With a suitcase full of clothes, gadgets and toiletries, personal luggage can be worth more than you think, so it’s more important than ever to protect your valuables abroad.

Facts: Valuables abroad

On average, Brits take £700 of gadgets on trips, including cameras, iPads, phones, and laptops.

Clothes and shoes taken on holiday are often worth as much as £400, accessories and jewellery come to £350 and even toiletries taken on trips can be worth around £100.

Children also take items worth hundreds of pounds away with them. A child's suitcase is now worth on average £550, according to the research.

Half a million Britons have had items of luggage stolen while away. Gadgets, sunglasses and jewellery are among the things stolen the most from holidaymakers.

Research suggests that the value of goods in suitcases and hand luggage has risen 67% over the past five years.

Yet many holidaymakers don't use everything they pack and 17% of travellers pay for excess baggage - charges which have totalled £412m over the past five years.

Source: travel insurance firm LV=

Reduce the risk of things going wrong during your travels

Photocopy your passport and travel documents - leave one copy with a friend or relative in case of an emergency, and keep a second copy separate in case your documents are lost or stolen.

Know the area - before leaving for your destination, find out about crime hotspots and general safety of the area. Make sure you know where you're going on which day so you’re not so reliant on maps or guidebooks, which makes you an easy target for thieves.

Only take what you need - when you're going out, only take with you what you really need, otherwise it’s just something else that could get lost or stolen. Each day work out how much money you think you’ll need, and leave the rest behind. Place money in different pockets of bags and clothing. Make sure expensive or valuable items like your phone, camera, laptop and passport are kept zipped up in bags.

Use the safe - most hotels have a PIN-operated safe in the bedrooms so leave unnecessary valuables in the safe when you go out. If there’s no safe, speak to a receptionist for advice about where to leave items.

What to do if your possessions are lost or stolen while abroad

Contact the police - if your property has been lost or stolen, you should immediately report it to the local police, as well as your hotel or tour operator. The police should give you a case reference number which you'll need to give to your insurer in order to make your claim. Make sure they know how to contact you once you return home.

Contact your insurer immediately to report any lost, damaged or stolen items

Don't buy replacement items or pay for repairs until you've heard your insurer's decision about how they’ll settle your claim. Depending on the value and nature of the items, your insurer will decide whether to repair or replace your lost, damaged or stolen property. If your valuables can't be repaired or replaced, then your insurer may decide to give you a cash settlement.

How John Lewis Finance can help

If Personal Possessions Cover is included in your Home Insurance policy from John Lewis Finance, you’ll have peace of mind anywhere in the world, up to £25,000.

Our Specialist Home Insurance covers all your personal belongings, including loss of personal money, anywhere in the world.

John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Ageas Retail Limited. John Lewis Travel Insurance is provided by Ageas Retail Limited (No1324965). Registered office: Ageas House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3YA. Ageas Retail Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (number 312468). Ageas Retail Limited is a sister company of Ageas Insurance Limited.

John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (Registered Company Number 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of a panel of carefully chosen insurers to offer a full range of insurance products and services via John Lewis Insurance (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011).

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