abroad, so leave the truly irreplaceable stuff at home. Yes, this means you may be photographed in your cubic zirconia “engagement ring” instead of your finest diamonds, but it also means you never have to worry about losing anything too meaningful.

Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at