Hotel employees are the biggest culprits for these petty crimes, so effectively hiding valuables is an important preventative measure. Take advantage of all of the locks in the room. Higher grade hotels generally have more protection measures in place.
Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. Keep the room and your items tidy so that any disorder would be conspicuous. Do not leave any valuable items out in the open. Tape items underneath the desk or side tables. Place cash within the pages of a book or telephone directory. Hide items in plain sight by keeping important documents concealed in a pile of restaurant menus and travel brochures. Throw valuables in truly dirty clothes such as underwear. Use a “diversion safe,” such as a fake can of shaving cream or hollowed-out paperback, to store valuables. These are available at security shops and online.
Keep suitcases locked. Use a cable lock to tether your bag to something stationary. Use small zipper locks to prevent entry into your bag as well as slash-proof panels to keep thieves from tearing it open. Secure or remove valuables from your rental car as well. Lock the rental car doors.
Incidentally, if you do become the victim of theft while on a trip, insurance websites recommend reporting the theft to the police so there is an official report to enhance the likelihood of reimbursement of the loss.
Having your cash and credit cards stolen when away from home is bad, but having your identification documents lost or stolen is worse. As I sat in the hotel trying to figure out how I was going to airline home, I realized that without a government-issued photo ID, I would be unable to get past the TSA agents handling airport security. Yes, I did have my company-issued ID with my picture, but adult passengers over 18 are required to show a valid U.S. federal- or state-issued tamper-resistant photo ID that contains your name, date of birth, gender and an expiration date.
The TSA says not having an ID does not necessarily mean a passenger won't be allowed to fly. Alternately, passengers can provide at least two other forms of identification, such as a Social Security card, birth certificate, marriage license or credit card. At least one of these documents must contain one of the following: date of birth, gender, address or photo. In reality, none of us carries the former three items on the road (nor should you!), and if your wallet has been stolen, you won't have credit cards to help establish your identity.
The TSA's website states that other means of substantiating your identity can be used, such as using publicly available databases. Once the TSA confirms your identity, then you may enter the secured area, with the caveat that you could be subject to additional screening. (For more information, see the TSA's “ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints” website.) If you are attempting to use an alternate method of establishing your identification for TSA screening, it is recommended that you show up much earlier at the airport to allow TSA the extra time this will take.
Any pilot absent credentials through loss of theft while on the road is basically grounded immediately since the regs prohibit anyone from operating an aircraft without having their pilot certificate, medical certificate and a valid government-issued photo identification on their person.
Getting a temporary replacement of your FAA pilot certificate can be done on-line. The easiest way is to insert “lost/replace pilot medical certificate” into the search engine. It will direct you to the FAA website that answers this specific problem. To get a replacement copy of your medical certificate, you can submit AC Form 8060-56 (the link is available on the website) to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division's address on the website, and that unit can fax back a record of the lost certificate that is valid for no more than 60 days, which should be enough time to receive your replacement certificate.