Have a Safe Trip Wherever You Are Headed
While making all the preparations for your next trip do not forget to consider any precautions that will keep you safe. Holidays are always more happily remembered when there were not emergencies and foul play.
Before You Leave Home
There are a number of things you can do BEFORE you leave home to help make sure your safe.
- Give a copy of your itinerary and a copy of your passport to a trusted representative that will be available if you, or someone else, should need the information.
- If you are traveling with Travelers' Checks, leave the numbers of each check with that person as well.
- Take only two credit cards. Call your credit card provider and explain that you will be traveling. Tell them where you will be and what sort of things that you predict you will be using the cards for. Plan on using one of the cards, and keeping the other for emergency use.
- Record the credit card numbers and the phone numbers to report lost or stolen cards, and keep it separately from the cards. A make-up bag or shaving kit is a good place, and leave that information with your trusted representative also.
- If you are traveling with medication, place the drugs, in their original container, and a copy of the prescription in your carry-on bag.
- Note the name and number of your physicians' phone numbers in your address book or on a slip of paper in your wallet. If you are leaving children behind, include the number of their doctor.
- If you are an American traveling abroad, register with the embassy. You can do so through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan at Travel.State.Gov. This is the American Embassy's link to let you know of any crisis that may evolve while you are in a certain country.
- Plan on leaving valuable jewelry or other things that mark you as a tourist at home. Don't take anything that you would regret losing.
- When traveling to a foreign country, take time before your departure to check on the laws and customs of that locale.
When You Arrive
Here are some tips to keep in mind once you arrive at your destination.
- If you are staying at a hotel, take two of the hotel cards immediately. On the back of one card, write your name, nationality, and emergency numbers. If you have any drug allergies you should include those. You should carry this card in your shoe. In case of an accident, if your wallet is unavailable, security people will still be able to get your emergency information. The second hotel card is placed in a pocket or purse, so you can retrieve it easily in a taxi, or when asking for directions.
- Inquire about a room or hotel safe and plan to use it for any large amounts of cash, jewelry, or other valuables you may be carrying.
- Ask the hotel staff about safety issues in the location. Are their neighborhoods, transit, or streets you should avoid? It is their job to know this information.
- If you are in a foreign country, include the telephone number of the embassy or consulate in your index of names and numbers on your telephone. If you are traveling without a phone, keep the number in a handy place in your wallet and carry the appropriate card or tokens to use a pay phone.
Seeing the Sites SafelyCredit: Laura Moore
Tourist sites are often a haven for pickpockets, but you can prevent their success by being aware of your surroundings.
- If you are carrying a large amount of cash or travelers' checks, keep them in a travel envelope or money belt close to your body. Unless you are leaving your passport in the hotel safe, this is also a good place to secure your passport.
- Keep smaller amounts of cash in your purse or wallet. Try to keep small bills very handy so you don't have to pull out a big roll of bills to pay for little things.
- Men should always carry their wallets in the front pants pocket when in crowds or when traveling on mass transit. Women should carry purses that hang from one shoulder across the body. Do not carry anything of value in a backpack or fanny pack.
- When traveling on mass transit, try to find a place away from the door to prevent someone from grabbing your bag and stepping out of the vehicle just as it pulls away.
- Make every attempt to not identify yourself as a tourist. Walk with a purpose. If you are lost, follow someone who appears to know where they are going until you get to a spot where you are comfortable asking directions.
- Always keep your hotel door locked when you are inside. Don't open the door to a stranger unless you have requested service from the front desk.
Bon Voyage! Here's to a safe trip!