@Jess Hardly, you are lovely for thinking of me and sending me a gift. Thank you so much.
@readyornot Oh that's rotten, when you're pretty sure it's someone working for the hotel who did it. You want to feel like your stuff is safe wherever you're staying.
@Susan Tidebeck Yeah, none of the locals I told about it were surprised; it is pretty common.
@megsy Ah yes, US bars are picky about ID. I didn't know that they wouldn't accept a Canadian driver's license though--how annoying.
@cryptolect Oh how excellent! I generally find that people are pretty great everywhere I go, as your story shows. I just happened to have rotten luck with people this time.
@youngpreeezy Yeah, I'm crossing my fingers this was the worst of it. Bolivia has been fine so far, thanks! That's a rotten story from DC. I'm glad the police report was helpful, even if the police weren't particularly.
@megsy Okay, if that works for you! But I am very wary of carrying my passport everywhere. I generally don't need identification except maybe to sign into my hotel (and I have it in my money belt at that time anyway), or if I'm buying something with a credit card (like when I got a new camera in Lima).
@Renee Yep, cross-body straps are great. When you're at a cafe or restaurant, keep the purse between your feet the whole time, or better yet, on your lap. Oh, and since this just happened to a friend of mine: if you're leaving your bag with your friends while you're at the toilet, tell your friends! This woman left her bag with them but didn't point it out, and they didn't notice it. But a thief did. She came back from the bathroom and said, "Where's my bag?" Her friends said, "What bag?" Sorry, this sounds like more pearl-clutching, but so much of it is just being aware of what you have, and making others aware if need be.
@raptoresq Thanks for the advice! The insurance company processed my claim faster than expected, and I recouped almost all my costs, which is good. I might still do an amended report, but even if I don't, things turned out okay.
@MollyAuden Sure! I originally posted some tips here, and there are good ideas in the comments too: http://lisafindley.com/2011/08/30/three-steps-to-keeping-your-belongings-safe-on-the-road/ Other specific tips: *I lock my passport and credit cards in the hostel lockers (using the small lock I carry with me, or some hostels will rent or sell you locks). I keep my money belt in the locker, don't sleep with it. *I only bring a credit or debit card with me when I know I'm going to be taking money out or making a big purchase with a credit card. *I carry a copy of my passport in my purse as a matter of course when I'm in another country. *I keep things separate--one credit card in one bag, another credit card in another. *Don't leave your electronics when you're charging them in a hostel. Many hostels have lockers with outlets in them, so you can lock them up while charging and go do something with your day. If that's not a possibility, be sure you're in the same room as your electronics when you're charging them. Thieves are far too often your fellow travelers. *If you're using your smartphone as an alarm and thus have it with you in bed, keep it under your pillow, if you're in a dorm room. I did hear one horror story of a girl hitting snooze on her smartphone alarm, and when she woke up again 9 minutes later, someone had taken the phone from her hand. Yikes. Hope that helps!