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|Travel Safety and Crime Prevention
There are so many times travelers neglect to consider one of the
most important things about traveling, which is SAFETY.
Vacationers are usually more focused on having fun and a good
time. People on Business Trips are usually thinking more about
their project or assignment. Travel Safety is either way on the
back burner or completely ignored.
There are several different safety precautions that should be
taken when you decide to travel. Before you leave on a trip,
protect your home. The house should never look like nobody
there. Make sure it looks like someone is living in your home
when you are traveling. Keep the blinds and curtains in the same
position. Stop your mail and newspapers or make sure that a
friend or neighbor will pick them up every day. Set lights on
timers to go on at appropriate times. Make sure the grass is cut
and snow is shoveled at the regular times. Lock all doors and
windows. Activate your alarm. Put a radio and / or a television
on a timer and turned up loud. Ask a neighbor to park in your
driveway while you are gone.
Plan ahead of time where you are going to stay, how you are
going to get there and what you will take with you. Make sure
that you have all of the maps and tour books that you need
before you leave home.
Money issues are very important when traveling. Clean out your
wallet or purse. Get rid of all of the junk. Only take with you
what you need. Use credit cards and traveler's checks as much as
possible. Keep credit card numbers and traveler's check numbers
in a safe place. (Also, while you are doing that, it would be a
good time to make note of your passport number so if it is lost
there will be fewer problems getting a new passport.) Avoid
carrying around large amounts of cash. Do not put your wallet in
your back pocket. Put your wallet in your front pocket or use a
money pouch (money belt) or an ankle wallet or a fanny pack so
that your money is in the front of your body, not the back. If
you must use a purse, carry it close to your body, holding the
top closed and keep it on the front of your body.
Travelers should protect themselves against Identity Theft which
is one of the fastest growing crimes of the 21st Century. If you
become a victim, it can turn your life into a total disaster.
Eventhough anybody can become an Identity Theft victim,
travelers are more like huge walking targets with flashing neon
light all around them which makes it very easy for them to
become Identity Theft victims. Travelers often neglect to take
the very basic common sense steps to protect themselves and
As an innocent consumer, it is better to concentrate on
PREVENTION rather than risk having to go through the entire
stressful, very time consuming and sometimes expensive
procedures to recover by clearing your name, correcting your
credit report, and trying to recover form someone who has stolen
your identity. It is very rare that criminals ever get caught
and convicted. According to Federal Trade Commission most cases
of Identity Theft cases occur offline. So if their statistics
are correct, then you are more at risk of becoming an Identity
Theft victim while you are running around form city to city
traveling than you do when you are sitting at home using you
computer to shop on the internet.
If you book your airline, hotel, car rental or cruise
reservations or anything else on the internet (like shopping
etc.) and / or especially if you travel around from place to
place using your laptop / notebook online, it is extremely
important for you to make sure that you have a Firewall on your
computer to protect yourself against becoming a victim of
Pack light. Carrying around large, heavy bulky bags will slow
you down and make your more vulnerable to getting robbed.
Expensive designer luggage can draw unneeded attention to your
belongings. Pack your things in inconspicuous bags. Keep a
separate list of all of the contents of your luggage with you.
You should put your valuables such as medicine and jewelry in a
carry-on bag so they stay with you.
Soft sided luggage is better than hard sided for carry-on
because it is easier to squeeze into the tight crammed spaces.
Big hard cases will have to be checked in which increases the
chances of your luggage being lost. Put a unique marker on your
luggage so you can recognize it easily when it comes around on
the baggage carousel.
Remove all of your old flight tags. Old flight tags can cause
your luggage to be misdirected and lost. Put your identification
on the inside and on the outside of all of your luggage. If you
are going on a long extended vacation, consider mailing large
bulky bags back to your home. If you purchase items from a
merchant, ask if they can ship your new purchases back to your
home. Never leave your luggage unattended even for a brief
moment. Make sure all of your luggage is in plain view.
Take some sanitary wipes with you. You will always need
or disinfect something when traveling. Always carry with you at
least one bottle of your own drinking water. If you are
traveling with a companion, you could consider Cross-Packing
just in case the airline looses your luggage, then both of you
will still have ½ of the clothes and items you need instead of
one person having nothing.
Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid being pickpocketed.
Pickpocketers usually work in teams of 2's or 3's. One of them
will bump into you or drop something in front of you or make a
loud noise or do anything to cause a distraction. Once you have
been distracted, the other pickpocketer will steal your
valuables and walk away.
Try to blend in with the crowd. Do not go out walking around
looking like a tourist because it makes you an easy target to be
a crime victim. Tourists carry cameras, plane tickets, money,
and other valuables. Check maps before you go so you know the
directions and you do not look like you are lost. Never discuss
your sightseeing schedule in the presence of strangers. When
ever possible travel with other people to sightsee and to go
shopping. Stick to well lighted areas. Avoid using short cuts in
Lock your car - even for short stops. Take your keys with you.
Never leave your vehicle running with the keys in the ignition.
Close all of the windows. Keep valuables, maps and guidebooks in
the trunk or glove compartment so they are out of sight. Do not
leave expensive valuables in plain view. Keep them locked in the
trunk. Never leave your wallet, credit cards or driver's license
in your vehicle. Always be thinking about protecting yourself
against Identity Theft. Take your parking ticket with you. Do
not leave the parking ticket in your car. Car thieves know that
if they do not have a ticket, then the parking attendant will
want to see proof of ownership before allowing them to exit the
parking lot. Always check your vehicle before you enter to make
sure that nobody is hiding inside.
Write down the year, make, model, color and license number of
your car and keep it in a safe place to assist locating your
vehicle if it is lost, stolen or impounded. Keep your house and
car keys separated in case you have to use valet parking.
Before you leave your car, write down on a note to yourself as
to where you are parked. Memory often fails when you are in a
different city, that is like a strange place with unusual
surroundings OR when returning to your car at the airport in
your own city after a long trip.
Do not leave valuables in your hotel room. Use the safe deposit
security boxes in the hotel vault. Usually this is either a free
or very cheap service. When you are not wearing your jewelry,
put it in the hotel vault. When you get to your hotel room,
determine the most direct routes to the elevator, stairs and
Use the interior locking device when inside your hotel room for
added security. Never automatically open the door. Use the
peephole. If it is a hotel employee, ask to see identification.
If you are suspicious or have any questions or doubts then call
the front desk for verification. Never invite strangers in your
room no matter how helpful they may seem.
Always lock you room when you leave, even if just for a minute
to go down the hall to get ice. Always pull the door shut by
hand. Make sure it is locked. Double check it. If you leave in
the evening, turn the lights on and turn on either the radio or
television so the room appears to be occupied.
Before you travel, make sure that you have Travel Insurance that
meets the needs for you and your family (and / or employees). It
should include Emergency Medical Treatment along with other
Be sure to take all of the necessary precautions to prevent DVT
(blood clots). Deep Vein Thrombosis is a very serious medical
condition that can be fatal to travelers. Even young health
travelers may be at risks. According to the dvt.net website,
"Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a year in the
United States which is more than AIDS and breast cancer
combined!" Do not just "plant" yourself in your seat for several
hours. Move around and stretch. Drink a sufficient amount of
water. If possible, stand up and walk around to keep your blood
circulating. If you travel with your family, stick together.
Keep an eye on the kids at all times. Make sure your kids know
where you are staying and what they should do if you get
separated. Agree on a meeting place if anybody gets lost. Tell
your kids not to accept rides or advice from any strangers.
Finally, have fun and enjoy your trip.
About the author:
Stephanie Gibbs created http://www.travelcheaphotline.com to
educate people about Travel Safety for crime prevention and
provide solutions with a FREE Travel Safety List available to be
printed right off the website. It also promotes fun & amazing
offers for people with low limited budgets.